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Advice on what to look for in a gym (currently working through the book 'Lifting for Woman')

(6 Posts)
thecatstrousers Thu 15-Feb-18 10:05:23

I have been reading threads on here, and over half term I have been working through the (recommended on here) 'Lifting for Woman' book.

I was going to work out at home but I really would like to get over my lack of confidence when it comes to gyms. I walk in and feel ridiculously self conscious. I really don't want to come away with what I've had in the past which is a tour of the weights machines.

Please can you help with questions to ask, what to look for and any other tips for getting over the self consciousness.

MsMartini Thu 15-Feb-18 10:58:22

OP, I think it is quite hard to tell on first glance.....I had been going to my gym for years before I got into weights, and found the weights area off-putting at first. That was mainly because I didn't really understand the etiquette and hadn't grasped that people will be utterly focussed while lifting and then stand and chat/look around/offer help in rests between sets. It can be a confusing vibe, or maybe I was just slow on the uptake! Anyway, I was lucky and made a couple of gym buddies and we do the free weights together, and they explained how stuff works. I don't feel self-conscious now I know more what I am doing and if , say, someone has left the barbell against a wall on the other side of the gym (which is hard for me as I am short and clumsy!) and someone offers to shift it for me, I feel confident to say a cheery yes please, rather than feeling bad, because I know it should have been put back, IYSWIM. I did/do lots of classes too (lots of weights and bodyweight based circuits) and that really helps as you realise everyone is in the same boat and you sort of bond, sweatily and painfully, and don't care what you look like or what others think.

I belong to a normal high street gym (VA) that has a real mix of users and there are plenty of women who lift there - that is one thing I would look out for although there are still quiet days when you could think it is mostly men..... And ask on the tour about squat racks say and see what their reaction is? If they direct you to pink dumbbells and bicep curls, walk away.

Is there anything specific you feel self-conscious about?

thecatstrousers Thu 15-Feb-18 14:22:32

Thanks for the info. I will ask about the squat rack.

I think my fear is being so exposed while doing somthing new and then making a mistake for all to see! I'm also worried about attracting comment.

I wish I could just go in and confidently do my thing...or rather this is what I am aiming to be able to do.

Oogle Thu 15-Feb-18 14:29:06

Have you thought about getting a PT? Without mine, I wouldn't be in the weights area at all as I wouldn't have a clue what to do! Not only has he taught me lifts and a routine, but he's taught me how to secure weights to bars, how benches adjust, etc too so I now have the confidence to do it without him there.

The other thing to remember is everyone is focussed on their own thing, no one is watching you (and if you do catch someones eye, smile, you might end up making a gym buddy)

MsMartini Thu 15-Feb-18 14:53:02

Yes, I felt like that. And agree, a PT even just for one or two sessions is a really good idea. Or go to some weights-based classes if they have some, and try to make a friend. Once you know how to do one or two things, people may well get chatting and offer to show you others. Good luck!

thecatstrousers Fri 16-Feb-18 13:27:06

I may be able to afford some PT sessions, I'll look into how much they are. I think that would probably be the ideal way forward.

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