You joined the gym. Well done! Now what?
It’s day one and you walk into the building. Then it hits you. Why am I so scared? We’ve all been there. A beginner. The confidence you had after signing up slowly fizzling away. Where was all that happiness at the idea of the mix of gym classes and weight-loss workouts planned just for you. Now you just don’t know where to start. Feeling totally intimidated and maybe a bit uninspired. Yup, you are feeling “Gymtimidation.”
You find your way to the bathroom, deposit your bags (one point for remembering a lock and key!) Water bottle. Towel. As you find your way to the floor, you feel as if you have arrived at the event horizon. No turning back now. Like a deer trapped in the headlights, you look around for something that looks vaguely familiar. Ah. the treadmill, trying your best to emulate the people around you. Thoughts racing- how does this damn thing work!? Slowly, you begin to move, going a little faster, you run for eternity. Look at your new activity tracker Wait. What was that only 5 minutes?! Puffing with exhaustion you console yourself that this is beginner’s fitness. At this point you feel a little cry coming on. You high tail it out of there, crawling towards the exit. Noping out of there as fast as your (aching) legs will take you.
We have all been that new girl in the gym, with those pesky insecurities running rampant. When you do make it back for those weight loss exercises, you may stick to what you know and master that treadmill or spin bike. Trying your best to blend into your surroundings. What if we told you that there was nothing to be afraid of? That there are more than treadmills at the gym. There are classes. And they are really fun (check them out here with our class timetable). Once you throw yourself in to your gym classes and get your groove back its bound to lead to an incident to two… what’s the worst that could happen?
“What if I Fart?”
You enter your class, yoga. Because that makes you zen right? The breathing and stretching and searching for your higher self leads to a totally relaxed… everything. It’s a quiet safe space and you have managed to twist your body into a happy baby pose. and whoops!. You farted. Well, it was bound to happen sometime. You furtively look around to see if anyone noticed. They did. Guess what. it happens to everyone. The link between yoga and farting is scientifically proven! Yoga is all about twisting your body into positions it had no idea it could be twisted into. This includes those internal organs where farts originate.
So, how should you go about handling your yoga class fart?
- Pretend it didn’t happen
- Obviously it wasn’t you, yeah Karen. I’m looking at you!
- Own it. “LOL I guess my high fiber diet is finally paying off!!”
“I don’t have the look”
Feeling a little like Ariana Grande you walk into gym like you own the place. Oh no. OH NO. Your outfit is looking a bit… tired. Clearly you missed the memo about the under armour leggings and nike nanotechnology breathable shirt. Damn damn DAMN. Today was going so well. You made it to the gym for your workout. You signed up for a women’s gym class. In the 15 minutes that you have before the class you put on your old t shirt and woolies leggings, telling yourself it will be okay. You arrive to the class a little late and of course everyone looks gorgeous in their lotus leggings and you feel a bit meh. Don’t worry! it doesn’t matter how you look. Pretty much the only person who is focusing on you is your instructor- and not because you don’t have a cute outfit. Wear what’s comfortable-it’s all about you and your fitness.
Here’s a few ideas about what to wear at the gym:
- You don’t have to be trendy- Nobody wants to get their head trapped in that strappy top.
- Stay away from cotton, it will make you sweaty in no time.
- Invest in a good sports bra: you need to support all the important bits!
- Baggy clothes are a no-no: You don’t want to get caught up on gym equipment and win a darwin award.
- Invest in a decent pair of shoes. You can thank us later.
“I don’t know how this works”
Ugh. Cringe. Your literal worst nightmare is falling off the treadmill. Walking into a gym glass, and no matter how many simple illustrated instructions there are, some things are… complicated. It’s all about trial, error and focus. On the bright side, gym classes are treadmill-less but we also get that over 60% of woman avoid going to the gym in fear of being body shamed. There are a couple of ways you can rid yourself of those fears before your gym class starts!
- Scope out the scene beforehand: Walk into that class like a regular, by checking it out online or stopping by the class. That way, you know what to expect and you can [6.plan your outfit accordingly]
- Mentally prepare: Try to think positively about your fitness goals and what you want to get out of the class. We know you have so much going on in your life, but making the mental space for workouts is key.
- Hydrate: When you do get to the class, don’t forget to bring your water along with you so that you don’t let your thirst kill your enjoyment!
- Don’t worry! You have made a big step by joining the gym. It’s totally understandable if you feel a bit self conscious when you start out, Remember that everybody has been where you are and it will take a bit of time to find your rhythm.
“I don’t know if I can say motivated”
Oof, Motivation, great when you have it but really feels like a dirty word when you don’t. Especially when it’s 6 am on a freezing cold dark winter’s morning, it’s hard to get out of bed, let alone be amped for your gym class! Some days, motivation alone doesn’t quite cut it. Here are a few tips for when your motivation is a little thin on the ground.
- Expectation vs. reality: We have all seen the gym motivation memes but keep reminding yourself, fitness is a journey, and like nissan said. You have to enjoy the ride. Easier said than done! Being in shape is an ongoing process, and it takes time. You aren’t going to have your ideal body overnight Find joy in the process. You know how you take joy in eating your favorite chocolate? Yep. that kind of joy.
- Routine: Yes. Routine evokes all kinds of mundane thoughts, but when you are starting out, start small. Plan your fitness schedule at times that are convenient for you. If you aren’t a morning person, plan a class for after work and don’t try to drag yourself out of bed at 6am, for instance.
- Make it a friend thing!: Why not bring all of your friends in on this new journey of yours? Or have an accountability partner to keep each other updated on your workout plans. Your gym buddy can also be there for an extra kick when you are feeling down.
- Find your ‘why’: This is a huge part of staying on track with your fitness goals. Tracy-lee, of fitnessgirl.co.za says that success occurs when your goals outweigh your excuses. Focus on your own journey and visualise where you want to be and remember this is for you!
We know. We know. Life is BUSY. Full stop. People could tell you that there are 7 days and 168 hours in a week and taking 4 hours is more than doable. Sometimes life gets frantic and you can’t even find the time to sleep, let alone go to the gym for a workout! When you do have the time to work out, make it easy for yourself. Plan ahead and find a class that suits you with our class finder tool. If you are the kind of person who gets bored spending 30 minutes slogging on the elliptical for half an hour, Viva offers a wide range of classes that add in much needed variety into your workouts. Every class has its own goals which can keep exercise fun enough to kick back into a positive feedback loop with a group who support and motivate you.