Heading out to the gym on your own can be a daunting task for some.
A wise man once said…
“If you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something, you’ve never done”.
In today’s fast-paced world, none of us can label our lives as perfect. We are a work in progress; constantly trying to figure out the balance between responsibilities and aspirations.
Nobody has the time to come and tell you how to muster up the courage to pursue your dreams and take a step towards achieving a healthy lifestyle.
While we continue with our daily struggles to hold down that perfect job, maintain meaningful relationships, keeping abreast with our friends; the mere idea of going to the gym solo can be a daunting one. It often ends up staying on the to-do list while the motivation to work out to obtain your fitness goals can remain something way out of reach.
However, things don’t always have to stay that way…
All our dreams (including going to the gym regularly) can indeed come true, provided that we have the courage, determination, and most of all a conscious awareness to pursue things that are good for our health.
After all; we owe at least that much to our bodies.
If by now you are convinced to put everything else aside and chalk up a plan on how to go to the gym alone regularly, then here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Define Your Fitness Goals
Now that you have decided to put yourself first and pay attention to your body, it’s time to discover the “why”. Before joining any gym, you should ask yourself why you wish to join a gym or what you tend to expect out of it.
Surely many people decide to go to the gym for several reasons. Some simply want to lose weight, while others might be looking to bulk up, train for an event, or maybe just want to shift from having a sedentary lifestyle.
Dozens of people around the world begin this as a New Year resolution only to drop out in a month or two. Don’t be one of these people!
Of course, going to a gym alone can be quite scary, to begin with; just like any other task that you are doing for the first time which is why you must choose a gym carefully.
Let’s face it today there are plenty of gyms almost on every street; some advertise their state-of-the-art fitness center and excellent cardio machines while others claim to be the best powerhouses with promising weight lifting sessions.
2. Choosing A Gym That Best Suits You
Once you have gym goals sorted, it becomes much easier to choose a gym that best caters to all your needs.
However, there are still some factors that you must consider wisely before embarking on your journey to go to the gym alone. Some of these include:
No one wants to invest their time and energy in a gym that is too far from either their home or work. Especially when it’s a place that you will be visiting regularly.
Driving or walking to one that’s not easily accessible will only lead to a lack of motivation and the will to be a regular.
And on days when you are looking for a Quick workout session or cardio activity a gym that is within your proximity helps you stick to your goals.
Another key factor that you might want to look into when choosing a gym is its operating hours. Do their hours match with your schedule and allow you to comfortably reach and enjoy a good workout session or will you be always pressed for time and end up missing a day only because you had a longer than expected day at work?
Here your best bet is to choose a gym that is open 24 hours so that no matter what the odds, you are still able to make it to the gym every day.
Considering and weighing just how much a gym membership will cost you every month is one of the most important factors that you need to consider when planning on going to a gym alone. After all, it’s a payment that you will be making every month and must be well aligned with your allocated budget.
Nowadays, many gyms tend to offer promotional deals and discounts. Try looking into those and don’t get coaxed into paying for services that do not agree with your health goals.
Equipment and Hygiene
Another yet equally important factor to consider is how much attention is being paid to the maintenance of the gym.
- Is it being cleaned and properly sanitized daily?
- Does it reek of sweat as soon as you enter?
- Is the free weights section busy?
- Is the gym equipment up to date and in good working condition?
Similarly, you might want to take a look around not only in the locker rooms but also observe the equipment and its handling as well. It’s important that it meets your training needs and is not just a pile of worn-down and compromised equipment that will just end up wasting both your time and money.
3. Get A Gym Induction
The decision to join a gym is no less than a lifestyle change. It’s something that you may be committing to doing almost every single day.
Having said so, it is almost impossible to decide whether the gym that you have shortlisted is the right one by just looking around. Perhaps this is why now most gyms tend to offer a trial period for a meager amount of money.
Do not feel hesitant to avail of this option…
Before committing to any gym, try joining it for a week or so. This will allow you the opportunity to not only understand whether the gym meets your training goals. I will also give you an insight into if the staff are happy to help and how congenial other members are. This can all help to get over any gym anxiety.
During the trial period, observe the overall environment. Get the staff to show you how to use any machines, weights, or equipment that you are now sure of. They can also help you to achieve perfect form for your exercises and reduce the risk of injury.
Having someone with you who is familiar with the gym floor, can help to overcome any feelings of social anxiety that may arise. If you feel the need then try and ask as many questions as you need to; after all, you need to be fully assured about the facility and confident about your decision.
4. Plan Your Gym Sessions & Feel Confident
Now that you have moved passed the location and induction stage, it’s only fair to start making preparations for your soon-to-be part of your daily life while going to the gym alone.
One of the biggest challenges athletes and amateurs make while prepping for the gym is choosing the right attire.
Of course, we all want to show off those perfect abs or the elegantly calved thighs but at the same time who wants to engage in tugging down their shirt constantly or making sure that their pants aren’t just a size too tight or too exposed when engaging in a certain exercise. You may also decide to get a pair of workout gloves to help protect your hands.
Related: The Best Women’s Gym Gloves
For this purpose, it is quintessential for fitness buffs to settle for something that is dry-fit and designed to soak in the moisture from sweating as opposed to any other fabric that doesn’t absorb sweat or is hard to breathe in.
This goes equally well for other aspects of your apparel as well; be it a sports bra or even shoes; remember in terms of size pick one that is a snug fit; not too tight but not too loose either.
Having a gym bag works very well here as you have all of your gear organized in one place and ready to go.
Listen To Music
The mere decision of enlisting yourself at a gym can be challenging enough for many.
This is precisely why you need an amazing playlist that serves as an effective source of motivation to keep you pumped up during your workout sessions. It stimulates you to push the weights to the limit while at the same time allowing you to enjoy your time at the gym as well.
It is no secret that we all are different from one another, having different musical tastes. What may energize you and put you in a cheerful mood might not exactly work the same way for me.
When downloading a workout playlist, instead of focusing on what’s considered “hip” or “cool” focus on the music or songs that really set the mood for you.
Remember! The whole purpose of having your individual playlist is to have music that charges you when you begin to test your limits at the gym. It needs to give you that “bang of grit” when you’re pushing yourself to your peak.
5. Working Out Alone
Congratulations! Now that you have successfully chosen a gym to go to, feeling the jitters on your first day is completely normal especially since you are going to a gym alone. Think back to the first day of high school and how nervous and self-conscious you felt.
However, when it comes to your exercise you must bear a few things in mind.
- To begin with, start by consulting an instructor and sharing your goals with him or her. If you can get a workout program designed for you, that is ideal.
- Start slow with warm-ups and with just a few exercises on just a few machines in your first week.
- Over time you may build up upon your workout, feel more comfortable, and increase the intensity.
- Additionally, keep an eye on your posture and use the correct form. Make use of the mirrors in the gym to see this.
Many a time, we get so caught up in doing so many exercises that we overexert ourselves or might end up with injuries.
6. The Importance Of Stretching Before The Gym
There was a time when one had to go through weeks of unbearable pain, and muscle soreness to stay fit and gain muscle.
You will be going to a gym alone now and you will be working out alone hard to achieve your goals. If you invest a good amount of time in stretching before and after you exercise, you will start to feel better and will not have to deal with as much physical pain in the process.
Stretching actually tends to increase the range of motion in your muscles and helps in releasing that pesky lactic acid that is responsible for causing soreness, pain, tension, and aches in muscles. This helps you to increase muscle mass quicker.
7. Focusing On Recovery
Focusing on recovery after an intense workout is an essential part of staying fit, especially if you are exercising after a long time.
Studies now indicate that to grow muscles; you might feel a little tear in them before the whole rebuilding process begins. Surely; you may end up sleeping like a baby through the night after a productive session at the gym but at the same time you will most likely feel intense soreness, ache, and body pain lasting somewhere between one to three days.
Perhaps this is the reason why trainers emphasize so much on a good stretching session post-workout. Getting started on your fitness journey may not always be easy; you have just begun to exercise and move those muscles that have remained dormant for years but it is worth it.
The pain you feel today will prove to be your strength tomorrow and within just a matter of weeks you will start to notice a new energized, happy you. So keep at it and stay motivated; with time your body will adjust to the new changes as well.
8. Acknowledge Your Victories!
Remember! The decision to start going to the gym alone is not just limited to losing weight or improving your fitness level.
Modern science now indicates that regular exercise is a great way to boost your confidence, challenge your willpower, and improve your mental strength.
So whether you spend just a mere thirty minutes at the gym or can afford the luxury of devoting hours to it daily; make sure to enjoy the moment and celebrate the victories!
Take pride in knowing that you are finally in charge and putting yourself first before anything else!