first time joining a gym -- advice please

  1. hello all. apologies in advance for the long post.

    some years ago i joined a company with a terribly toxic atmosphere and for some reason, stayed for several years. in that time, i became a nervous wreck, could not sleep without medication and put on a pile of weight. in the last few years however i was fortunate to find a job that i love, in a workplace that, while not perfect, is still great.

    however, the damage all those unhappy years did is still with me. so after years of relative inactivity (i used to be very active in my twenties and early thirties due to the nature of my job) i am joining a gym for the first time. and nervous about it.

    so for those of you who go to a gym, what should i expect? i have terrible memories of PE at school, so i'm a bit apprehensive about things like, where to change, privacy, what sort of clothes do you need, do people judge you by the way you look, do you ever feel like you're on "display" or do people just ignore other people, can you just go in and do your thing without having to interact with a trainer, etc.

    i know my concerns must sound so juvenile and silly. but i really want to do this for myself and am struggling to overcome a deep-seated shyness and dislike of being "exposed". any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. I wouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks of what your wearing or how you train.
    Try some new aerobics classes and take it slowly, your bound to find other people in the same situation as you. I find that there always new people in classes, so you don't have to feel shy or scared of learning something new.
    The main thing is that you feel comfortable where your at and don't let anyone else intimadate you.
    I usually go in and do the class, no you don't have to talk to anyone else if you don't feel like it.

  3. I agree....make sure to choose somewhere you are comfortable in.That's the one thing I'd try to look for in a public gym...if your comfortable then you won't care about what your wearing or whether if someone is looking at you or not.And if a public gym is not for you and you don't find somewhere that your comfortable in...there's always home videos like winsor pilates ( that work great because I use them myself and have gotten great results) and so many more videos out there.The good thing is you get to do it in the comfort of your own home.Good Luck with everything and if you need some great workout video suggestions...just PM me...i've tried litterally everything...from Taebo to Pilates litterally. :lol:

    Good Luck :smile:
  4. at my gym, no one really cares about each other. I wear like stretch pants, sports bra and a baggy t-shirt.

    At first, I was nervous, but when I saw that everyone pretty much ignored everyone else, I didn't care.

    Although, we shopped around for a gym where I thought I'd be most comfortable. I tried a few Crunch gyms out and there seemed to be lots of shallow people at the particular one that is closest to me.. so I ended up finding a different gym. Had tons of different people... skinny, fat... short, tall.. old young... not just the muscle-y beautiful buff blonde and perfect people that I saw at so many of the other gyms.

    I'd suggest doing some spinning classes... having someone give a class gives you so much motivation to do the workout correctly. Also, maybe you can hire a trainer for a few sessions so he/she can show you how to work out properly.

    Good luck with your gym adventure! :smile:
  5. I recommend visitng a few. If you have the flexibity and would prefer to, call and ask when they're least busiest and try to tour and then exercise around that time.
    I think almost everyone is anxious about joining and then goign. . . until tehy get used to going and getting in teh groove.
    Also, I think a few training sessions w/ a trainer you've met and feel comfortabel w/ could make a WORLD of difference.
    Just think about it, they'd get you used to where everything's located, how to properly use everything and you'll always know at least one person there.
    I worked in a gym for a while, it was even known as a major 'meat market' in Houston and even w/ that rep, the people were very nice and not nearly as judgmental as you'd imagine.
  6. I would think you should consider what kind of dynamic or energy you would be comfrotable in. SOme places are quite competitive almost and others you can move in your own world.

    ALso think about would you be more comfortable in a female only enviornment or a place that the whole world frequents.
  7. thank you all very much for the advice and encouragement. i must be getting old -- suddenly a simple thing like this seems terribly daunting.

    allbrands, thank you for the reassurance -- i hadn't really thought along the lines you mentioned, but it makes perfect sense to me; and i feel a little better now just thinking that i'm probably not the only person to feel this way.

    sunshine, thank you so much for your kind offer; i may PM you one of these days as soon as I get started, if you wouldn't mind.

    luna and swankymama, thank you both for the advice on having a few sessions with a trainer. i think i will definitely need it, as i might end up trying to strain myself the first few days and that could definitely be counterproductive.

    and alvie, thank you too -- i hadn't thought of a female-only environment; the gym i am joining is open to all, but perhaps a female-only class would be a great a idea. i am getting the whole tour this weekend so i will make sure to ask about this option.

    i really appreciate all your thoughts and good wishes.
  8. Hi I am a qualified fitness Instuctor, please do not worry about going to the gym I promise they are not as scary as the first look.

    The biggest tip I can give you is don't be afraid to ask an instructor for help thats what they are there for you are not bothering anyone.
    If you have forgotten how to use something just ask even if it the (20th time) doing it wrong could lead to injury or a lack of results.
  9. My advice is to remember that everyone at the gym was a newbie at some point too!

    I do a lot of fitness classes, and I often see newcomers get overwhelmed when they are doing new exercises or movements they have not done before. Just remember we were all there at one time!

    If you feel it is too hard, ask an instructor, trainer, or someone that looks more experienced what they recommend for someone new to the gym such as yourself!
  10. I only have one peice of advice: no one will remember you or your face who cares!

    I fell off a treadmill once...I was staring at the tv, got caught up and next thing I know I was flying off the machine. I was sooooo embrassed, I almost couldnt go back the next day. But when I did, no one stared at me or made a stupid comment. So yea...dont worry about other people!
  11. Truthfully, I think everyone else is so concerned with what they themselves look like and whether they are fitting in that they really don't even notice or judge anyone else, KWIM?
  12. i thought i was the only one who had ever done that

    another bad move....hub took me to a bowling alley when we were dating...i swung the ball backward and let go!

    i am a klutz