8 Tips for 2018 to rock the Gym
from a crowded NYC gym go-er (transformed from shy/new to relatively happy/confident gym rat)
Ok so woohoo…glad you are excited to get busy with it at the GYM. For 2018, I’m excited to encourage people to get into strength training (aka lifting weights)…and feeling confident rocking out with it at the GYM.
Mainly because there is such an awesome variety of equipment at the gym…you can increase your weights easily or use cool gear like the assisted chin-up machine…and get great ENERGY in getting your sweat on, from being around other people who are having fun working it…
So if you want to feel confident with lifting weights…and getting into strength training…here are 8 Tips that I have found to REALLY WORK feeling confident…and navigating any poopy situations.
Was I always confident at the gym?
Ok, so here’s how my GYM strength training experience started: feeling brand new, feeling like I didn’t totally know what to do…knowing other people were more fit and had been doing this stuff way longer than me…and I felt intimidated, but DETERMINED.
And really, just super CURIOUS…and inspired to learn more & learn how to lift weights, connect with my muscles & my breath…and rock out with cool strength training moves. For me, it really helped that I had a coach (Coach Ryan Feahnle to be exact, thank you so much Coach Ryan)…and a solid Workout PLAN to follow…this increased my confidence exponentially…
So picture me, with my extra body fat and a shy, timid smile…wandering around the gym, trying to find the right gear/machine/free weight station…to do each of the moves for my new workout plan. Man, I could not help but notice that so many people already had a ton of vibrant, lovely muscle…and they really SEEMED like they knew what they were doing.
I felt a little chubby. I had my workout plan and my pen…and I would totally look up the FORM (or posture) directions for each move on my phone before I would begin each move. And I carefully wrote down my weight, reps & sets on my workout plan and timed my rest periods. This def caused people to stare…but more with appreciation because most people *know* that’s what you’re supposed to do to make progress & build muscle…but not that many people do it.
I also learned that a lot opt people actually DON’T know what they’re doing when it comes to lifting weights…and getting a little education in strength training and getting in the know…is really powerful.
Anyways, after several years of getting sweaty at the gym and feeling confident lifting…and still looking up and reading those form directions/videos…and making workout plans & carefully takin notes…
Here are 8 key *unwritten* (until now maybe) tips you should know before hitting the gym…and getting jiggy with lifting.
8 Tips for 2018 to rock the Gym
And these 8 tips DO work and help you feel confident…and help you navigate the gym with grace and flair. All right, I hope you enjoy these things I’ve learned the past several years…and that it inspires & empowers you too! I’ve got a 12 Week Get Bootylicious Challenge starting NOW…and you can lift weights either 2 or 3 days a week at the Gym. Learn more here!
And with this post, I’m giving you my NYC perspective…where the Gym is super CROWDED after work. It’s not always that busy…but I have learned some invaluable skills on how to navigate the gym like a bad-a**.
8 Hot Gym Tips:
1. Clothes that work for movement & you feel comfortable in
Ok, so I think one of the biggest unwritten social rules…is that you want to dress to impress…yourself.
You basically are going to be spending 45 or so minutes staring at yourself in the mirror…so you might as well wear clothes that you enjoy seeing yourself in. That doesn’t mean you need *new* clothes at all…just ones that fit you well, with colors that you enjoy. Working out doesn’t mean baggy tshirts and sweats…you can get a little more creative & jazzy with your outfits…and again, colors you love really does do the trick.
And…I personally avoid clothes that make me feel self-conscious. Meaning, I might wear this outfit to a Samba dance class>>>…bold, bright pants & a form-fitting tank top…but at the gym, I would feel more comfortable with a flowing top over these awesome pants. That way, they’re like my little bootylicious secret. 🙂
It’s all about choosing clothes that YOU feel comfortable being in, and moving in. I personally prefer tanks and solid, dark leggings and…don’t forget solid, good SHOES…and surprisingly nice socks make a big difference too.
Anyways…clothes that I think DON’T work that well at the gym…for guys: tank tops with giant arm openings where you can basically see your entire chest, personally I’d rather see that at the beach. 🙂 And for women: super short shorts and small crop tops can make some moves challenging to feel comfortable doing…so I vote for going a little more conservative with your outfit, and then taking it up a notch later if you feel comfortable & inspired. Feeling comfortable in your outfit has turned out to be key.
2. Gym courtesy:
Umm, these things shouldn’t even have to be written down, but not everyone does it, and everyone appreciates it when you do:
–Wipe off seats and stuff
–Always restock weights
–Create a third middle row in the mat area going in a T, if it’s really crowded (conserve & make space on the mat)
3. How many sets do you have left? Want to trade sets?
Ok, these are my 2 favorite questions to ask when someone is using piece of equipment that I would like to use…like the leg press, love that machine. I always start off by asking, “How many sets do you have left?” as a friendly way of finding out (and deciding if I want to wait for it) and letting people know that I am excited to go next…
And then I also ask people if they do have a lot of sets left…and it’s a piece of gear that this could work for this…if they want to trade sets.
Now, this only works for using a bench in the free weight section (and only if you’re ok with sharing bench sweat with someone or trading towels, ect)…or a machine where you can change the weight by moving a PIN…so like it would be hard to trade sets on the leg press where you have to move tons of plates…and a lot easier to trade sets on the leg curl machine ’cause you just have to move a pin…although this is usually a really sweaty move though. 🙂
Anyways, the first question is very polite and works like a charm!
4. Move carefully & intentionally with the free weights
Ok, so you want to get into the ART & care of picking up & putting back the free wights. You want to move slowly, with intention/care. You want to bend your knees and use your legs (and not your back) to pick up weights of the floor…this makes you look like a confident, graceful bad-a**…and it allows you to avoid injuring yourself, ’cause getting or stacking weights does require muscle, and it’s def a part of your workout.
And then even though I will speed walk you on the sidewalk in NYC, trying to pass you and race you with NYC glee…in the gym I walk really slowly in the free weight section or when I’m carrying weights myself. I give people a wide berth when they’re carrying weights, and don’t try to zip around them or cut it really close or anything. And I wanted to be given that space and care as well. What you dish out, mainly comes back to you.
Plus truly, when you have strong, clear energy…moving slowly and respectfully around the free weights…you are literally adding to/setting/creating the VIBE of that area…and making it a caring & respectful space.
5. Smiles & friendly nods
Ok, so basically I find working out to be an emotionally transformative experience…meaning that I may not feel that fabulous when I first arrive at the gym. And you just never know what other people are going through in their own lives…and a friendly nod and smile really can go a long way!
I’m all about the polite nod of hello and a little smile if I am so inspired. I’ll also say Hey if I meet eyes with someone and I feel like it…
Nods of recognition…smiles if you feel like it…make for polite boundaries and good ENERGIA! 🙂 And having fun focusing on your workout.
(never know what kind of day other people are having…plus this can be a friendly but firm way to set BOUNDARIES with people…’cause who wants to feel obligated to chat or be flirted at while you’re there…well, not me personally. I like appreciating other people for being there…but I like to stay focused on moving it and having fun getting my sweat on. And nods & polite smiles and a hey really helps me keep my boundaries while acknowledging & appreciating other people…(if you want to flirt at the gym, well that is probably a whole other article on ethical gym flirting, and someone else will have to write it ;))
6. Confident body posture…ignore grunters, rude starers, big ego peeps
And then I just ignore these types of people. Like straight-up IGNORE:
grunters, rude starers, big ego peeps
7. Use the mirror…don’t be shy
And then when it comes to ether people…especially as a newbie…I found that it was so important to just appreciate myself for being there…and to appreciate other people for being there too.
Be sure to use a mirror for most moves (not the 2 handed kettlebell swing though) so that you can see yourself while you’re lifting. You want to check your FORM with your moves & basically be a “Posture Detective.” Check the alignment of your neck, shoulders, pelvis, knees and feet. And really get into rocking the TEMPO–or speed–of the move.
Smile at yourself, or make any ol’ determined face you want…and look for things to like and appreciate about yourself while you’re lifting and giving yourself this gift of #bodytime.
While you’re getting your self care on–this is the best times to look for things you already do like about your body, notice them in the mirror and appreciate them.
8. Have a Workout PLAN…and have success
And don’t forget to have a Workout Plan…that is probably the best & biggest tip to having Confidence & rocking it at the Gym! 🙂
Get a PLAN…and Let’s Move!
Come join me for a 12 Week Challenge…get into Lifting Weights! Do it in a FUN, inspiring and body safe way…with full-body, booty-focused strength training. When you add in a little strength training–it’s the fastest way to transform your body (booty), mind and spirit.
PLUS, I’m excited to share that I wrote a new Eating for Energy guide book…with how you can use Good Fats for fuel…to feel FULL & satisfied, burn body fat, improve your happiness and energy…So excited to share this with everyone!
We’re getting started on Jan 2…and you can do 2 or 3 days at the GYM…and there’s also Home Workouts that you can do too.
The gym has a playground of equipment…and it’s easier to build muscle there with the variety of gear. Plus the community energy is inspiring too. Come get Bootylicious with us with this 12 Week Challenge…and Let’s Lift!