HOW TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT AT THE GYM
For someone who's new to the gym, doesn't know exactly how to use the gym equipment, or which workouts to do, going to the gym can be incredibly overwhelming.
At times, it can be so discouraging to see other people breeze by you and get into that Women Crush Wednesday or #WCW (like we call it on the 'gram) status as you struggle to even stay consistent.
On top of all of this gym-timidation, you're also become your own worst critic.
Instead of patting yourself on the back for even making it to the gym this week in the first place and completing most of your exercises, you tend to focus on what you didn't get to or what you couldn't complete -- which makes you not want to workout at all.
This negative self-talk leads to a whole bunch of other critical thoughts.
It's easy for you to get into a rut about your lack of progress, but you're probably the reason you're in the rut, to begin with.
An effective fitness routine is an intangible collection of things like your willingness to fail, having a growth mindset, discipline & doing the work when no one is looking.
In order to build muscle, lose the fupa, stubborn belly fat and bat wings, there are some things you need to nail down first:
Developing a growth mindset
#1 Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset
One of the beliefs we have about ourselves, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality.
People who have a fixed mindset believe that you either are or are not good at something. So based on your inherent nature, because it’s just who you are.
People who have a growth mindset believe anyone can be good at anything because your abilities are entirely due to your actions.
Having a fixed mindset is one of the most common and the most harmful mindsets I come across from women who lack confidence at the gym.
So although this sounds super basic - it’s worth understanding and considering how and if, it’s affecting you.
Believing that your qualities are carved in stone (the fixed mindset) creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. For example, thinking you have a certain amount of intelligence or a cap to your physical ability at the gym.
If you feel like perhaps you have been self-sabotaging with your thoughts you may want to consider how you can begin to develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset gives you the grace to fuck up and creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval.
Fitness isn’t rocket science but it takes you putting aside those barriers in your head — the one telling you, “You can’t do this…you don’t have an idea…you’re not a "fit" person…why would you be able to get results…you know NOTHING about the gym!”
But here's the thing - you decide what "kind of person" you're going to be every single day. Who you are is not fixed.
Every time you wake up in the morning you have to decide who you are.
If you're going to get snatched, build muscle or change the way you eat there are things you don't know and there are things you're going to need to learn and that's completely normal.
Some of us are incredibly hard on ourselves and have very unrealistic expectations at the gym. If this is you, I want to remind you to be kind to yourself.
(Some of us would never say the negative things we say to ourselves to other people.)
The first part of your fitness journey is usually going to be a battle of you vs you. It's been between you and your mind.
Be kind and tell yourself, "I can do this" - because you can.
#2 Tunnel Vision
Here's where the tough love and personal trainer comes out: Get focused!
We spend so much time looking at other people and what they're doing.
As human beings, we're social beings and at times being inspired by others. But, you shouldn't be comparing yourself to anyone.
Everyone has a different body, goals and what's important to them.
You cannot control anybody except yourself. It's about what YOU are going to do at the gym.
You need to get focused and aggressive about your goals. How do you get aggressive?
You buy wireless headphones, decide what time you're going to go every day (and don't skip), set up your playlist, know exactly what you're going to do at the gym and avoid peek hours.
I want to preface this by saying that what you're about to read next is coming out of a place of love. I want you to remember that no one at the gym cares that much about you.
People at the gym are usually going for a limited amount of time and are doing them. No stranger at the gym cares that much about you, so you need to stop caring about them and letting them get you off of your focus.
Stop looking at other people and trying to copy their workouts, everybody is different and so are their goals. You don't know them like that - so stop making assumptions and do you.
We all have different journeys and when we compare ourselves to others we aren't seeing the full picture.
That person who's *insert body part here* you want - has probably been working out for YEARS. Yet we're looking at them and hoping that a month in the gym is going to get us there.
What you can do instead of looking at them, start today and with consistency, get to higher levels than you ever thought possible.
Ladies, we all start at zero.
The people really winning out here are doing that by showing up, every day they will get better. I wasn’t born some genius or fitness whiz. I learned it and practiced the skill of building a routine and changing my body every single day. You can, too.
DO YOU BOO!
I want to strip away the BS that so many others try to sell you — as if they have some "magical supplement or formula."
So many women write to me and say things like, " I worked out 2x last week. How come I don’t look like this girl?!”
Her: *Insert picture of fitness trainer who's been in the game for 10+ years*
You and I both know how crazy that sounds.
Let's go with an analogy real quick: If you went to work 2x last week what do you think is going to happen to your paycheck at the end of the week? Do you think your boss should still pay you for the other days even though you didn't show up?
It's a weird phenomenon when we look at others and compare our Day 1 with their Day 500. We ALL DO THIS in subtle ways. I do it, you do it, we've all done it.
But Nobody would expect you to look like a professional fitness model/trainer (who by the way, does fitness FULL TIME) by sorta-kinda working out 2x a week.
The biggest issue I see with women who are not seeing progress is that we're focused on just showing up when what we have to start focusing on is exercise intensity to get the best results.
You can get stronger for a little while, doing random exercise, but everyone who has tried this method knows that at some point you have to put more weight on the bar and lift it on a regular, programmed basis that uses the rules of adaptive physiology.
Specific programming is important because there's a difference between training vs exercise.
Here is how you see progress: The more you adapt to physical stress, the stronger and fitter you become. The stronger and fitter you become, the more you need specific training you're going to need.
Training is about the process. Training will probably involve rest days, and light days that seem to be contradictory to your goals ...today.
But remember it's about the process. This is why winging it and doing the same thing over and over again at the gym is overrated.
This is where the two best supplement in the world come into the equation = consistency and discipline.
I watched a very interesting YouTube Video about motivation the other day. (I put it below- it's really good!)
The theme of the video is that Motivation is garbage. I agree 100%
The way our minds are wired and the fact that we’re human being is that we try to avoid it. You only feel motivated when it’s easy.
Motivation is not enough. No one lives in a constant state of motivation. If you want to feel confidence at the gym you need to go even when you don't feel like it. Confidence at the gym is about discipline. Doing builds confidence. Being a “regular” will help you to feel better navigating around. Get out there and execute!
If you walk into the gym and still don't know what you're going to do - congratulations, you've just set yourself up.
To avoid this, go into the gym knowing exactly what you want to do. Map your workout for the day, or even for the week, so that you can go in and just get started.
When I train my clients I go in with a plan, I'm never just winging it which is why they get results. Nothing is guaranteed to give your confidence a greater boost than seeing personal fitness improvements.
If you’ve been going to the gym for more than 3 months and you haven’t seen results, girl - you need to ask for help ASAP. You must put your money where your goals are and paying for your monthly gym membership just isn't enough.
You must invest in the things that you want both monetarily and also with wanting to get more knowledge.
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