For some this might be a new term they’ve never heard before, let me enlighten you since I hear this term at least once a week.
an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to the gym.
So how does this affect people? Imagine getting so anxious that you can’t even think about going to a gym without starting to panic. Not everybody likes gyms, its the truth, it’s not always fun but most people know they have to go and just do it. But not everybody can just do it. Now let’s clarify this isn’t something that is only reserved for the obese, this can happen to anybody. But really think about it, when we’re working out we’re vulnerable; we smell funny, often wearing clothes we’re not used to, and we’re putting our bodies in weird positions.
Just how important is it to feel safe in a gym? VERY. We can’t give it our all if we’re worried about how we look or if we’re sweating to much. It’s an interesting topic, safety in a gym, in fact when I first thought of opening a gym (circa 2004) that was one problem I wanted to address, I knew I didn’t want to have a large facility where the nervous wouldn’t want to come and workout. So what I decided was the best was to keep it small. Aspire Fitness in comparison to other facilities is small, the gym area it’s self is only 1500sqft. How do we make it work, very simple we don’t need to have 100 people in to pay our bills, we are very comfortable with a max of 6 people in at a time. Between 6 people 1500sqft is a large gym. I’ve always liked this because going to the gym should be fun, you should make friends and you should look forward to going to workout.
I feel this could go on to be a very long winded ramble so I will end this with something Holly wrote for me this week, enjoy;
*ZOOOOOOOM* a sinewy old-man almost side-swipes you as he charges towards the measuring scale. You stumble headfirst into a brick wall, looking up you realize its not a brick wall, but a group of leering body-builders fixated on their appearance in the mirror. Motors whir, machine arms swing all around you and red blinking lights obscure your vision all, panic sets in and you charge back into the change-room without so much as even a scuff on your new sneakers. A shrill cackle cuts the air and you think you might be going crazy (relax it’s just a gym bunny chatting on her cell-phone while working up a
To the inexperienced gym-goer, the average public gym resembles a mad-house or a freaky carnival ride. Gyms are intimidating without a few key pointers and a little bit of knowledge about the demographic as well as the machines.
So, you’ve got a goal, a gym membership and pair of scotch-white bright Nikes. That will only get you so far if you don’t know what you’re doing or how to accomplish it.
We’ll start with demographic,
Jock Corner: Some of these guys are legit, they lift heavy, they eat right and they’re here to work. Equally as many of these guys are here simply to congregate while doing something manly, to admire themselves in public or to gape at the cardio bunnies. There’s nothing you can do about these guys except ignore them.
TIP: if you want to use the equipment in the jock corner, the key hours to do so are early morning or mid-afternoon during the week (typical dead-time at most gyms). Busiest times are evenings and mid-afternoon on weekends.
Cardio Bunnies: Come with a group of girlfriends, never pick-up a dumbbell of any size and are usually wearing just as much make-up as they would to the bar. The ‘gym-clothes’ are normally not practical by any means and could also double as bar-clothes.
TIP: if you come to workout as a way of de-stressing or escaping your workplace gossip try to stay as far away from these girlies as possible. You can only listen to how ‘Ryan cheated on Maggie, how Jeanine got this trampy tattoo, how that guy in English class…’ for so long before you ditch your machine.
Nobody likes to stand around looking confused or new while assessing a new gym. The best way to familiarize yourself with a new gym is as follows:
1. When you purchase your gym membership pick up a copy of the class schedule, or check the website to see if there are any interactive tools to give you a break of what the gym entails.
2. Choose a beginner or introductory class and attend it. The women/men at these classes are normally very cheery and helpful, not too clique-y and are very conversational.
3. Your first time at the gym, grab a treadmill, elliptical or something with not too many buttons or levers. Do about half and hour of cardio and give yourself a chance to scan the room (make sure not to stare!)
4. While on the treadmill/elliptical make yourself a workout using the machines you have identified during your scan that you know FOR SURE how to: set the weight, make proper adjustments and perform the exercise.
5. Repeat step 4 the next couple of times you go to the gym. Most strange new machines will look daunting while unused but are quite simple once you watch a fellow gym-peep take it for a spin.
· If you really don’t think that you can get comfortable using the machines simply by observing, most gyms will offer an Orientation Session. It’s a good idea to take a scan of the room prior to recruiting a Staff Member, that way you can identify which ones you already know how to use and don’t waste their time or expertise.
· Quite a few of the newer gyms also have diagrams attached to the machine indicating how to use it, its still a good idea to watch someone else use it first though, the diagram will not say “IF YOU CAN READ ME YOU ARE SITTING BACKWARDS ON ME” , for example.
Don’t panic, start slow, go with what you know and work up from there. Google Search is a fantastic way to find out what the heck something is and what the heck it does, who knows you might just love the seated row… but not if you’re trying to put your feet through the handles!