This week I went back to the gym for the first time since March, before lockdown. Even though I’m a Personal Trainer I still get a level of gym anxiety from time to time, and I think everyone is going to a be a little bit anxious going back to things they used to do pre-Covid, things aren’t going to be the same (but that’s not always a bad thing).
I’d been putting off going back as I’ve only got another couple of weeks at home before I move back to Leicester to hopefully start back at uni (dance school) in September. As a fitness instructor I’m used to going from gym to gym teaching classes and I usually am allowed to use those gyms for free too, so I’m not used to paying for a membership. I joined a gym back in Leicester just before Christmas, and really got into gym training as opposed to just doing classes. Since I’ve only been teaching classes in my living room for the last 4 months, I’m not employed by any gyms currently and therefore didn’t have a membership to use – I cancelled my membership in Leicester at the start of lockdown too.
It finally got to me last weekend and I just hit a wall and couldn’t bear working out at home any longer. I still love teaching my classes and will be sad to see them come to an end soon, but in terms of doing a workout for myself, I noticed I wasn’t getting much out of them when the only space I have to workout is the living room which all my family sit in, or if I’m lucky the garden on a good day.
So anyway, enough about me and how I got back to the gym, let’s get into some tips!
Like I said, even fitness professionals get that gym anxiety sometimes and this is a new normal for everyone, so it’s perfectly normal to be anxious about going back. I completely understand that not everyone is ready to go back yet, it’s a totally valid choice.
If you do want to go back, here’s some tips to help ease the nerves:
INVEST IN SOME HEADPHONES
Since I got my overhead headphones I feel much more separated from everyone else around me, I’m just in my own little bubble. It helps me to focus on what I’m doing rather than worry about everyone else. Find yourself a good playlist and block out everyone else around you.
Even if you’re not at all! If you act confident on the outside, I promise no one will bat an eyelid or think any different. Fake it til you make it babe!
HAVE A PLAN
Going in with a plan makes it easier for you to stay focused and know what you’re going in to do. Plan your workout before you go and have it on your phone so you can refer back to it at any point. It might be an idea that you have a couple of alternative exercises in mind as well in case the equipment you want is being used or out of use.
TRAIN WITH A FRIEND
If you have a friend you can go to the gym with that will definitely help you feel more at ease. You can workout together, go round together and motivate each other. Even if you don’t workout together but just know that someone else you know isn’t far away can help.
GET A PERSONAL TRAINER OR COACH
Personal Trainers are there to help you! Every gym has them and they want to help you out. If the PTs in the gym don’t appeal to you, there’s plenty of online coaches about now – but please make sure you check they have qualifications and are not just a “fitness influencer” before you pay them! But having a coach or PT can help calm the nerves if you have a plan that’s been given to you by a professional who is there to guide you through everything.
In terms of Covid restrictions etc, I am really impressed with my gym. Everything was spread out well, some machines were out of order to ensure proper social distancing and everyone seemed to be adhering to guidelines. There were cleaning stations throughout the gym for you to wipe down your equipment when you’re finished using it. Obviously there’s no way to tell if everyone is doing that but if you’re worried you can always clean before and after. I’ve seen a few people take their own cleaning wipes too to make it easier!
I also vlogged my experience of the first day back in the gym, so feel free to give that a watch – click here. I’m planning more gym YouTube content so let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see. It’d mean the world to me if you were able to subscribe to my channel and watch a few of my videos!
I hope this post was helpful – let me know if you’ve been back to the gym yet or if you’re waiting a little longer! I’d love to know what your experience was like if you have been.
I also have 3 spaces available for online coaching (including fitness, nutrition and mindset) so if that’s something you’re interested in please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org