The First Step Is Always The Hardest
Getting into a fitness routine for the first time or even getting into it again brings a lot of challenges for those starting their fitness journey.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the equipment people or just not knowing how to get started is an intimidating and daunting task for people thinking of getting into the gym or even new members. This is not an uncommon feeling for new members or those thinking of joining a gym to have.
Being Intimidating by a gym or starting a fitness journey is enough to turn off new members or even would be new members.
Its very easy to be stuck in the mindset that all the other gym members will be watching you, judging your performance and knowledge. The internet has mad people hyper focus and self-conscious due to all the online criticism that gets thrown around.
I have to admit that I laugh at some of the gym memes and short social media video clips of people that do not know how to use the equipment correctly. So how do individuals overcome the gym anxiety and how can gym managers help to lower the intimidation of the gym to get members in and keep them in?
Well, If you are one that suffers from feelings of self-conscious, anxiety or just intimidated from gyms, read the rest of this post on how you yourself can get out of your own head get starting on your fitness journey.
How to Lower New Member Gym Anxiety
- Early Morning Workouts
Avoiding the large crowds of the evening classes, and actually being able to find an open machine or treadmill 😊 by going to morning sessions instead of evening ones.
Trying to figure out how to and what do to do can be a challenge when dealing with large crowds in the gym where everyone is around and you have to figure out both are open and how to use it. Wither you are a self pacer, or you want to join a morning class, you can take your time and have room to explore the gym.
Gym managers would do well to encourage new members to use these off-peak times to get them adjusted to their new lifestyle choice.
- Group Class Session.
We all feel a little safer when we are not the only ones. Sometimes getting a friend to go with us to the gym helps us not feel alone. Another great way to get over the new gym member anxiety is to take a group class. HIT, CrossFit, and group fitness classes, in general, have really done well in lowering the new member anxiety and building community. It’s true what they say that there is safety in numbers.
Gym managers can encourage members to join these group classes to help get new members involved early on.
- Seek Help When needed
Sometimes it’s a little intimidating to ask for help, but if you don’t know you don’t know and acting as you do know is only you trying to fool yourself.
Trainers and gym coaches are usually just walking around (or playing on social media-hopefully they are reading this blog 😉) Or if you are taking a group fitness class, show up a little early or stay a little late and talk to the instructor, explain your goals to them. The trainers will know how to help you best.
For coaches, be available and engaging. Sometimes its easy to see someone that doesn’t know what they are doing. Talk to them and get to know what they are wanting to do, most of the time they just need guidance.
- Make It Past The New Member Drop Off Date
When it comes to new gym members, statistically most drop off after the second month. Don’t believe me look at your gym the first week of January and again the end of February. Pretty big difference in attendance. So it comes down to personal goals on attendance. Find a schedule that works for you and stick with it for 3 months, if you can do that your success will go up and your anxiety will go down.
For the Gym business side, if managers can engage new members longer and keep them engaged past that 3rd-month milestone, the members are far more likely in staying a member for the long term.
- Stay Motivated- Listen To Something
Some times you still need a little motivation to get over the new member anxiety. For this I suggest shutting everything out, putting your headphones on and Jamming out to your favorite toons. I also enjoy listening to motivations compilations on YouTube, check out MotivationHub & Be Inspired.
I love Jamming out and forgetting the world around me. It is almost like the opposite of a relaxed meditative state if you can reach it. I am usually pumped up on pre-workout and walking around like I own the place.
- Start With A Goal & Remind Yourself Often Of it
It has been said that ‘Goals without actions are just wishes.’ Make sure that you keep your ‘Why’ in mind. Les Brown said something to the extent that -if your ‘Why’ is strong enough, you will overcome almost any How. Keep yourself motivate and moving forward.
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