Starting on Friday!

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mirrim52
mirrim52 Posts: 763 Member
I joined a gym in October all keen to start, and promptly sprained my ankle 3 days later :s So now that it is better, I am finally starting up! To say I am terrified is a bit of an understatement! I am not in great shape, have about 20 lbs to lose, and have a weak core. The weight room is totally foreign to me. I don't even know where it is in this new gym! I have been reading and watching videos about form, and I plan on practicing in front of the mirror at home with a broomstick before I venture out. I just really hope there aren't too many people there...I would rather look silly with the fewest witnesses. But I have to start somewhere! I really want to get stronger. I am 5'0" and play roller derby, so I need to get strong to be able to push my way past much larger women. I feel like I am going to look like a little person in there.

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  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    i found it terrifying, and i knew about as much about lifting weights as your average guy knows about how to knit. basically, nothing squared and raised to the 23rd power.

    the first little bit is so much about that mental barrier, but if you put in the time and pay the dues it is so worth it. good thing that you found this forum too, because the women here are really great company.
  • DawnEmbers
    DawnEmbers Posts: 2,451 Member
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    Awesome for starting. It's a challenge at first but once you've done it a couple of times, the moves will be more familiar and the tension over it will go away. The hardest part is getting through that first uncertain time or two.

    That includes things like adjusting the height on the power cage and such too, not just on doing the lifts. I felt awkward the first time or two, moving the holders down cause most are taller than me. Though no one tends to ask to work in when I'm doing squats cause moving everything around for each set would be a nuisance.

    Roller derby sounds fun.
  • ScientificExplorerGirl
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    If I would have know how great strength training is and what it could do form my body I would have started a long time ago!

    Getting proper form down is so important. When I first started I watched as many youtube videos on proper form that I could find. I still watch them to make sure I continue good form as I increase the weights. SL is a great program but I find that advancing the weights too high too soon can be a problem. Although muscular strength may increase, it takes much more time to build strong tendons and ligaments to avoid injury while lifting. To avoid such injury I have started low and increased my weights slowly, sometimes increasing in reps before increasing in weight.

    I workout at home now since I have a long commute. However, when I did go to the gym I remember that as long as you know what you are doing and go about your business, hardly anyone will pay any attention to you. I remember feeling very awkward when I first started to go to the gym but it will quickly subside as you get more into your routine.

    Anyway, this is a great group, very supportive, very knowledgeable, and awesomely fun. Welcome :-)
  • MissHolidayGolightly
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    Welcome!

    You're doing all the right prep work studying form, practicing without weight, joining this group, etc. You'll be fine and it will get less intimidating. People of all shapes and sizes are at the gym and they have every right to be there just as you do.

    Little embarrassments will happen but you'll notice it more than others. Just laugh and move on!
  • MistyinTN
    MistyinTN Posts: 78 Member
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    I just started lifting at a gym last week and I was so nervous when I first went in but everybody does their own thing and doesn't pay attention to what your doing. Does your gym have trainers? You could ask for a tour and have them show you the equipment and check your form on your lifts. That's what I did and it was a huge help. I also hooked up with a personal trainer that I am working with once a week for a half hour. I'm going to use him until I feel more comfortable on my own. Good luck!
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    . . . also, about looking silly in front of the fewest people. if what i've been hearing is accurate, you won't have much to worry about around that. since you're starting on january second, you definitely won't be the only person in there who is just starting out.

    lifting is scary, but it turns out okay. after six months in weight rooms i've come to realise that there's all kinds of people in there who are at all kinds of different levels wrt knowledge and strength. and what i like is - i'm really not a social person and i've probably had fewer than ten 'conversations' with anyone throughout the whole thing. but there's a sort of community there, even if people don't speak very much. so so long as you go, and then keep on going, i've found that you make these sort of silent 'friendships' with many of the other regulars anyway. i get little eye-contacts and nods and stuff from about half the people i find now, any time that i go to the gym.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
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    @canadianlbs is so right. You can lift for a long time and still make mistakes, too. I am introverted and don't care to socialize with people in the gym either but I do get nods of recognition from regulars I see and it feels nice.
  • bruerin
    bruerin Posts: 124 Member
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    It will feel awkward at first, since you are moving your body in a different way. I'm sure that most people would feel awkward speeding around a track on roller skates! I've even heard of long-time lifters feeling awkward after taking time off. Your body needs to find its groove, so to speak. As you become more aware of your body's placement and timing, things begin to "click," and you just "know" when you performed a perfect rep v. a crummy one. We are all works in progress, and are all constantly learning. I think that keeping that in mind is paramount to enjoy lifting.

    The feelings of trepidation will subside as you get stronger and progress. For me, and probably most of the women in this group, there is a direct correlation between gaining physical strength and increasing confidence. As you become more accustomed to the setup of your gym and the regulars who happen to be there at the same time you are, I'm sure that you will revisit your initial nervousness and shake your head.

    Good Luck! Hope to hear about your progress!
  • mirrim52
    mirrim52 Posts: 763 Member
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    Thanks everyone :) I am nervous, but I figure I will never NOT be nervous, so may as well jump in. I wish I had someone to come with me, but I will be going it alone. The gym does have trainers, but I can't afford one at the moment, with all the holiday spending. I am going to see how it goes, and I will probably get a trainer for a couple sessions once I get some weight on there to check my form. I hope I get a little "lost in the crowd" of resolution gym goers.
  • TravelsWithHuckleberry
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    Bookmark this page, because my guess is in about three weeks, you won't be nervous at all. :)

    All the folks above have given great advice -- they always do -- so I would only add a few little things:

    1. Don't be embarrassed about anything! I couldn't lift the bar alone when I started, and had to use smaller bars and / or dumbbells. There's no shame in that, but some new lifters seem to feel like there is. And you will probably fail a lift, do the "roll of shame" (which isn't actually shameful), or do something else that feels dumb at some point or another. As long as you're doing your best and being safe, you're all good.

    2. Take pictures and measurements before you start! And as you progress, you may not see the number on the scale change, but your measurements might change a lot. It's nice to have that as a comparison.

    3. Which reminds me -- The scale will go a little nutty the first few weeks, so just know it can't be trusted. It should even out after a little while.

    4. Another good source of info is "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe. It's kind of boring, but he has so much good advice about form that it's worth the wading through.

    5. Definitely come by the daily check-in thread and keep us posted on how you're doing. It's really the best!

    Good luck!
    Courtney
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    crabada wrote: »
    4. Another good source of info is "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe. It's kind of boring, but he has so much good advice about form that it's worth the wading through.

    he's got a lot of youtube stuff too. which i don't find boring even though he's one of the most technically-informative sorces i've found. guess i just find that walrus mustache and slightly befuddled vibe really entertaining.

    @mirrim, you don't have anyone to go with you in person, but you just gave yourself tons of invisible friends. i'm a pretty tough cookie in some ways, but i still really like having a place i can come home from the gym to and just vent/brag/mope about how each day went. it gets to feeling like you really do have buddies.