Overwhelmed at the Gym

Does anyone one else get completely overwhelmed at the gym? There are just so many different machines that, to be completely honest, intimidate me. Not to mention the super jacked people who always seem to be questioning why I am there.... So I always do my stuff on cardio machines and get too scared to do anything else :( Thoughts? Advice?
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Replies

  • MyOwnSunshine
    MyOwnSunshine Posts: 1,312 Member
    Peope question why you are there? They come up to you and ask you why you're there????

    ... or maybe YOU are questioning why you are there and feeling self conscious.

    My advice is to go with a plan. It can be a simple plan at first -- maybe to try a new cardio machine each time you go.

    Then, have one of the trainers show you how to use the weight machines.

    Then, get really brave and find a free weight program and get in that weight room and act like you belong there.

    People aren't paying as much attention to you at the gym as you think. Most super-jacked people are challenging themselves and praying they make it through their workout and that their jelly-legs don't fail them on the way from the locker room to their car. If people are paying that much attention to your workout, they're probably not someone I'd worry about anyway.
  • meshashesha2012
    meshashesha2012 Posts: 8,330 Member
    nope i dont get overwhelmed. i always go in with a plan of what i'm going to do and stick to it. the people who get nothing from their workouts or domt see any results are usually the ones who dont have a a plan and just go in will nilly.


    your plan should be related to your fitness goals (ie goals less vague than weight loss). some ideas for fitness goals are things like able to finish a 5k in 30 minutes, able to do 10 pullups, able to deadlift 1.5 times my body weight, can do 100 push ups, can swim freestyle 10 laps straight, etc
  • youtube a particular machine and use it until you get good at it then you own that machine.

    go to the gym with a friend

    go to the gym during off peak hours.

    go to a non crowded section of the gym

    LASTLY and i do mean lastly pay a personal trainer
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,407 Member
    I don't care how jacked they are, no one in the gym is looking at you wondering why you're there. You're in the gym, we know why you're here. To get in shape, which is the same reason the jacked people are in the gym. Everybody in the gym is happy you're there and will answer any question you have or show you how to work a piece of equipment. Don't be intimidated about any part of the gym (except the men's hot tub. be afraid. VERY afraid)

    Best thing to do is to have a plan. I recommend you buy and read New Rules of Lifting for Women. It will explain what you need to do, why you need to do it, and how much of it you should be doing. Having a plan will help you walk in there with confidence.
  • sash3619
    sash3619 Posts: 27 Member
    Blasting my ipod and having tunnel vision seems to help me. I am new to weights too and watching videos on youtube or bodybuilding site helps a lot. Also, I always check for alternative exercises for body parts you want to work that day. My gym is small and doesn't have all the machines or too busy. I am still a little intimidated with free weight section of the gym but I am making steady progress. I started with dumbbells and building myself up to barbells psychologically..lol
  • billsica
    billsica Posts: 4,742 Member
    I can't figure out all the machines. It looks like star trek. What the heck is an arc trainer vs elliptical??
    I just stick to the free weights. barbell, squat rack.
    I can use the treadmill if I need to run.
  • PikaKnight
    PikaKnight Posts: 34,972 Member
    Does anyone one else get completely overwhelmed at the gym? There are just so many different machines that, to be completely honest, intimidate me. Not to mention the super jacked people who always seem to be questioning why I am there.... So I always do my stuff on cardio machines and get too scared to do anything else :( Thoughts? Advice?

    Are you "mind-reading" and assuming they are looking at you questioningly? Or are they coming up to you, asking you questions and you are automatically assuming it is meant as a negative thing...as if wondering if you belong? I think, as someone else said, this is you just taking it the wrong way.

    If they are asking you questions, maybe they notice you are confused/bewildered and are trying to help you out.

    Either way, follow the other people's advice. Youtube/Google what the machines are and how to use them. Or look more into working with free weights. Maybe hire a trainer for a few sessions to go over form and how to do certain exercises.
  • Mustang_Susie
    Mustang_Susie Posts: 7,045 Member
    I've been lifting weights for years but have been doing free weights for the last few years instead of machines.
    Well, one day it worked better with my schedule to do the machines.
    Thing was, the gym went and upgraded their machines without asking me first :wink:
    So, I plop my butt down on the triceps machine and have NO IDEA how to use it.
    So, some young guy (like young enough to be my son) sees me looking like a buffoon, comes over and very nicely explains how to use it.
    I do my reps and move on to the machines I KNOW how to use, the whole time wanting to crawl out of the room. :embarassed:
    But the more I thought about it, I realized he just wanted me to be safe and have a good work out.
    So, I just needed to get past my own insecurities and focus on having a good work out.
  • maryloo2011
    maryloo2011 Posts: 446
    Usually gyms will offer a 1-3 session package to show you the equipment (the motive is to get you to sign up for more sessions). You do not have to sign up of course but this is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of so someone can show you the machines if you want to do them. Plus they usually have stickers on the machines on how to do the movements anyway. If not, memorize or jot in your phone the name of the machine, google it, watch the videos, go back to the gym and do it.

    Nobody is looking or judging you. If they are looking in your general direction it's because they are in between sets, resting, and what is on tv (if those are in the weight room) sucks at the moment.

    Honestly to get over my fear of the free weights (barbell and dumbbells) I did a ton of research online on programs and what to do, threw on my headphones super loud and did my routine from a piece of paper that I wrote out the night before. Over the years I have taken advantage of the availability of the gym workers (make friends with them!) on the floor, asking them to critique my form. Sometimes I even video tape myself to upload to different fitness groups I am a part of to continuously get feedback and improve form from different folks.

    Confidence - everyone was a n00b once. Promise :D
  • anemoneprose
    anemoneprose Posts: 1,805 Member
    Get the book that was mentioned, watch youtube videos, and also get someone who knows what they're doing (may or may not be a trainer) to show you how to do the lifts, at least.
  • gigglybeth
    gigglybeth Posts: 365 Member
    Are people seriously coming up to you and saying things or are you just assuming they are questioning your motives? In general no one at the gym really cares what anyone else is doing unless they are doing something super crazy or dangerous. The people who *do* notice and either comment or roll their eyes or whatever are insecure *kitten* who no one likes anyway, so screw what they think.

    I know what you mean about being intimidated though. After going to the same gym for a year I finally worked up the courage to try some of the strength training machines and I love it! I still have to psych myself up (all the cardio machines face that area), but after I am done I am so proud of myself for doing something I was scared of. Plus, I am noticing results so much faster then I ever did with cardio only.

    If you don't know how to work the machines, there is usually a little diagram on them showing how to operate it, but ask one of the employees. It's their job to show you how to safely operate the equipment. If they are rude to you or don't/won't answer your questions ask for the manager. If s/he is still a jerk then find another gym.
  • maryloo2011
    maryloo2011 Posts: 446
    Also pick up either of the following - excellent for beginners to free weights. I'm not an advocate for machine-only training...

    - New Rules of Lifting for Women
    - StrongLifts 5x5
  • Alta2000
    Alta2000 Posts: 655 Member
    bodybuilding.com and exrx.net you can look at the various machines and how to use them.
  • AlyssainOR
    AlyssainOR Posts: 18 Member
    What really helped me gain confidence in the gym was having a few personal training sessions. I asked the trainer to make workouts for me that used different features of the gym and then show my how to use each of those things. It really helped me feel more confident and directed in my workouts. I now see my trainer every other week. She tells me what to do for the two weeks between sessions, kicks my booty during each session, and tracks my stats.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,407 Member
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  • Mr_Excitement
    Mr_Excitement Posts: 833 Member
    I always demand to know what people think they're doing in the gym. The nerve of them.
  • koko12
    koko12 Posts: 81 Member
    I don't care how jacked they are, no one in the gym is looking at you wondering why you're there. You're in the gym, we know why you're here. To get in shape, which is the same reason the jacked people are in the gym. Everybody in the gym is happy you're there and will answer any question you have or show you how to work a piece of equipment. Don't be intimidated about any part of the gym (except the men's hot tub. be afraid. VERY afraid)

    Best thing to do is to have a plan. I recommend you buy and read New Rules of Lifting for Women. It will explain what you need to do, why you need to do it, and how much of it you should be doing. Having a plan will help you walk in there with confidence.

    this^^ go to bodybuilding.com and look for exercises, they have videos to show you proper form and how to use the machine. go to cutandjacked.com for workout examples. i love that website
  • sparkly86
    sparkly86 Posts: 520 Member
    i totally feel you! I was and maybe still feel a little weird to step out of the cardio zone. However, a lot of machines are fairly easy to use. You can ask a trainer or look it up on the web. They also have instructions on the side, don't be shy to take your time to look at the machines and chose your routine. when i am self-conscious, i just think that i will be the one wearing that cute dress when i get to my goal, so what people say or think does not matter.
  • lithezebra
    lithezebra Posts: 3,671 Member
    A lot of gyms offer a free session with a trainer to familiarize you with the equipment. If yours doesn't, it's worth paying for at least one. You'll get a lot more out of your valuable exercise time if your form is correct.
  • 6550mom
    6550mom Posts: 206 Member
    dAb0A5D.jpg

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :tongue: