We’ve all been there before–that feeling of anxiety that comes with your first visit to a new gym. Where are the locker rooms? How do I use the lockers? What if I make a fool of myself? This kind of intimidation can have a negative effect on your workout and can even lead to you scrapping it altogether.
Gym anxiety is universally experienced by many exercisers, no matter how fit they are. But take heart—our recreation center staff knows how to quell the insecurity by making newcomers feel welcome and at ease so they can get the most out of their workout. Plano’s recreation centers are an ideal place for accustoming yourself to life at the gym thanks to its family friendly atmosphere and expertise.
Carpenter Recreation Center holds fitness and weight room orientation classes on the second Saturday of each month for just $9. Hosted by a personal trainer, this class teaches registrants how to use everything from the rowing machine to the bench press. The next class will be Saturday, Aug. 12 from 5-6 p.m. (Course Code 191810).
“Our job is to make people feel comfortable and confident so they will want to come back. First impressions are important, and we make sure each of our patrons are treated with respect and receive the help they need to make each workout here a success,” said Kenneth Brantley, who has worked as a recreation aide at Carpenter Park Recreation Center for over 20 years.
If you already have a recreation membership with Plano Parks and Recreation, congratulations! You have already accomplished a lot since you now have access to all of our facilities to use however you wish. If you don’t have one, becoming a member is easy and affordable. Pricing and information can be found here, and you can stop by any of our recreation facilities to sign up.
In the meantime, here are six tips for overcoming gym anxiety and making the most of your workout:
Write your workout down before you do it
Plan ahead of time what you want to accomplish during your workout. This way, you will hold yourself accountable to finish what you wrote you would do..
Focus on your workout
When you're seriously working hard, you won’t have time to compare yourself to others. Concentrate on you, and consistently remind yourself of how great you’re doing.
Consider a personal trainer
They can answer any questions you may have and can help you improve your form or master that sequence of moves you couldn't quite get down.
Exercise during off-peak hours, or don’t
Peak hours vary on a per-gym basis, so ask the front desk when the gym is generally busiest. Armed with this knowledge, you can decide when the best time for you to exercise is. Going during less-busy times means definitely has its advantages; however, going when the gym is busier allows you to observe and learn how people use certain equipment that you may be wondering about, and can also make you more comfortable around others.
Bring a friend
Invite someone you know and trust to work out with you. When you’re with a friend, you feel more relaxed and are able to have fun.
Believe in yourself! You are your only competition; comparing yourself to others isn’t going to get you anywhere. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has started out in your shoes at some point or another. Keep your goals in mind and stick with your fitness plans.