When you’re just beginning your fitness journey the gym can be an intimidating place. From the large assortment of machines that you may not know how to use, to the people lifting heavy in the back and grunting, it can be enough to deter you from starting any resistance training. In college I was so scared of the weight area that I just did the elliptical on repeat. Not exactly what you’d call a well-rounded training program. If your fear of the gym is holding you back from resistance training here are some tips to get you feeling more comfortable:

Come with a plan

Knowing exactly what exercises you’re doing and how to complete them will make you feel more confident and less out of place. If you’re unsure how to execute an exercise, leverage resources like a trainer or YouTube videos that show proper form. Do your research ahead of time so you’re not trying to watch videos in-between sets. If you’re still feeling uneasy about a certain exercise, practice a few reps at home so it feels more comfortable on your body once you get to the gym.

Know your equipment

Before getting to the gym, make sure you know all of the equipment you’ll need for the workout and how to properly use and adjust them. YouTube can be another great resource here if you don’t want to approach your gyms staff. If barbells scare you, start minimal! Bodyweight and dumbbells can be a great jumping off point for those new to exercise. When I was first starting out in the gym I would bring all the equipment I needed to one area so I could zone out in my small space and not worry about what else was happening around me.

Remember that everyone was a beginner once

Yes, even that guy grunting and lifting twice his bodyweight had a first day in the gym. The only way to feel more comfortable and get more seasoned is to keep going. Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone there is working towards their own goals. Though it may feel like it at first, no one there is paying attention to you attempting your first hip thrust or skull crusher. Remember why you’re there and that it’ll get more natural each time you step onto the floor.

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