Today I’ll be showing you how you can make the gym your second home and stroll around the equipment confident and focused. 
It’s that time of year when the mad, January rush floods gyms with people full of determination and excitement in starting their post-Christmas fat loss journey. Normally this is short lived as the gym can be an intimidating environment that can really test peoples resolve. 
During my time working at a commercial gym, this was an annual occurrence that always made me feel quite sad. That so many people would start-out with good intentions, but they fade away with the Christmas lights as they become another January drop out statistic. But no-one stops and thinks why do they drop out? And what can be done to make their experience more enjoyable so that they feel confident in the gym environment? 
Here are my top 5 tips for the New Year January Warrior so that they can look back this time next year and say that they stuck it out, and have seen positive body changes and transformations. 
1) Don’t let the insecure make you become insecure. This is something I tell all my new clients, and something that I wish more people understood. Everyone in the gym, and I mean everyone- from the woman in tight lycra pants pounding away on the stepper for 18 hours through to the intimidating man mountain flexing what he’s got in the mirror- everyone is there because they are trying to improve their body in one way or another. 
On this note; don’t compare yourself to people who have seemingly achieved your goals already. You don’t know what that person has done to get their body, or how long they have been training for. By all means admire it, and aspire to have a body like that. But don’t get jealous and put yourself down because you aren’t there yet. Everyone started out where you are now, even Arnold Schwarzennegger was once new to the gym – a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. 
2) Have a program to follow. The number of people I see ‘floating’ around the gym without a purpose is criminal. To achieve your goals you must have a program – Ideally, a personalised one to your goals, however almost any program will do. For the average person, looking to get in shape after Christmas I’d recommend a basic ‘German Body Composition’ style program. Type it into Google, print off the plan, and take it with you to the gym. Walking around with a clear plan will help you feel like you belong instead of feeling like you are ‘getting in the way’. 
3) YouTube the exercises on your program. Many people feel uncomfortable in the gym because they ‘don’t know what they are doing’. This is easily solved by YouTubing the exercises on the program you found in Step 2. Put them into a playlist on your phone and then when you are at the gym you can recap. We all know the diagrams on gym machines are awful, so do yourself a favour and research your program before you go. Who knows, you may end up helping someone else out who doesn’t know how to use a machine and making a new friend. 
4) Don’t fear Personal Trainers. When a personal trainer approaches you in the gym, they may actually be trying to help. I used to work with trainers who would constantly bother gym members and use the same fake rehearsed lines on everyone to try and pressure them to sign up with the trainer. However, not all trainers are like that, if one approaches you and offers you some advice, take it. If you don’t like it then you don’t have to use it. However, the 1 little trick they give you might totally change the exercise and make you feel it in a totally new way. If a trainer begins pressuring you into paying for his services, just remember it’s their job. If you aren’t interested politely say no, to maintain a friendly relationship as you don’t want bad relationships to make you feel uncomfortable. Which neatly brings me on to my next point. 
5) If in doubt ask a member of staff. Gym instructors are paid to help you, that’s their job. Personal trainers are normally paid for the hour they spend with a client. If you are struggling or would like some help ask at reception for a gym instructor to show you what to do. Once you know the difference between a gym instructor and a personal trainer you should have no problems asking for help without fearing ‘being sold to’. Again, the gym instructors job is to help and instruct people in the gym. Utilize the staff and facilities around you, as that’s what you are paying for! 
These 5 little tricks will give you the foundations you need to walk confidently into and around the gym this January and through the year and know that you have a structure in place to help you succeed. It will also help you know where to turn if you are in need of assistance without feeling stupid – there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. 
Can you remember your first time in the gym? And did you have any other tricks that might help people? 
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