What People Don't Realize?
Everyone knows about the positive effects of going to the gym such as increased confidence, better overall mood, and how it teaches values such as discipline, awareness, and goal setting.
What most people don’t realize is that just like anything in life it comes with obstacles that will challenge you, some in the beginning of your journey, and others will appear months into it. That’s why you will need to be mindful and aware of them as early as you can so you prepare and prevent them.
Let’s start with one of the very first obstacles that beginners usually encounter when they make the decision of starting their fitness journey, social anxiety. This may come in many forms from thinking you are being judged because of how you look, because of how much you can lift, or the type of exercises you do. You may have seen videos of people mocking and making fun of beginner gym-goers and thinking the same is going to end up happening to you. Those people though are very rare, and no one supports them or their actions.
This problem results in beginners being intimidated and avoiding certain rooms like the weight room or certain exercises that make them feel vulnerable, it can even result in them giving up and thinking that this isn’t for them. The reality though is that no one really judges you and they are occupied with themselves. The gym should be a place where you feel at home and relaxed, not anxious and self-conscious. But that’s easy to say, how can you actually get over it?
The answer is simple, be aware that no one judges you and be exposed to the feeling of anxiety, don’t shy away from it. As many times as you tell yourself and realize that you don’t have anything to worry about it is normal to still feel social anxiety, the key is to persist and keep doing your workout routine and going to the gym.
It happens when you join a foreign environment for the first time just like the first day at school, but you will be comfortable and at ease in no time.
Injuries from Bad Form and Workout Plan
Another obstacle that may arise at the beginning of your journey is not paying enough attention to correct form and workout plans. Not only you are way more likely to get injured halting your fitness journey but you may not even hit the correct muscle meaning you are doing all of that work for nothing.
Despite having a correct form though you can still be injured, by lifting way more than you can or doing many reps. For this reason, it’s essential to be humble and patient by researching and preparing. You can learn via the internet, carefully observing others, or asking for help if you feel like you’re doing something wrong and not hitting the right muscle. Don’t ego lift you’re only damaging yourself, and most people mind their own business anyway.
Proper nutrition is a big part of working out, and you should pay a lot of attention to it. People either don’t eat enough for the body to heal and become stronger or they overdo it with eating and supplementation.
Both of them are really unhealthy and bad for your body, making gym-goers have low energy, bad mood, and even stomach-kidney problems or diarrhea when they are overdosing on extra fats and protein. It is a good idea to visit a professional but if you don’t want to for whatever reason, make a plan based on nutritionist recommendations. You can do that by calculating how much extra protein or fat you need based on your height and weight and depending on if you want to take or lose weight.
There are many tools available for that freely on the internet. After that it’s a matter of listening to your body and responding accordingly, if for example, you don’t recover and still feel sore after two days it’s a good idea to start increasing your protein intake.
You have started going to the gym, you see results your muscles are getting bigger and stronger. But then you start seeing Instagram posts of people that are bigger and stronger than you. You start comparing them with yourself and that’s when problems arise.
Being afraid of others judging you is very different from judging yourself. Unlike many other problems which gym goers face in the beginning, this one may usually arise a long way into your gym journey.
Body dysmorphia is a serious mental health condition where you can’t let go of one flaw or weak part in your appearance, feeling constantly that your body is not perfect and is missing something, making you anxious and lowering your self-esteem, worth, and confidence.
This leads to obsessive training, approval seeking, and avoiding social interactions. This though is far from the truth and that view is distorted and fake. You must be aware of it and understand that being so over-analytical of yourself that you come up with flaws is a distorted illusion and will get you nowhere.
It’s clear that most problems that arise come from fear and insecurity making you judge and being afraid of others judging yourself. Those perceptions and emotions are very normal though since the reason people usually go to the gym is to deal with that insecurity in the first place.
The thing is you should always be on the path of bettering yourself and not getting worse. You should always remember why you started and how far you have come and be mentally disciplined to know when to stop and not overdo it.