We’re getting super close to the launch of Before the Barbell – our new eight-week strength training intensive designed to take unsure newbies to confident lifters! In preparation of the program opening to enrollment on September 14, we’re in the middle of a blog series dedicated to helping people who are brand new to strength training and lifting weights.
We recently asked some of our followers – who are gym newbies or have never touched a barbell – about what holds them back from getting in the gym and training. And while we got all kinds of answers, most of them fell into three categories:
- They feel unsure about what to do once they get to the gym
- They feel worried about injuring themselves/having bad form
- They’re held back by their mindset (scared, anxious, nervous, etc)
If you have any of those same feelings, we’ve got you covered! In the first post, we tackled point one by breaking down several reasons to get on a program (be sure to go back and check it out if you haven’t yet). And today we’re going to talk about category two.
Worried about bad form?
We totally understand your concerns about bad form. There are a couple of reasons you might fear bad form, and we’re going to tackle a few solutions to each fear!
Form Fear #1: “I’m worried I’ll embarrass myself with bad form.”
You’re imagining walking into a gym, performing a movement incorrectly and getting laughed at. While this has likely happened somewhere at some gym, this is not the experience that most newbies have. People probably aren’t staring at you; they’re at the gym, – just like you – to get a good workout in. Below you’ll find a few ideas on getting past this mental hurdle.
Solution Idea: Focus on yourself, not anyone else in the gym.
Admittedly, this is kind of tough idea to swallow. But, at the end of the day, you have to stop letting your thoughts be consumed by what other people think of you. You are working out for YOU! Before you walk into the gym, decide that you’re going to do your best to let you training really consume your thoughts. And, while you’re in the gym, be sure that your thoughts are encouraging. Do that by giving yourself reminders like:
“I’m doing my best!”
“I’m here to improve myself!”
“I’m proud of myself!”
“Everyone has to start somewhere!”
“I’m kicking ass!”
We know it might sound silly if you’re not used to the idea, but positive self-talk is super important and will help you push through worrying about what other people think of you.
Solution Idea: Ask for help.
It might sound a little crazy, but the reality is, a lot of people who lift are obsessed with it! And, they actually love nothing more than helping new folks out in the gym. Sometimes we hear from beginners that people are looking at them in the gym, and often times it’s because someone is trying to catch your eye to ask if you want to use the machine with them or offer up a tip. If you approach the gym with an open demeanor, you’ll likely be able to easily connect with more experienced lifters who want to help!
Form Fear #2: “I’m worried I’ll hurt myself with bad form.”
You’ve heard horror stories
Solution Idea: Find a competent lifter to watch.
This can happen inside or outside of the gym (or both!). Find lifters on YouTube to watch (might we suggest Megsquats 😅) and you might even be able to find someone who looks like they know what they’re doing in the gym (a lifter or even a trainer demonstrating movements to their clients)! Watch and then replicate the movement yourself, especially in front of a mirror if your gym has them. You’re not going to get it right immediately, but that’s why we keep showing up to the gym week-after-week… to get better! And you will get better if you keep trying, even if that means you’re not perfect at first.
Solution Idea: Start light.
One of the most important elements to proper lifting is progression. You’re not going to walk into the gym and be the next world champion weightlifter or powerlifter… you might be one day, but you have to start with the basics first. Don’t let your ego tell you that you should be lifting a certain amount of weight right away. Start with your bodyweight or an empty barbell first (depending on the movement). Once you master the form with light weights, it’s a lot easier to start progressing and adding on more weight. And, there’s no rush! By incrementally adding on weight, you give yourself the chance to get more and more comfortable from one training session to the next.
Solution Idea: Find a coach/program that teaches you.
If you like our solutions in this post, then we’d love to be the ones to provide you with even more so you can move past your uncertainties and become confident in the gym! In fact, that’s exactly why we created Before the Barbell. In the eight-week strength training intensive, we equip you with all the tools that you need to put these fears behind you. We give you educational videos, a program to follow, GIFs of every single movement, and a whole host of resources (and we do it all for $16 total)!
Before the Barbell isn’t open for enrollment yet, but we will be accepting members from September 14 to September 18! Be sure to sign-up for our notification list here so that you get an email as soon as we begin enrollment.