Getting past the negativity when working out pt. 1
There have been hundreds of articles on gym etiquette, how terribly people have been treated at the gym, mocking new members, etc., and they’re all better written than you’ll get from me on a Friday at 8am.
Most of them focus on the external sources of negativity. I’d like to focus on two sources of internal issues I’ve encountered when working out, in a two part post:
- Hating the people who seem to be naturals at this gym crap. It’s tough. Starting out at the gym, you’re seeing people much further along in the fitness game, doing insane salmon ladder things like that guy from Arrow, or flipping monster truck tires if you’re going to THAT kinda gym. Ideally, you found a place to work out where there’s a lot of people in the same sort of boat, with people who can help you use the machines, learn how to lift safely, etc. But even when you’re just there to use the treadmill, there’s that one guy who apparently hates running outside, but needs to keep up his 5 minute mile pace for seemingly forever.
This is tough. It’s important to recognize you’re setting yourself up for failure by comparing your situation to anyone but yourself. Much in the same way that dieting is like religion, and everyone is different, the gym is very much something you need to set your own limits and abilities. I honestly recommend a personal trainer, if just for a short while, to show you how to properly exhaust yourself, build muscle, and set new goals and benchmarks each week. If you stick to comparing yourself to the people around you, you’ll hurt yourself, get discouraged, or set unreasonable goals.
While it’s still possible to look at someone else’s weight bar and hate how much stronger they are, it’ll help knowing that you’ve doubled your weight or number of reps, and you can see a future where you’ll get there.