A new weight lifting routine can be an intimidating adventure, especially if you don’t have any experience lifting weights. Before I became a personal trainer, I worked as a weight room attendant. My job was to make sure all the weights were well organized and to ensure the environment was safe for members.
I couldn’t help but notice that there were significantly more men than women lifting weights. This observation made me think of my own discomfort when I worked out. I realized that I wouldn’t lift weights during peak hours when the weight room was packed. I only felt comfortable lifting when there wasn’t anyone there that I thought might judge me or my routine. That was my first glimpse of how my fears were holding me back.
It wasn’t until years later, after becoming a trainer, that I realized my intimidation was due to a lack of understanding of how I should be lifting weights and knowing I deserved to be there just as much as the guys next to me. I didn’t know what I was doing and was afraid everyone would know my secret.
After studying exercise program design, I realized that many people (including those who appear to have it all figured out) have no idea what they are doing when working out and many people engage in workouts that actually are more injurious than beneficial. I see that comparing myself to others, who I didn’t know anything about, held me back.
I now walk into the gym feeling so confident and laugh to myself when I notice situations that would have made me feel intimidated or uncomfortable before. When I saw things as they truly were, as opposed to the scary story I had in my mind, I was able to not waste energy on avoiding looking bad. I took the power back and used that energy to achieve my fitness goals.