For some, the hardest part to exercise it's not the cardio, the leg presses or even the stationary bike classes, it's entering the gym.
People may think that health clubs are full of bodies like the incredible Hulk and smiling models, surrounded by weights and sinister-looking machines. In other words, the gym can be intimidating.
But do not let it stop you. Five exercise experts offer suggestions to better understand and enjoy the gym and make it a pleasant part of your exercise program.
Open spaces can be intimidating, you may feel that cardio machines are too close and, of course, aggressive salespeople can drive away anyone.
Cindy Whitmarsh, nutrition and exercise expert based in San Diego
Where to start?
The atmosphere of the gym can contribute to bullying.
"The open spaces can be intimidating, you may feel that the cardio machines are too close and, of course, the aggressive vendors can drive away anyone," says Cindy Whitmarsh, a nutrition and exercise expert based in San Francisco. Diego.
Jackie Warner, celebrity trainer and gym owner in Beverly Hills, adds that lack of familiarity with equipment and the "gym tag" can drive many people away from health clubs. But good staff and well-established rules for the club can alleviate these concerns.
"If someone does not know how to operate a piece of equipment, you need to ask the training staff, they should always be willing to help, and if they do not, leave the gym immediately," Warner said. to approach someone and ask if they can introduce you, they should be more than willing to do it, if they do not, they are breaking the gym etiquette. "
The shape of things
One of the biggest causes of bullying in the gym is the mistaken belief that everyone is already in shape.
"Many of my clients have said that" they are not fit enough to go to the gym, "said Karyn M. Gallivan, personal trainer and instructor in Human Performance and sports science at Tennessee State University. people are not in shape, especially when they are overweight, they feel self-conscious. "
The truth is that no one is perfect, and everyone is in the gym for the same reason, to improve.
The marketing of the majority Gymnasiums and health clubs often perpetuate the notion that they are for those who are fit and beautiful, and you almost never see overweight people sweating to lose a pound or two in gymnastics ads.Usually they have well-defined abs and are beauty queens, size 0 ".
" Beautiful people always sell. And with rare exceptions, which is what you'll see in advertisements; You will see the ideal. Most people, no matter how hard they try, will not be ideal, and they know it, "said Gregory Florez, the owner of an exercise and training consulting company and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.
But things are changing as the industry recognizes the need to target other types of customers, which is what has led to the emergence of clubs targeting specific groups, Curves, for example, focuses on women's needs. they go to the gym, and the increase in the number of small boutique gyms, such as Pilates and yoga studios, are proof of the need for different types of gyms.
Choosing the right gym
Finding the right health club can be the difference between lasting happiness or a quick divorce that will cost you money.
Gregory Florez, national spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, says the search should start with you Write down what you want from a gym, what worked for you in the step and what would make you stay.
"At that point you can start looking for a gym with the particular activities you want," said Florez. "Ask your friends and family about the places they exercise, references are the best way to find what you're looking for. "
And do not forget the budget. Make sure you can pay for the gym you are contemplating.
Cindy Whitmarsh, an expert in nutrition and exercise in San Diego, says it's a good idea to visit the gym later in the month when health clubs are trying to meet their monthly membership goals. You should also get guidance from any gym you are considering.
"You may need to ask for guidance, but almost all good gyms introduce members with complete guidance that includes setting goals, doing a body fat test, a flexibility test and even some offer nutritional information," Whitmarsh said..
The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association recommends that you bring a list of important items on your first visit, confirming provisions such as personal training, child care, group exercise classes, changing rooms, parking and cardio equipment.
Celebrity trainer Jackie Warner says it's also wise to choose a gym that is not too busy. This is particularly important if you plan to do some circuit training and prefer not to have to wait for the machines.
Even if you do not want to use a personal trainer or you can not afford one, it's vital to find a gym that has good training personnel, says Warner.
"You can determine many things by watching a good coach work with a client," she said. "That's one of the things I did when I was starting."