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Shy at the Gym

Old 04-12-2018, 09:20 AM
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Shy at the Gym

I just joined a gym for the first time. Got on the treadmill, no prob. But going over to work with weights, major anxiety. I have no idea what I'm doing. Did a session with a trainer, and physically I'm a wreck and couldn't keep my balance so I have to start with using a rope contraption to hold in my hands and support my body weight while I attempt to do reverse lunges and squats, to start off with. It is right there in the middle of everything, punching bags, free weight lift benches, etc. How do I get over this hangup? I really need to work out, I've been avoiding it for a month now (since I got sober). I cannot seem to make myself do it.
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:57 PM
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One step at a time can be for more than staying sober! Good for you, you joined a gym and went to it. I mean that. A lot of people talk about changing their lives...

And all those folks that look like they know what they're doing and some of them look darn good, they all were beginners at one time. Just like you. And just like me. I'd get as many consultations with the trainer as I could without having to pay extra. Asking them questions shouldn't cost extra.

Eventually you might strike up an acquaintanceship with one of the regulars. They could be a wealth of information but be wary of folks jerking or swinging the weights in order to lift heavier. I much prefer to lift lighter and do it right.

I started with basic exercise machines, eventually went to a class, and then later tried out free weights. The worst thing I did was compare myself to others. Don't do that anymore!

Good for you. Keep at it and you'll gain confidence, strength and even stand up straighter!
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:40 PM
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Good on you for going to the gym. People probably don’t even notice you. I wouldn’t worry about what anyone thinks, that’s for sure. Just smile at people and say hello if they are looking at you. I don’t normally talk to anybody when I’m at the gym; I’m just there doing my own thing and concentrating on myself. And I am a middle-aged out of shape woman.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by benzenering View Post
I just joined a gym for the first time. Got on the treadmill, no prob. But going over to work with weights, major anxiety. I have no idea what I'm doing. Did a session with a trainer, and physically I'm a wreck and couldn't keep my balance so I have to start with using a rope contraption to hold in my hands and support my body weight while I attempt to do reverse lunges and squats, to start off with. It is right there in the middle of everything, punching bags, free weight lift benches, etc. How do I get over this hangup? I really need to work out, I've been avoiding it for a month now (since I got sober). I cannot seem to make myself do it.
Generally speaking most folk at gyms are friendly and helpful.
Like all new ventures there are many things to learn.
I'm 76 and have been going to gyms a good deal of my life.
A young new personal trainer told me he didn't like the way I was
doing an exercise.
In the past I would have been annoyed but I listened to him.
Things are ever changing too in the fitness world.
Nothing wrong with initially feeling awkward and gym work
can be a good antidote against drinking.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:01 PM
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Everyone starts somewhere.

I was in terrible shape when I started six months ago...but I used to bodybuild, so it wasn't all new to me. I can imagine what it's like to start without that foundation.

Just gotta get past that.

I just saw a neurologist about persistent balance issues that probably stem from the later stages of my alcoholism. I've been given a referral for physical therapy specifically to work on improving balance. You might want to look into that concurrently. Really noticed the balance problems when I started training to ride a motorcycle. Four different doctors have now asked me to PLEASE not get on one, at least until I get some of this stuff worked out!

In the meantime, don't be shy about continuing to work with the trainer if you're feeling shaky. That's what they're there for.

Also, I'm no trainer, but I wouldn't have a complete and total newbie with balance issues doing squats right off the bat. I'm STILL not doing them. Did he/she have you doing any machine training? That is a fantastic place to start. Once you build up some core muscle strength you can move on to compound movements and free weights.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:49 AM
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I think if you're having that level of challenge with the moves, wait a bit. Stick with the cardio. Find a nice spot to stretch and start some balance moves against a wall when you feel stronger. You can do squats with you back against a wall. Just start out slow, hold the squat for a few seconds, using the wall, then back up. Lunges are hard. Wait on those. Doing them wrong can cause injury. Maybe try some push ups with your knees on the floor...a couple. Maybe just hold a plank, with knees on the floor. Or you can do push up against the wall standing up. Slowly but surely you get stronger.

Does your gym have bands? You can do all kinds of resistance work with a band, seated on the floor. Youtube videos so you can see what I'm talking about.

At my gym there is water aerobics for those with injuries and stability issues. There is also a class for the 'slightly older' that might be a good place to start. Most have those types of classes.

Good on you for taking the very important step to improve your health. Hang in there. Like not drinking, its one day/step at a time.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:18 AM
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congrats on joining the gym! Everyone is so busy nowadays they are focused on their workout and not on anything else. So don't worry about anyone watching you. Just concentrate on what your trainer is teaching. I do a lot of cardio at the gym and do my strength training at home for the most part. It takes awhile but you will get more comfortable being there.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:22 PM
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I remember my first day at the gym many years ago. I felt so self conscious. Trust me, no one's watching.

I'd consider one of the cardio machines as before anything. They are more simple and they are more beneficial to a recovering addict. They give you a very comprehensive whole body work out, mind body and soul.

I hope you keep coming back. Be gentle and ease into it. Remember, no one's watching as much as you think they are- and half of them are in your shoes anyhow!
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:20 PM
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Good choice to join a gym. It is quite normal to feel self conscious at the beginning. The fact that you are working hard will pay off, it just takes time. Ignore everyone else, they were beginners, too. Best of luck to you!
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:27 AM
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Hi, benzene.
Welcome.
I have been a gym person for a long time, and I agree with Mindful that your workout sounds a bit ambitious for someone new to the gym.
I would check out the machines and start there. There are schematics on the equipment that tell you how to use it and the muscle groups worked.
I belong to a Y and the staff there are very helpful when I am using unfamiliar equipment.
Also, gentle yoga is great for flexibility and balance.
Good luck and don’t get discouraged. Everyone starts somewhere.
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