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How To Overcome Anxiety with Weights in the Gym

It’s easy to get distracted or overwhelmed when you’re in the gym. Between classes, coaching, limited equipment and space there can be a lot going on. Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable being in the gym and lifting weights. FIND A SPOT AND FOCUS ON YOU: When you go in, find a spot that feels comfortable for you. Start stretching and shift your focus to yourself and your breathing. Try not to pay too much attention to the people around you and do your exercises to the best of your ability. As you do this more it will begin to feel more natural and you will start to build confidence in that space. GO IN WITH A PLAN AND TRACK YOUR PROGRESS: It’s much harder to complete your workout if you aren’t sure what exercises you’ll be doing when you get there. You are also more likely to skip important movement patterns and muscle groups. Write out what workouts you’ll be doing ahead of time and try to document the weights used, reps and sets while you’re working out. Being able to go back and see what you did is very helpful for the next week. Remember to progressively increase your weight, reps, or sets as it becomes easier. USE MORE FAMILIAR / VERSATILE EQUIPMENT LIKE DUMBBELLS AND BANDS: If you aren’t familiar with weights, it’s helpful to focus on equipment that you can use for multiple exercises. Grab a few sets of dumbbells that you might need for presses, bent rows, bicep and tricep exercises, lunges, squats, and deadlifts. You can also add resistance bands for squats, glute bridges, upper body, etc. As you feel better about the exercises try out other equipment like kettlebells and the barbell. Your own body weight is also versatile so it’s great to include things like push ups, pull ups, tricep dips, and burpees. REMEMBER, EVERYONE'S GOAL IS THE SAME: If you get anxious about the idea that you aren’t doing an exercise right or start comparing yourself to others who may be more advanced, it’s easier to get discouraged. Remember everyone there has a goal to be healthier. They all just want to look and feel their best and you are no different. Take time to learn the basic movement patterns such as squat, lunge, hinge (deadlift, glute bridge, hip thrust), push, pull, carry (suitcase, farmers). Practice your form and listen to your body. Work on good posture throughout the entire exercise. Over time you will feel more confident with each movement, then you can start increasing your weights. BE CONSISTENT: The more you do it, the better you’ll become at it. Watch videos (from trained professionals) and take time to teach yourself what works for you. Be consistent each week. Yes, it’s great if you go 4 times one week, but if the next week you only make it 1 time and then again 1 time the following week, it is hard to see results. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL: If you aren’t sure where to start with making your workout program for the day or are intimidated by weights it may be best to start with hiring a trainer. Investing in a quality coach can really help you progress and gain understanding of why you should include certain movements into your routine. They can also help you make better nutrition choices outside of the gym and prevent injury. Doing random workouts you find on the internet will only get you so far. Having a personalized routine that takes in consideration your goals will get you where you want to be much faster. Everyone starts somewhere, even the most advanced people. Don’t worry about other people's judgement and do your best! “Don’t wait until you’re confident to show up, show up until you’re confident” Kris

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