Once a year I head to the snowy mountains in Colorado for a relaxing vacation. I love the crisp air, fresh powdery snow, and getting bundled up to hit the slopes. There’s something about the peaceful ride up the mountain; seeing the sun peeking through the clouds in the bright blue sky; birds chirping; the sound of limbs creaking under the weight of the snow. As the lift nears the top and I slide off the chair, the rush of adrenaline kicks in, I take a deep breath and push off.
Now all I hear is wind and the rhythmic sound of my skis cutting through the fresh powder. Everything blurs around me – all I see is the next turn, and the next, and the… you get the idea.
At the end of the run, I’m invigorated.
Meanwhile, there are others that are completely terrified – on the bunny slopes. They feel unstable. It’s cold, awkward, and if they bust it one more time, they’re done. Nevertheless, they’re giving it a shot and trying to enjoy themselves.
Then there are the lodge-dwellers. The most snow they’ve been on their entire trip is walking from the parking lot to the lodge. They look out at everyone else enjoying themselves (or at least trying) and thinking to themselves, “I’d be out there too if I were really good.”
When it comes to workouts, who do you identify with? Are you a regular in the gym crushing it with swag and confidence? Do you feel slightly unsure if you’re even doing it right, but at least you’re showing up? Or are you at home, terrified at the thought of stepping into the gym for fear of looking like a fool or being judged?
If the last one hits too close to home for you, I’m going to say something that you know is true but refuse to accept: We all started somewhere.
I know, it’s not good enough to keep the negative thoughts out of your head. Let’s erase that negative talk that’s holding you back from going after your goals.
Gymtimidation By Design
Most gyms you’ll find are set up very similar. It’s all done with the best intentions and sound logic. Members have a variety of workout styles and goals, so there has to be a variety of options to accommodate their preferences.
First, there’s Cardio Row which has every treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, and stair stepper you could imagine. It’s full of people zoned out by the array of televisions in front of them. Some are moving in more of a brisk walk while others are jogging. Then there’s that one guy (or girl) in an all-out sprint – the belt is literally about to fly off of the treadmill.
Next up is Pully Palooza. Imagine every exercise movement your body is capable of. Add a series of grips, bars, pads, and a seat, then link it all up with cables and pulleys. Study the diagram carefully to figure out how to mount this thing. Before you know it, you’re on your way to a killer adductor (inner thigh) workout – or a really awkward viral video.
Finally, we’ve made it back to where the elite make all the gains. It’s Free Weight Field. You’ve got rows upon rows of dumbbells, weight plates, and benches galore. There’s something sharp in the air. It’s more than body odor. The stench of ego grows with every grunt and slammed weight.
In an environment where almost everyone has their own agenda, and anything you do feels like it’s out on display for onlookers to judge, it’s no wonder so many people fail to take the first step towards working out. So many options leave you confused and wondering if you’re even doing the right exercises. You start comparing yourself to others ahead of you and insecurity sets in. It’s enough to turn anyone off, especially when you’re just starting out.
Crash Through The Goal Roadblocks
Now that I’ve probably scared you away from workouts for life, I want to break down every barrier holding you back. It’s easier to wish you could make a change. Setting a goal and committing to it is going to require some effort. Let’s reframe your roadblocks so you’ll be left with no choice but to go for it.
I don’t know where to start.
Follow the leader. In a typical gym, choice overwhelm can quickly deter you from getting started. Group classes are a great way to get started. Instructors lead you through the workout so you don’t have to stress about what you’re doing. You’ll have the confidence in trusting the direction that’s given so you can focus on the movement and getting through it! The best part about the group is you’ll have people at all stages of their fitness journey. So you may be inspired by others at first, then eventually you’ll be the one inspiring others.
I don’t know how to use the equipment.
Then don’t use it. Machines are designed to promote progress by assisting you with proper form. Unfortunately, they force you into static positions that isolate movement. Bodyweight exercises are actually more effective in engaging support muscle groups in addition to the primary muscle you’re focused on. This allows you to develop more stability and better form. You can always start off with modified movement and work your way into standard (or even advanced) form.
I’m afraid of being judged.
Get over yourself. I know that sounds harsh, but we all need a jolt sometimes to quiet that negative inner voice. Here’s the deal – everyone in the gym is there to work on improving themselves. You will see people at all stages of their journey, so don’t compare your day one to someone else’s year one (or five, or ten). Anybody that would judge someone for working on getting healthy and fit has their own issues to deal with. In all reality, you are your own worst critic. The only person in the gym judging you is you.
Don’t Underestimate Quiet Strength
No matter what I say, there will always be those that insist on working quietly without drawing attention. That’s why I created McClure Fitness Online. I can still help you break down every barrier without taking one step in a gym. Let me show you how.
Programs that fit where you’re at right now – I’ve designed programs that break down your goals into a series of carefully selected workouts. You’ll know exactly what to do each day. Every workout is a group class of real people pushing themselves, taking breaks, and inspiring each other (no fitness models here). The instructor guides you through the class so you have all the direction you need to get the results you’re after.
Minimum (or no) equipment necessary – You can do every class with bodyweight movement only if you need to. We do mix in some dumbells from time to time for strength training. Even then, there’s nothing that can’t be modified to your level. There are no bulky machines to figure out, so you have the freedom to workout anywhere you have enough room to move.
Train in a group environment all by yourself – If you struggle to get out of your head that you look awkward or will be judged for taking breaks or modifying, then online workouts are the perfect fit. No one will be around, so you have no excuse to give anything less than 100% every time. You’ll still have the group working out alongside you (virtually) to keep you motivated. In the McClure Fitness Online programs, You’ll also get weekly videos from me and emails encouraging you to keep it up!
The First Step Is Taking The First Step
I know that you can do this. I’ve seen too many people transformed over the years to think any other way. Everyone is in a unique place in life and has individual goals. Nevertheless, when they quiet the negative self-talk and overcome intimidation, they are unstoppable.
The most economical way to take advantage of everything we’ve covered is to join McClure Fitness Online. The first program is called Launch, and it is perfect for you to take that first step. Best of all, it’s just $1 for 10 days, then $18/mo. for unlimited access to all of the programs!