I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. Today’s my only (week) day to sleep in, which is always a good way to start a day It’s also my rest day, so I’ll be taking Niko out for a leisurely walk, and then foam rolling and stretching for a few minutes in the gym. Yesterday was a full body lifting day, and I spent about 3/4 of it in the weight room lifting and 1/4 of it in the fitness room doing body weight stuff and my dynamic warm up.
Today I want to talk about you about just that – the weight room. Last week, I posted about what not to do in the weight room, and this week it’s all about what to do in the weight room! Specifically, how to have confidence lifting weights in the gym.
1. Have a plan and know it well. Have you ever gotten up in front of a big group of people to say something, only to completely forget what you were going to say? Intimidating situations can sometimes make us forget what we’re doing, and the weight room can be an intimidating place! Make sure you know your program or plan well – the format, the exercises, and especially how to do the exercises, and with good form. Whenever I write programs for my online clients, I make sure they review the workout, exercises, form and demos – and ask me any questions - at least the day before their workout. Knowing what you’re there to do beforehand will eliminate any guessing during the workout.
2. Bring your program with you! I don’t have a photographic memory, so I always take my program into the gym with me (for both my workouts and my clients workouts.) This way I can just follow along, as well as fill in my weights/reps/sets/notes along the way. For my own workouts, I just take my iPad (I use the T-Notebook for both my and my clients’ workouts,) but a small notebook would work perfectly, too.
3. Don’t worry about people judging you. The men (or meatheads, depending on what type of gym you go to ) will only be impressed that a woman is in the weight room. I’m sure they’re far more concerned about showing off their own biceps rather than judging you or your workout.
4. Pretend you’ve been lifting in the weight room for years. Fool yourself! Walk into that weight room like it’s your home away from home. And then count this as getting out of your comfort zone…which is a good thing!
5. Stay focused. Focus on your progress. Focus on your form. Focus on how badass you are. Focus on the fact that what you’re doing is building muscle, increasing your metabolism, and creating an awesome after burn!
6. Wear flattering, but comfortable clothing. I’ve done it before. Wearing something that looks great, but the entire workout, I’m picking or pulling at something and just completely uncomfortable.
7. Know that everyone starts somewhere, and people go back to the basics, too! Every once in a while, I’ll take a week where I go back to the basics, just to make sure I haven’t created any muscle imbalances.
8. Listen to some kick ass tunes. Sometimes blasting your favorite music can do wonders for your confidence. Put on some upbeat songs that make you want to move for a surge of energy and confidence.
9. Go at less busy times of the day. If you always go to the gym after work at 6:00 p.m., and it’s packed, try to find another time to lift. Can you go in the morning, or on your lunch break, when there’s less of a crowd in the weight room? If not…
10. Have a back up plan. Just the other day, I had a client ask what she should do if the smith bar machine is taken, and she’s working on her incline push ups. Instead of the smith bar, a bench would work fine. If it’s something that’s hard to switch out, like the squat rack, try to be patient, but if it’s something like a kettlebell, maybe a dumbbell would work just fine in its place.
Off to take Niko on a walk, and then later I’m heading to a meeting for work that I hope goes really well! Have a great Tuesday, friends
What tips do you have for gaining confidence in the weight room?