Scared of the weight room?

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I used to be so scared to lift weights. My first intro to lifting was in high school where we made a terrible attempt at getting into a lifting routine as cheerleaders. I feel like it lasted a week or two tops. I gave up my lifting and my workouts were pretty much limited to Tae Bo and cheerleading practice. Then I got to college and dated a guy that was into lifting and became best friends with a girl who lifted as well so I started going to the weight room. With them by my side I felt confident in what I was doing. I learned how to use the machines and learned a bunch of different things to do with free weights. I loved it! The way lifting made me feel was amazing and I got these awesome muscles that I loved showing off. I wasn’t huge or anything but I had great muscle tone! And then after college I left myself go… like a lot. I had various gym memberships and would inconsistently go to classes or hit the weights but it never lasted long. And then I found ChaLEAN Extreme in 2010. I used resistance bands since I couldn’t afford weights at home but let me tell ya- they really work! And I started getting my body and my life back. I found a passion for fitness that I had never experienced before in my life. After finishing ChaLEAN I did P90X and seriously that program kicked my ass but made me feel a-ma-zing. I remember doing it in my tiny bedroom hopping around for the plyo days on my uneven wood floor. But still it was just in my house. And somewhere in there I lost my weight room confidence. The girl who always could throw together a routine in the gym was suddenly terrified of lifting weights in front of people! So I just kept doing my home workouts (I eventually bought a set of dumbbells) and would only go to the gym for the pool or classes like spin or zumba. But recently I moved into an apartment complex with a gym and a bunch of free weights. And they have heavier weights than I have at home… which is awesome for some of the leg exercises (let’s be honest- 24#s on each side isn’t enough to squat!). But the first time I went to the gym I was rocking a body beast workout for biceps and um… yeah. I have super weak biceps right now because, well, I haven’t been lifting. And if you don’t use it you lose it! I have never been super strong in my biceps (I think the most I ever got up to even when I was lifting all the time was 15#s) but I have spaghetti arms right now! When I’m doing progressive sets where I increase the weight and decrease the reps with each set I start with 5#s. And it’s a little awkward picking up that 5# dumbbell when you’re standing next to someone that’s curling 5 times that! BUT you have to remember they started somewhere to. Most people don’t walk into the gym on day one and lift huge weights. You need to start wherever you’re at and work up from there. And if you put in the work you’ll get to where you want to be but you can’t get there overnight and you can’t compare yourself to anyone else in the gym because you don’t know where they started. You don’t know what they looked like on their day 1. You don’t know how long they’ve been lifting. You don’t know what they’ve been doing for fitness their whole lives. And think about when you see someone else in the gym… are you judging what they’re lifting? I hope not! And if you’re really self conscious about it or worried that you’ll get stuck in comparing yourself make sureyou bring your headphones and blast some music really loud! That’ll drown out your own inner voice! Need some extra help? Put on a hat and put it down low- you won’t even see anything other than what’s right in front of you. Do your own thing at the gym and rock out the best workout you can and that’s all you need to focus on!! Don’t focus on anyone else or let anyone else’s day 100 compare to your day 1 or 2 or 20 or wherever you are! Your journey isn’t the same as anyone else’s! Just do you and you’ll be just fine!

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