Building a healthy relationship with the gym and exercising is one of the most rewarding things you can do. There’s nothing quite like the post-workout buzz to brighten up your day, make you feel accomplished and ready to tackle the world.
But our minds can be our worst enemies when it comes to exercise. The journey to achieving our goals can be plagued with negative thoughts - especially at the gym. We often tell ourselves we’re not good enough. We pick ourselves apart for not being at the finish line and put pressure on ourselves to achieve dramatic results too quickly. However, with time, patience, commitment and determination, you will see changes - you just need to believe in yourself.
Here are 5 negative thoughts to stop thinking at the gym and how to combat them.
1. Everyone is looking at me and laughing.
No, they’re not – they’re looking at themselves. Everyone at the gym is focused on their own personal goals, progress and workout. No one will be looking at you, and definitely not judging you. If they do look at you it will be an acknowledgement that you came to the gym whilst others didn’t. Be proud of yourself - building up the courage to actually get to the gym and work out is often harder than the workout itself!
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2. I’m not fit enough to be here.
The gym is a place for absolutely everyone - and everyone starts somewhere. You may not feel at your peak physicality right now, but after a few consistent months in the gym, you will most certainly be on your way there. Picture your future, fit self and make that your motivation. Don’t walk away and never give up. Everyone you see in the gym had a starting point. Your journey is just beginning, so keep going and think of your end results.
3. I don’t know what I’m doing.
Figuring out which types of exercises you need to be doing can be a bit of a nightmare in the gym - especially when you see others navigating machines you’ve never even heard of before. The first step is to relax. Ask the staff or personal trainers at the gym for some tips on where to start – most gyms offer an induction session to get you started. If you’re still a bit nervous to ask, then watch some of the many exceptional blog posts and YouTube videos out there showing you different types of exercises that target different results and areas. Or why not go to a fitness class? Attending a class will teach you some new moves that you can start to incorporate into your own workouts, and exercising in a group will remind you that you’re not alone on this fitness journey.
4. I’m never going to burn off all the calories I ate yesterday.
Once you stop viewing the gym as a punishment, then implementing regular workouts into your life will become so much simpler [Click To Tweet This]. By banishing the idea that exercise is for burning off everything you ate, you will be less likely to be disappointed at the end of a workout. If you had a bad day yesterday, draw a line and start again. Don’t go to the gym to punish yourself - go because it makes you feel good, you enjoy it and you know it will give you great results.
5. I had a terrible workout.
We all have off days. Sometimes you get to the gym and your body just won’t cooperate. Perhaps you find yourself struggling to lift as heavy, or struggling to run as far. Don’t worry - you’re only human. Don’t feel disheartened - any exercise is better than no exercise! Just be determined to come back and smash your next workout even harder.
About Keith McNiven:
Keith McNiven is a British and National Wrestling champion, Personal Trainer and the Director of Right Path Fitness (http://rightpathfitness.co.uk/) MCNIVEN has been involved in sports and training for over 18 years. He is a highly accomplished freestyle wrestler – previously winning both British & English Championship titles.
To help you get your health & fitness back on track right now, improving your mindset, and address issues such as emotional eating, self-sabotage and a lack of motivation, download the Getting Back On Track Workbook using the link below. You'll also be sent a free digital copy of The Health Assessment Workbook the very next day, and if you're looking for a supportive environment, you'll be invited to join our Facebook group.