Everyone would like to go to the gym to gain muscle but many are nervous to go to the gym for the first time. You may think it is full of people who will judge your body or stare while you perform certain exercises. This is not true. Everyone focuses on themselves, which is why they are there, to begin with.
We believe you can conquer your gym anxiety and grow the body you’ve always wanted. Let’s get you on the right track towards gaining muscle in the gym.
Phone a Friend!
If you feel like you need moral support, ask a buddy to go with you. A friend who is more experienced than you will be able to offer some useful advice. They will also allow you to take your mind off any social anxiety by providing you with someone to talk to. If possible, find a buddy who is willing to work out with you regularly. This will keep you accountable for achieving your goals.
If you have a regular schedule with your partner, it will make it easy to form a healthy habit which they say takes 21 days to develop. Once it is developed you have the potential to work out on your own in the future if you keep that habit going.
Do Your Homework
Many beginners start by doing a push/pull/legs split. This means you do push exercises one day, pull exercises the next then legs for the final day. Try not to strain yourself trying to keep up with others as you are still learning and don’t want to get hurt this early. You can find a plethora of exercises on google images for each day. From there, find a video of that exercise on YouTube displaying the proper form. Start with 5-7 exercises per day, doing 3-4 sets per exercise.
If you are looking for specific workouts or exercises to do, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will be able to show you the correct form. This is a great way to learn all sorts of exercises if you don’t have any gym buddies or can’t afford a trainer. Our favorite channel is Athlean-x.
Go In with a Muscle-Building Plan
- Choose Your Split
- A split is a routine that is typically cycled every week. Some examples include Upper/Lower, Push/Pull/Legs, Chest & Triceps/Back & Biceps/Legs & Shoulders, and lastly full-body workouts. All splits have it’s pros and cons so make sure to research which is best for you!
- Pick Your Exercises
- Work-outs typically include 5-7 exercises. At the end of your workout, you should feel accomplished and feel good. It may take a few sessions of experimenting with what exercises are most effective for that day. Keep practicing new things. Building an effective plan takes time.
- How Many Sets/Reps/% of Max?
- Typically, each exercise has 3-5 sets. Reps will range anywhere from 2-25. For each set aim to reach an RPE of 8 or so. For your compound lifts, go off of a percentage of your max. Higher rep ranges call for a lower % of your max and vice versa. This will ensure that you progress forward each week and eventually hit a new max.
- Rest Between Sets
- Keep that heart rate up! For your compound lifts, allow a maximum rest time of 3 minutes. For your isolated lifts, stick to 1.5 minutes.
- Make Time for Rest Days
- Your body needs some time to recover. Both sleeping and days off are largely underrated. Try some camomile tea and glycine before bed.
Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper
Focus on your workout and not what everyone else is doing. If you’re focused on others then it’s easy to become discouraged by the weight they are lifting. Of course, we understand that there can be intimidating energy when you’re in the gym. You may even feel self-conscious about how you look compared to others, but avoid comparing yourself and focus on your workout! You will quickly be doing similar weight if you remain committed and maintain a proper diet.
You may feel nervous to start working out in the gym for the first time, but you can overcome your anxiety by asking a friend to go with you, watching instructional YouTube videos, and focusing on your workout. It’s important not to compare yourself or focus too much on what others are doing because that will only put much undue pressure on you and your performance. Remember, it was just as intimidating for them at one point so they know how it feels!