Personal Trainer Myths

To begin, everyone beyond the age of 3 has preconceived notions about most of life. Our brains constantly attempt to categorize people, experiences, flavors, and sounds into "Friend" or "Foe". If you remember biology class from high school you may recall the fight-or-flight response or the Sympathetic Nervous System. Stress, caused by most any event can trigger this physiological expression. Working out, gyms, subconscious negative association can flip the switch and suddenly your Personal Training session, your workout is a battle.

Gyms are scary. Not knowing what all that silly looking equipment is for is intimidating, the sounds, the smells can all put you off and deter someone from getting fit. Anxiety about new experiences is natural. Having a full blown panic attack is counter-productive and normal. Yes, normal. For more information about Automatic Negative Thought response see this link Stopping Automatic Negative Thoughts. To assist you I have made a list of common myths, expectations you might have about gyms and personal training. I hope to provide a bit of comfort and comic relief before you arrive in the gym.

  1. "Everyone is looking at me, it’s embarrassing!" No one cares what you look like. Truly, everyone feels self-conscious at the gym. The trick is to pretend they are blind. Now if you decide to work out in a onesie from your wrestling days circa 1940's you might cause a stir. Wear something comfortable, gasp, even a smile. Nothing says confident like a smile. Hire a trainer, working out with someone there makes you focus on the workout and less about others.
  2. "What if someone says something or asks me something!" No one is going to talk to you. Well the staff will but that's it. Unless you are trapped under something heavy, no one will try to engage in conversation. Also, wear earbuds or headphones, most everyone does. This makes you feel invisible. Don't believe me? I can tell you, every day at least one gym member farts while working out. I am not wearing earbuds, I also don't have a stuffed up nose. A personal trainer or a complete tour of the facility can alleviate some anxiety for you. You don't need to know everything.
  3. "I don't know what I am doing and I am no good at sports!" Gym class is over. High school is over. You do not have to be a football quarterback or a dancer to enjoy working out as an adult. Forget phys.ed. You are going to the gym, not an eternal game of dodge ball. Try to enjoy it. Freud studied psychology because he was a head case himself. Most fitness professionals have struggled at one time with either injury or failure at something that's why they train and studied health sciences.
  4. "Everyone there is fit; I am a blob I don't fit in at the gym!" Everyone started where you are. That lovely lady in the skimpy yoga gear started out soft and intimidated. That fella with the barely there muscle shirt had to workout in his basement for years before feeling strong enough for the gym. Go, improve and think if they can do it so can I. Your personal trainer can share many stories with you about how this myth "everyone is fit" simply is not true. Be patient and trust that change is possible for you if you earn it.
  5. "Everyone knows I am fat and out of shape, it’s humiliating!" There will be those at the gym that judge. Thankfully they judge everyone, themselves most of all! And not just at the gym. Everywhere those (ladies, sadly it’s the females) people go, they whisper and gawk. Feel sorry for them. Gravity is working on them too only their mouth is flapping too much for them to notice. Trust me; they perform too much cardio and not enough weight lifting. In 5 year’s time they will be the ones a young version of them is whispering about. Gym time=Karma+Gravity Personal Trainers can help you laugh at this one or can be your buffer against this type of rudeness. I stand as a physical shield quite often when the client looks uncomfortable with something or someone. We are there to help not ridicule.

Finally, the gym is for anyone. Look around with honest eyes. There are retired people, cardiac surgery recovery people, obese people, fit people and people that just want to enjoy life. Embrace the reason why you started and forget about the reasons others are there. You own that gym as much as anyone. My advice? Hire a trainer. Then. Strut.

Beverly Wudrich
Personal Trainer