Are You Afraid of The Gym?

I am. Kind of. It’s like when you see someone you know at the grocery store and your eyes meet for a few seconds, but you don’t say hi, and then you realize that you should have said hi, but you’ve already turned the corner and to go back and say hi now would just seem stupid. The moment has passed and it’s hard to find another.

I signed up for a 2 year membership at Gold’s in February of 2010. I went for 3 months and haven’t been back since. I have tons of excuses, but nothing good enough for not going. I even signed up for some personal training sessions, and I only used a few of them. I think I have at least 20 of them left. So basically I’ve been wasting a lot of money for a year and a half. I want to get back into it, but it’s hard. I find that I do have the motivation to go once I get into the swing of going on a regular basis, but once I start slacking, I’m done.

I also want to make sure I get the best out of my personal training sessions. The best for me. I’m pretty easy-going and will attempt whatever they’d like me to attempt. But I don’t enjoy it. Wait, let’s go further than that. I despise it. I despise running across the gym chasing after balls. I despise jumping jacks. I despise that move where you lay down, jump into a squat, jump up, and run across the gym just to do it again on the other side. That particular move is like torture. My legs don’t move that fast and I’ve got way too much breast to be jumping around like that. I do not want to be responsible for some passerby being knocked out by a rogue tit. My trainer could barely do them herself and if my trainer can’t do them and doesn’t like to do them, why the hell would I? I don’t feel comfortable doing any of it and frankly, once the personal training sessions are done, I’m not likely to continue doing those kinds of things. In fact, there’s a better chance I’ll magically wake up at my goal weight tomorrow morning than there is of me ever doing these moves on my own.

So, I’ve decided that when I do go back, I want to make it clear that what I need out of my trainer is the understanding that I’m looking for long-term fitness. I want to learn how to use each and every machine that the gym supplies. I want a few basic routines that I can do and am likely to do on my own. I want to make the most of my time at the gym, but I don’t want to dread going either. I want to make fitness a regular part of my life. And I’m giving myself a week from today to create my moment and take my first step back. I’m almost positive that when I scan my card there will be no sirens or flashing red lights or booming voice that says “You’ve been a bad girl, Amy. A very bad girl. And you’re going to be punished.” Wait, that’s the beginning of a different, more naked scenario I often play in my head.


9 thoughts on “Are You Afraid of The Gym?

  1. I know how daunting going back to the gym is. You can do this, it just takes that first, very hard step back in those doors. Once you do, you’re going to feel so good!!

    As for personal training, Do you have the same one every time? If so, explain to him/her what you are comfortable with and what you want. Ask for the first session or two to just explain what the machines do and to talk about nutrition. As far as I see it, you’re paying them, own it. 🙂

    Great blog!! I’ve subscribed. Can’t wait to read more!!

    • Thanks Joie! I did have the same personal trainer. Wait, no, that’s not right. Some more background info on the gym: I joined when they were having a weight loss contest. Buying the personal training was part of the contest. And the winner would get a trip to Mexico. It took almost a week after I signed up for a personal trainer to call me. But when she did, she was lovely. She listened to what I said and knew my limitations. Unfortunately, I only got to see her twice. She got a new job at a different gym working with brain injury victims which was her chosen field of study. So there went that trainer. The gym took over a week to get me in touch with a new trainer. This one was hilarious and fun, but didn’t seem to know a lot about personal training. She was a basketball player and almost everything she had me do was something her coach made the team do. I gave it my best effort, but I just wasn’t enjoying it and some of it was really hard. And not hard in a whiny way, it really was hard. In addition, the gym didn’t inform my second trainer that I was in the weight loss contest so she didn’t even know until she started asking me what my goals were. She said she was going to get my original stats from the office, but I don’t know if she ever did. I do know that she never took any of my measurements or weight in the weeks that we did work together. So I had 5 or 6 training sessions in between my regular workouts and when I stopped going, that was the end. I know it was on me to keep going, but I also thought that maybe my trainer would have called me when I didn’t schedule another appointment, maybe provide some motivation. But she didn’t. And only the gym gets paid if I don’t use them. The trainers only get paid for the sessions that I use. I was disappointed and unmotivated, but I’m ready to go back now and ask for what I want! Thanks for reading!

  2. Go for it. Once you get comfortable the endorphins kick in.

    But you are almost there at the end. You need to tell your pt what your goal is up-front and what things you do and dont like. And if you are not feeling the connection, see if you can get another.

    Also, be clear about the kinds of activities you like and do not like and why to them.

    Lastly – educate yourself – there are plenty of on-line fitness programs.

    You can also see how to use most of the equipment on youtube these days. Oracle fitness does a whole bunch on every exercise imaginable. Often the manufacturers of the equipment also have them.

    • Thanks for the advice J! I’m definitely going to make myself clear about what I want out of it. And since I’ve already paid for the training, I might as well get an in-person demonstration of everything. Youtube is a great resource though, thanks for reminding me 🙂 I often forget there is more than just stupid videos and music on it lol

  3. I had a discouraging experience once when I asked for a trainer who could help me work out within the limits set by my doctor – which, at the time, involved limiting my cardio and focusing on strength training. I should have asked for a new trainer when this one, exasperated, explained that my doctor needed to understand that I needed to do cardio. Wow, you mean the doctor who has been treating me for 8 years & who works at one of the best teaching hospitals in the country needs to listen to my certificate-holding personal trainer who has just met me and is refusing to do what I’ve explicitly hired her to do?

    Basically, though, I asked for what you are asking for – I want to learn to use the machines properly and get several routines that I can use and vary as I improve my fitness level. Then, I wimped out when I didn’t get it. I quit that gym, and it took me almost 2 years to join another one. But I’ve joined, and I’m using the new one.

    I’m reading your blog for the first time today. My first impression is that you don’t seem like a wimp, so don’t wimp out like me. You paid for those sessions, so go get what you want out of them. And if the sirens and red lights go off when you scan your card, just start jumping up and down shouting “I won! I won!” Everyone will be jealous.

    • Thanks for the encouragement Andie! That’s terrible about that trainer 😦 I’m going to ask for and get what I want this time around. I try to be honest in all other areas of my life, so with strangers at the gym should be easy lol

  4. Good luck on getting back into it. A good personal trainer will ask you what your goals are; determine your physical limitations and needs, and only then custom tailor a plan for you. If you don’t get this service from one, request it from another. You are the client, and it is your health at stake.

    Warmest regards,

  5. I completely agree with the first person who posted the comment, you have to let your trainer know your limits and your goals as well as what you want to learn. I’m thinking about going to a personal trainer myself to get more core strength, the key? is to get into the routine of things and not long after it will become a regular habit that will get easier over time 🙂 don’t give up or worry about what anyone ever thinks 🙂 good luck!

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