Do not ignore those weights or resistance bands! Strength training is crucial to your health and comes with countless benefits. Plus, who doesn’t want to increase their metabolism, build lean muscle mass, and improve their posture, bone density and mood?
Until a couple of years ago, I was intimidated to cross over to the ‘weight section’ of the gym. It seemed like everyone knew what they were doing; and it was loud and filled with lots of muscly people. So I mostly stuck with cardio. I wish I had conquered my fears sooner as I missed out on the benefits of strength training for many years.
In thinking about practical ways to encourage anyone who might be as hesitant as I was, here are some ideas to conquer the weight room:
Watch tutorials online ahead of time—make sure the source is credible and trustworthy!
Hire a personal trainer, even if it's just for a short time
Go with a friend who knows what they are doing
Take group classes with a strength component
Follow the instructions on the machines, focusing on your form
Ask gyms if they offer an introduction or walk-through of their equipment
Purchase dumbbells or resistance equipment to practice simple exercises at home and/or learn some bodyweight exercises (no equipment needed!)
Remember that you are your own worst critic—others are focusing on their own workouts, and probably not even paying attention to you
Whatever you do, don’t let fear stop you from one of the beneficial and important aspects of your physical health. Get lifting and resisting!