Does this ring any bells with you?
A Man Walks Into A Gym…
He’d been there before when he’d gone to look around and sign for his membership. This time, however, the place seemed cavernous. A slight panic rolled over him as he stared at his workout sheet and tried to figure out where all the equipment he needed would be.
Desperately trying not to look like he didn’t know what he was doing, he walked around the place making a mental note of what was where.
Everyone who was working out looked like some sort of Olympic athlete; guys lifting ridiculous weights, girls performing high level lifts and making it look super easy. Plus everyone seemed to know each other.
Alone with his workout sheet, not really knowing where to start, it seems like everyone is looking at him!
Training Down Under
Now if you haven’t already guessed, the ‘he’ in this story me, just last week, when I started at a new gym in New Zealand. A bit more background will give some context to the ridiculousness of this situation!
I’ve been training for years. I know my way around a gym…any gym! They’re all pretty much the same and the variety of equipment I use is so small it doesn’t take long to find. I knew all the exercises on the workout sheet, in fact many were simple bodyweight exercises. The gym itself is great and everyone is really friendly and approachable.
So why the trepidation? I really don’t know. I soon got past it. I just got my head down and stuck into the workout and felt infinitely better by the time I’d finished. Panic over! But it got me thinking how nerve-racking it must be for ‘Sue’ (or Carol, or Kate, or Dave for that matter), a 42 year old mum-of-three, who hasn’t exercised since PE at school, and is now carrying 4 stone of excess body fat.
How Does It Feel?
How does she/he feel walking into a gym for the first time? Maybe not knowing anyone, not knowing any exercises, not having a clue what equipment is for what exercise.
This is why most gyms are full of rows and rows of people on bikes, treadmills and elliptical trainers. Yes, there’s an element of people (incorrectly) thinking that thrashing the cardio for hours on end is the route to a firmer backside, but I think it is also because people feel ‘safer’ by staying on something that you simply sit on and pedal. When I say ‘safe’ I don’t mean in the classic Health and Safety way, I mean safe from looking stupid in front of a hundred other people.
In reality only 20 people would see you because the other 80 would be facing the opposite direction on the bikes, treadmills and elliptical trainers! The 20 people in the weights area will most probably be a bunch of guys in their early 20’s, looking like they really know what they’re doing. Well if you’ve done as many Bicep Curls as they have you probably should know how to do them (try asking them to demonstrate a Bent Over Row or a Deadlift).
A Place Like Prime Mover
All this makes for a place that caters to the people who DON’T feel confident. The people who need a friendly face when they arrive, the people who need showing how to perform exercises, not just once, but every time they’re doing them, until they do it perfectly. The people who want to train in a more effective manner, and alongside like-minded individuals, so they feel at ease and look forward to coming back week after week in the pursuit of self improvement. A place a lot like Prime Mover.
My experience last week made me realise more than ever that as a gym owner, or a personal trainer, or even a gym member, we need to look out for and empathise with the new guy/girl. It’s easy to forget what that first visit was like, and it made me proud that Prime Mover is paving the way for such fitness facilities.
If you’d like to see for yourself, call us on 0114 286 6236. You’ll find a friendly welcome!