Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Overcoming Intimidation: Your Physique


This goes hand in hand with low fitness level. There is a good chance that if your fitness level isn't quite up to par then your physique probably doesn't look like a Greek statue. The way you view your body is one of the most common reasons for being intimidated. This is especially true when one is contemplating the start of an exercise program in the presence of others.

People who are overweight will often feel very apprehensive about getting started with exercise. Just because you are overweight does not mean you cannot begin to exercise. I've talked to people who actually think they need to get in shape or lose a few pounds before they join a health club. This type of thinking is absurd! Why do health clubs exist? They are there to get you started and help you in your quest to get in shape.

Don't think you need to have a great body to start exercise. A great physique is achieved only by taking the initiative to start an exercise program. You have to take the first step.

I have talked with enough people to know that it is hard to get over the feeling that others are looking at you. To be honest, people are more concerned with themselves than they are about looking at you. In fact, many people who you may think are looking at you were at some point in the same position you are. They are probably saying, "Good job, way to go for taking the first step."

Don't be concerned with what others are thinking. A majority of people aren't satisfied with their own body. What makes you think they are concerned with yours?

If your body still remains an issue, try exercising with a partner. Get a friend or family member to do it with you. When you exercise with a partner you get so caught up in conversation you won't even notice others around you.

For some, putting on a set of headphones and listening to their favorite music or book on tape helps them feel as ease.

Another popular trend today are "women-only" clubs. The reason these clubs were started was to eliminate the worry of being looked at by others, especially men. Women-only clubs cater to women who are overweight and feel too intimidated to join a regular health club. Could this be you?

If you are female and feel intimidated, women-only clubs can be a great way to get started. They provide a quick, full-body strength and cardiovascular workout in an exclusively female environment. However, I need to say something that may ruffle a few feathers, but many others and I feel is the truth. Women-only health clubs are a great way to get started, but after a while may become boring unless the club is set up like a regular health club. Here are my reasons for saying this.

Most women-only clubs are set up in a circuit style. That is, you go from machine to machine, with some very basic aerobic exercise mixed in, with each station being timed. The workout takes only a half hour and you are done. Sounds great, right? Well, almost.

The problem is that it doesn't take long for your body to adapt to this very simple stimulus, eventually leading to a decline in results. This decline is especially evident in long-term strength, endurance, and bone density improvements.

Cedric Bryant, vice president of educational services for the nonprofit American Council on Exercise, says, "The workout's benefits to an individual woman may begin to taper off with time. That's because the more fit a person is, the more vigorous and regular exercise they'll need to continue to see results. At some point they'll probably need to supplement it with other activities."

Bottom line, it may be a great way to start, but I would suggest moving on to something that will provide greater variety and an increasing level of difficulty.

Finally, if these options don't work for you, then at least get outside and find a quiet back road to use for walking or biking. Don't let your physique stop you from seeing what exercise can do in your life. After all, if you feel your body isn't what it should be, you owe it to yourself to get started.