Tag Archives: gym

Where to Meet People

There’s no predetermined set of places where you must meet people. However there are different stereotypes that may make you believe that there’s such a set.

For example, you may think that people ‘should’ or ‘are supposed to’ be met in bars and nightclubs, but that’s nothing more than just a viewpoint, imposed on you by society and culture.

The obvious truth is that people can be (and should be) met at any place at any time.

But! Despite a social interaction is possible anywhere, for beginners and socially insecure people it’s easier to build communication in some context.

No need to argue that making a conversation with a random person in the street is harder than with someone who attends the same gym as you do. In this example the gym creates a context for you and other person, thus making it easier to establish a communication with each other.

The context is easily created with identifying yourself with some social group. In plain words, joining it.

By entering a social group you get access to easier, more natural communication with its members as people around are using the same context, i.e. they share similar or identical opinions and goals which are in alignment with the group goal, when some external factor influences the group, every and each member feels it, and so on. In other words, you have something in common.

When seeking for a group to join make sure it’s in alignment with your goals/passion and outlook on life – it’s easier to interact with like-minded people. Also pay attention to the size of the social group.

For example, if you try talking to some person in the street, it probably will be hard to sustain a long dialog. Although you both belong to the same group – you are citizens of the same country, the social group which context you’re trying to use is too big.

However, if you talk to someone of your age, it’ll be easier to interact, as the social group you both belong to is sized down.

It’s like putting filters on a search in on-line store. If you do not apply any filter, you’ll be given a long list of all the goods the shop may offer to you. It’ll be hard to get what you want. And vice versa: the more filters you put on the goods you want to see, the more productive and satisfying your shopping experience becomes.

So try to narrow it down to some degree. Use your interests, your points of view as filters to identify that social group you may gain from and contribute to the most (i.e., receive and give a high-quality fulfilling social communication).

I don’t need to tell you what kind of places I’m talking about: gyms, educational courses, hobby clubs, various workshops where you can master some skills (like cooking) – they all are at your disposal and are easily available.

Instead I’ll try to identify some reasons, some barriers why you may refuse going there and joining them.

I’ll be telling from my experience, and the chance is you can relate at some point.

When I was younger, like about 18-20 years old I was having that problem – in spite of diverse set of opportunities and places to meet people available to me, I did not use any. I was sitting at home, in front of my computer, trying to figure out how and where I can meet people.

I think the issue was that I felt like a school student, a child in comparison with ‘adult’ people who attended those places. I was less experienced in life overall and thus felt myself inferior to other members of social groups I could be interested in joining. It, in its turn, created a barrier for social communication.

While, in fact, it can be true, that you are less experienced than, for example, your peers, or older people, you are still have a right for social interaction. And the truth is that in most cases it’s not them who violate this right, but you.

Recalling my past, I realize that I was that person who didn’t let social experiences happen to me.

Such places (like gyms, hobby clubs) may gather people of various age. Don’t let it discourage you. My social interaction opportunities also were limited with a prejudice that I can not interact with even slightly older people.

As I was becoming older, it appeared to be that that was only my inner barrier, which did not correlate with reality. The truth is that when I go to some club these days and meet a young person there, a teenager, I do not relate to him as a young inexperienced, inferior person. Well, I can relate to him as a person from another age group/generation, but it doesn’t decrease my interest in social interaction with that person.

If you really feel like a beginner at such places, start with asking for some advice. Many people would be more than happy to help you.

Perhaps, you may be kind of dismissive toward such clubs, thinking it’s a waste of time, it’s boring, and that people who go there are nerds, etc. But try to be a little bit less preconceived and judging and more open toward all these hobby classes and people who attend them. Give it a try, and perhaps next time you meet a peer you’ll be the one who is more experienced socially.

The First Training

Let’s consider the following situation: you’ve never been too much into sports and physical activities, you’re not interested in sports at all, and as a consequence, neither your body’s shape, nor your physique are the most perfect ones. However, the benefits of the physical workouts became more obvious to you as the time passed by. So you decide to hit the gym. But be ready – the first workout in a gym will likely strike you self-esteem really hard.

It is the physical traits and skills, which are valued in a gym in the first place. Probably you are a mighty egghead in your routine life, the winner of various math and literature championships. Maybe, your jokes are witty and unforgettable, so even the best comedians of the country envy you. However you should realize, that all the above isn’t that important in a gym. Most likely your physical parameters will be worse in comparison with ones of those people from a gym, who have been exercising regularly for a long period of time. Nevertheless, try not to oppose the others. You’ve come here to join, not to compete with them.

Probably you may be confused with the comments, which some of the gym’s frequenters address you. They may look abusive and humiliating. But don’t let it to affect your self-esteem. Be sure, that the most of the people do not set a goal to somehow insult you, even in their minds. It’s just a reaction to your appearance in a gym, an attempt to build communication, to get acquainted with you. Try to treat those comments impartially.

You may feel uncomfortable at the first training. Your mind may start generating trappy thoughts like “What am I doing here?” and “Who needs it at all?” However, at that most moment remind yourself, that that was your decision – to attend the gym – that means, there were some reasons to do it, that was necessary. Do not rush to escape.

Try to lower the significance of the event as you go to exercise for the first time. It isn’t a secret, that if you’re going to act on something, what is very important to you, you become rather stressed and nervous. You are likely to be controlled by your emotions and not your mind. That’s doesn’t make things better. Try to relate to this event as to some ordinary thing, as to something that happens every day, here and there in your life. Consider, that you’ve come simply to gaze, as you would’ve come into a mall to take a look, without any intention to buy something.

If you decide to enroll in some kind of the sports section, where the group is taught by a coach (for example, martial arts), it may seem, that the coach is ignoring you during the class. It is so due to the fact that the percentage of people dropping classes after one or two of trainings is very high. Be patient: after two or three trainings, the teacher will notice you: he/she will start pointing out the mistakes you make and demonstrating the right technique to you. A couple years ago, I started to take the karate classes: the coach almost didn’t pay any attention to me at the first training. However, in a week, he started address me by my name and to pay me the same amount of attention as he did to the other frequenters.

December 29th, 2011

How To Make Yourself Go To A Gym And Stick With Regular Workouts

In strategy it is necessary to treat training as part of normal life with your spirit unchanging.

“The Book of Five Rings”, Miyamoto Musashi

In this article I’m going to tell you how to make yourself go to a gym. Plus, I’ll give several recommendations on how to establish the habit of exercising.

I’ve been attending gym for 15 months (UPD 06/12/2012: 22 months). More than one year. The first 6 months I worked out 2 times a week: Tuesday and Friday. In the beginning of the year 2011, I switched to 3 times per week: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Through all this time I had never missed a workout (except 3 – because of illness, and hardly more than 5 were missed because my gym instructor was absent at those days). My hope is you may gain something valuable and useful from my experience and apply it with your own adjustments.

In the first place this article is written for those, similar to me – self-reflection-tending individuals, for whom it is difficult to apply “Just do it” slogan to solve the problem of attending a gym. For those, whom it’s critical to form a solid theoretical base and find strong motivators, instead of just hitting the gym regularly. 🙂

Let’s go.

It’s good, if you feel bad

The feeling of dissatisfaction is a perfect stimulus to action. The dissatisfaction with your life, yourself and your body isn’t the best feeling in the world, however if used right, it can be turned into a powerful trigger, which initiates a strong desire to change the situation and stimulates to take action.

That was my case. At the moment when I was signing up for attending a gym, I was experiencing dissatisfaction in various aspects of my life. The life seemed unsettled and chaotic to me and boring and repetitive at the same time. I was eager to change it (in a positive way, of course). As a result, the burning desire to go to a gym had arisen.

The right of rejection

Do not think of attending a gym as of something fatal. Don’t torture yourself with unhealthy beliefs, that once you signed in the gym, you must continue attending it until you die. Guarantee yourself the right to refuse to attend the gym at any time without explaining the reasons of your decision to anyone, including you.

If it hasn’t worked out this time, it will next time (or the next “next time”)

Let’s assume, you’ve attended three trainings. That’s great. But that happened half a year ago. Oops! Well, there is nothing unusual or catastrophic in this situation. It doesn’t mean that exercising at a gym is not for you. If it hasn’t worked out this time – try once again when it is suitable and comfortable for you. Didn’t happen again? Try once more a little bit later. The amount of trials is limited only by you and the time you’re going to spend at this planet.

The first time I’ve got into the gym at the age of 15. I had attended only one training. The second time – at 19. I had gone through 4 trainings. The third attempt occurred at 22 – I’ve bought a subscription for the whole month and paid to the gym instructor so he compiled a workout program for me. I remember how I was very sure, that that time I wouldn’t drop the workouts. But alas, I never showed up at that gym again, and the subscription just burnt out. And only at the age of 24 I managed to stick with the habit of attending a gym regularly. These four trials took ten years. But it worked out at last.

No friends

My strong recommendation is NOT to take a friend with you when going to a gym. Here’s why.

If it’s hard for you to get yourself together and make a decision to hit the gym, do not ask your friend to motivate you by joining you. It’s likely that your friend is very similar to you (otherwise you wouldn’t become friends) – so it’s hard for your friend to go to exercise to a gym either.

Of course, you have already discussed this idea with your friend and he has become very excited with it – that is so great to motivate each other to attend the gym! And you’re envisioning: you and your friend, the two steroid bulls, the two Hulks, meet each other tomorrow morning, and you’re not talking but roaring at each other:

– Iron!

– Yes!!!

– Charge!!!

– Arrgh!!! (one of you bites off a piece of meat from his hand, another one crashes nearby parked car)

This dialogue creates a very vivid and inspiring picture in the mind, isn’t it? OK. Now let me say how this situation will turn out to be in the real world circumstances:

– Hi… (with Ross’ of the Friends suicidal intonation) Listen, do you want to work out today?

– Well, I guess yes… And you? Don’t you?

– I don’t know exactly. I’ve been sitting at the work in front of my computer all the day long. I wanna go home.

– Yes, I feel tired too. Maybe we should grasp some beer?..

That sounds true.

Plus, you won’t have that high level of concentration on the training process with your friend – you are very likely going to talk and joke during all the training. So my advice – no friends.

Well, if you really need a partner, who will insure you and motivate you – it’s better to hire a personal instructor.

Hire a personal instructor

Here are some bonuses you get if you apply this recommendation. First off, an instructor will compile a special workout program, based on your physical abilities. Secondly, the instructor will constantly watch you: whether you’re doing the exercise in the right way, and if not – s/he will immediately notice it and correct you. Thirdly, the instructor will secure you when you’re lifting heavy weights. Also instructor will clear the way to the most popular gym training machines and, thus, the most occupied ones. As I said, those are only the bonuses. So what is the core benefit of hiring an instructor?

Almost nothing motivates stronger than the possibility of losing money, prepaid for a gym subscription. Usually, the price of a subscription, which includes trainings with a personal instructor only, is 3-5 times higher than the price of a regular subscription. Thus, if you buy it, the level of motivation will increase proportionally.

However, money-driven motivation is a rather weak motivation for me. It doesn’t last long and if I have nothing more to motivate me, I drop it really soon.

So here is the approach I use.

Before attending the next training, you and your instructor have to appoint the concrete date and time, when you’re going to show up at the gym. It’s unlikely that the instructor will be glad to see you, if you suddenly appear at the gym at the time, when s/he is training another client. You have to accurately fix the date and time you are going to exercise next time. As you realize, you make an agreement with a real person. This person is going to assign two hours in his timetable specially for you and is going to await you exactly at that time, on which you’ve agreed. From my point of view, if you’ve made an agreement, there’s no other way, but to show up at the gym.

Be ready for a long road, but break it in steps

A visible result of attending a gym does not appear immediately. It may take one-two years. That’s a lot. That is why when I started attending the gym, I had intentionally refused to expect any results at all. I focused on just an act of attending the gym regularly for a period of time with the minimum of days off. It didn’t matter whether I become stronger/gain muscle mass. Also I didn’t set a goal of attending the gym for the whole year. I had chosen the shorter interval of 2 months. “Whether there will be any results or not, I will attend the gym for 2 months. And if I do not want to continue – I’ll just quit”, – that was my intention. After I’ve gone through the first two months I increased interval up to 6 months. Then up to one year. Now my goal is two years in total. Now it doesn’t look like something impossible to implement in comparison to that day, more than one year ago, when I bought the gym’s subscription for the first time.

So my advice is to set a goal to attend the trainings, for example, for a week, without expecting any results. Then gradually increase the period. What about the results?.. Well, the results are surely going to appear eventually, if you attend the gym responsibly and systematically along with applying the appropriate food diet.

#1 Priority

Approach the idea of attending a gym fanatically. Fix this idea in your mind. Build your life and plans around the trainings and not vice-versa. Deal with any obstacles, which prevent you from exercising, unhesitatingly and with no mercy: work can be set aside, blog reading can be canceled and the alcohol party with friends – missed. Work, hobby and even friends – nothing must have that high value for you as attending the gym.

It sounds cruel. But it shouldn’t be the lifelong commitment. Two-three months of the obsession with this idea and you will grasp the rhythm of regular trainings. After that you may relax. Everything will return to its place and the gym will become an essential part of your life.

Visit a gym on weekdays: in the morning or at the afternoon

I’ve discovered that the most optimal time to go to a gym is the morning or the afternoon of a weekday. The majority of people are at their jobs during this time, thus, there is more space in a gym, the air is fresher, you don’t need to wait in queue for the training machines, and dumbbells are at the places where they are supposed to be. All the above makes a training process go faster and more effective.

Of course, this recommendation doesn’t suit everybody. You may apply this advice quite easily if you’re a student or your work schedule isn’t fixed. But it’s going to be really hard to stick with this time, if you work from 9 am to 6 pm with an one hour lunch break.

If your case is the second one, you may still try to discuss the idea with your boss, that you take an extra hour in addition to your lunch break, so you could go to a gym, and then you compensate it by staying at work one hour later in the evening. When talking to a boss, pay his/her attention to the benefit of the healthy way of life. Tell him/her that regular workouts at a gym will increase you productivity overall, and thus, your boss will gain from it in the end.

Make for yourself an idol and take the best of it

There’s nothing wrong in adopting something good from the other people. Applying this idea to this article: to be as strong and dexterous as someone or to have as good body shape as someone has.

Take a moment to think whom you’d like to be like in terms of physical development. Maybe, it’s a famous actor or his/her movie character, or someone real, like your pal or colleague. It’s a good idea to remember your childhood’s idols. For instance, mine are Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. I’m not saying that you should put their posters on all the walls of your house (though if it helps – go ahead!). To hold their images in your mind in order to support the desire of attending a gym is quite enough.

Conclusion

Let me finish my article with a thought I’ve grasped from the Steve Pavlina’s blog. The idea is that the time is not the resource we can spend. The time will pass anyway whether we want it or not. So you may NOT to attend a gym. And as an option you may attend it. In the first case, in a year you will have nothing behind you; in the second case you will have a year of assiduous trainings, which will surely increase your strength and your confidence at the same time. In the first case, you will look back at the previous year with no feelings; in the second case you will look back with the feelings of pride and satisfaction, that you’ve done it.

January 10th, 2012