The Gym Newbie
Evenings for most people are filled with; scrolling through Instagram, having a few treats and catching up on their dose of Netflix. This is the way my evenings used to be all the time that was until, scrolling through my Instagram I came across Ana Cheri and Greek God Fit. Feelings of amazement and admiration consumed me leading to a life changing epiphany which was; if I had their fitness levels and bodies, I would definitely be able to shut the body shamers up, which lead to me signing up at the gym. Enough about me, although let’s be honest, these actions lead most people to signing up at a gym rendering them a gym newbie. The aim of this article is to give insight into the life and feelings of a gym newbie.
The days preceding the long awaited first date with the gym are filled with anxiety and can be quite excruciating. Many thoughts race through one’s mind such as: what if everyone laughs at me; will I cope; what do I even do; where do I start; will I look ok; what if I suck at everything; will I be sick; do I have the right attire; all of which leaves one with a colossal headache.
After the anxiety wares of and our minds slow down, a feeling of excitement kicks in. With this new found hope of a better life, we then begin to imagine all the fantastic outcomes: soon I will have my perfectly sculpted sexy body and shut these shamers up; I will be the fittest and hottest I’ve ever been; people will stand and gawk at me. Exhilarated with such hope and excitement we then begin to purchase all our necessities such as: healthy foods; pre workouts; nike gym gear; a fabulous gym bag and everything else society tells us to have prepped for trips to the gym.
The long awaited first date has arrived, our first trip ever to the place of hope, ‘the gym’. One then begins to feel like a freshman on their first day of freshman year in high school, insecure and afraid. With knots in our tummy, unsure and a little terrified, we enter ‘the gym’. A series of: machines; equipment and a busy, rowdy atmosphere consisting mostly of hard-core grinding overwhelm us and shake us to our very core. Heavenly sounds of: growling; heavy breathing; grunting and pure fatigue, fill our ears and a breeze of cool, sweaty humidity hits us, leaving us startled and unsure of our place in ‘the gym’.
After regaining composer, we begin to observe each category of gymers carefully, hoping for some guidance and knowledge on what to do and where to begin as clueless gym rookies. The type of categories one comes across is fascinating, to mention a few.
The first category of gymers, that really captures the eye would be, ‘the iron pumpers’. This group in particular is one hard-core group, pumping the machines and weights relentlessly, with intensity, passion and drive making sure their form is perfectly on point. Something about their pained look makes them come across as satisfied. Perhaps it’s their feelings of accomplishment for conquering such a grueling workout. Although amongst these; are the minority of ‘lazy gymers’ that use the section more for chatting and flirting. The gym newbie doesn’t really take note, as the iron pumpers have captivated said newbie’s heart.
Then attention turns to the next prominent category of gymers, ‘the cardio bunnies’ which could be associated with a recharged battery. Treadmills; cycles; steppers; rowers all being used to its maximum potential, captures the newbie’s attention leaving said newbie with a sense of awe. The ability these gymers possess resembles one of super human strength that is; to have such stamina in such heart pumping exercises which is enough to render a newbie fatigued to the max and out of their senses. Again in this category, we have the ‘lazy gymers’, who use these heart pumping machines at a very slow pace, almost as if it were operating on eggshells.
Then we have the, ýogies’ and ‘dancers’, in other words the type of people where flexibility knows no bounds. Colourful mats lay upon the concrete floor welcoming moves of extreme flexibility, leaving said newbie in shock. These moves are so RAD and difficult that to a gym freshman it seems almost impossible to achieve. None the less, said newbie continues his/her journey with a feeling of amazement.
Lastly we have, ‘the fighters’, this group of gymers occupy the boxing bag section of the gym, ruthlessly pounding away at the stuffed bag with fists and legs of iron. The newbie, fascinated and somewhat terrified then moves on, as said newbie has a fear of ruthlessly being pounded on. After such observation the newbie takes it upon him/her to mimic what has been observed.
Firstly the newbie starts of at the cardio section tackling the treadmill and cycle, each of which is for an extremely short period of time and at a low intensity, due to the newbie being on the brink of death. Masking the feeling of death and fatigue, the newbie moves onto the weights and machine section, with a pretence of needing more of a challenge, hoping and praying that the other gym freaks do not notice. In this section the newbie is completely flabbergasted and has no idea what to do or where to start. Afraid and shy to seek out help, feeling confused and disappointed, the newbie quickly moves on to the boxing section with this thought in mind“this should be a piece of cake, all I do is punch and I definitely won’t look idiotic!” Even in this section the newbie fails or somewhat succeeds and before any further disappointment or injury, the newbie then decides to accept defeat and call it a night.
Exhausted and in pain the newbie regroups at home; gathers his/her thoughts and decides to shake that feeling of disappointment off and start afresh the next day. This newbie is now inspired, to be better and eventually match the gym freaks someday and therefore makes the decision, to do intense research on workout programmes or hire a personal trainer, to ensure that the next day at the gym is one of: grinding; pumping; and enjoyable success.
Eventually someday this newbie reaches a point, the point where the gym is no longer daunting and whom now is no longer termed the ‘gym rookie’ but rather the ‘gym freak’. Being a gym freak that transitioned from a rookie, this is the deep and dark insight into the mind of a rookie. Remember folks, the next time you see someone confused and terrified at the gym, he/ she could be a rookie, so get offering those helping hands. It is time for this gym freak to put her typewriter to rest and leave it at till next time.
Happy lifting and Strive to Arrive!
Article by Nasreen Dukander