Easy & Simple Ways To Overcome Gym Struggles!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Gym struggles. We've all been there and know them well. The beginning can be especially tough, but you don't have to struggle alone, my friend!  I've done some pretty stupid things at the gym: dropped squat bars on my leg, forgot to put a clip on the bar and the weights fell off, spilled my drink bottle everywhere (multiple times!) All of these happened while there were others around me; the shame was real. I've struggled to keep a routine, to get results, and knowing what to wear that's both practical looks damn good too. But I made it through all those conundrums and can walk confidently into the gym every single day. 

Now that I'm no longer a gym newbie, I thought I would share a few solutions to common gym problems that might help some of you. As a disclaimer, I'm no trained expert. These are all experiences that I have had and solutions that worked really well for me. It's all in the effort of helping others feel more confident and comfortable on their fitness journeys.

Which Gym Do I Choose? 

It's a pretty big commitment when you sign up to a gym, so finding the right one is important. It has to suite your needs and what you like in an environment. I was stupidly lucky with mine: it was adjacent to my favorite cafe and not far from home. It's also quieter than most gyms and targeted at an older clientele, so the vibe is much more relaxed than your standard chain gym. I honestly think of it as my second home now and you want somewhere that makes you feel welcome.

Things to look for: 
friendly staff
 classes available
close location
nutrition services
overall gym, crossfit, or boxing 
great reputation

Look up gyms in your area on Instagram, or their website, and really get a feel for what each one can offer you. Even if you have to pay a little more, it's worth every penny to be in a fun and comfortable environment.

Confidence: Just fake it til you make it! 

This is my mother's go-to advice and it has served me well. Always remember that no one is confident when they first start using a gym. NO ONE! All of us have been there and we know how terrifying it can be. Gym confidence is something that you simply gain over time. The more persistent you are with your workouts, the quicker you'll start to feel comfortable being there.

Start with a routine and practice until it gets easy. By having a workout plan (either from a trainer or one from YouTube) you have the reassurance of knowing what you're going to do that day. I know I feel more confident when I'm prepared, so it's a great place to start. Plan your whole week if you like and get confident with whatever exercises you are doing.

An uplifting playlist can be amazing for your confidence too! Create a playlist on Spotify and have it blasting while you workout. I can listen to a bit of Kanye, Little Mix, or most recently I've found the soundtrack for Suicide Squad helps me feel like a bad-ass. Music can be a powerful motivator, so play it loud and get moving!

Low Energy 

We've all been there. Some day's I'm full of energy, and others make me reach for anything that will give me a boost. You want to get the most out of your workout, so making sure your energy levels are up will help you go further. Here are some of the ways I use to help me:

Drink a small coffee: We all know how amazing caffeine can be for sharpening our focus, and generally helping us through the day. I've been having a concentrated cup of coffee (about half a normal serve) before I head to the gym and it leaves me buzzing!

Give pre-workout drinks a go: I know this isn't for everyone, but it offers a big hit of energy at times when you need it. They're great for when you're especially tired, like mid-week workouts or after a long shift at work. Have a really good search of the brands available and choose one the suits you best.

 Practice good nutrition: This is by far the best way to have energy to get you through a long workout. After coming back from a holiday (where I ate terribly!) I struggled to even make it an hour at the gym. Once I got my eating on track, which is clean foods & lots of protein, my energy came back and I felt amazing again. Make sure to fuel your body the best you can.

Finding Motivation 

Believe me when I say that I know how it feels to drag yourself to gym (or fail to) on days where it's the last thing you want to do. Gym-junkies aren't born overnight, and it took me months of being persistent to start getting addicted. When it comes down to it, the only thing stopping you from going and hitting those goals, is your attitude towards it. Here's a few tricks I've used in the past that gave me the kick up the butt I needed:

Say to yourself : "How badly do I want it?"
Write down monthly goals and place them somewhere visible
Don't think about not going, just go!
Remember how great you'll feel afterwards
Pack your gym back the night before and have your clothes ready to go

Feeling Overwhelmed: Take it Slow & Ask Questions

This is something that isn't talked about a lot, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one who felt this way. It can be hard walking into the gym with tonnes of other people looking like pros and you feel like the odd one out. There's also the question of what gear to buy, supplements, and what that machine in the corner does. The best thing to combat feeling overwhelmed is to simply take it slow. Just one workout at a time, do a little research (not too much) and ask the Personal Trainers any questions you have. They're not just there for paid sessions, they can help you when you're feeling stuck or have a quick question. No charge, just advice from the people who know it best.

Feeling Bored

This is inevitable for everyone, and it's usually how I feel about every two weeks. It's great to change things up regularly for your body as well, otherwise it gets used to the exercises and you stop seeing results. The gym should never feel easy; if it is, you have to work harder.
 I know personal trainers are expensive, but even a new routine each month can make a massive difference. You could also try following some fitness Instagram/YouTube accounts and note down some great exercises that they show. I find just adding a couple of new elements to my routine makes it a lot more fun. You could get a trainer to show you the proper form if you aren't sure.  Keep it fun and make changes to your routine whenever you feel it's needed.

If there's anything else you struggle with, don't hesitate to leave me a comment and I will answer it the best I can!

What are some of your favorite gym tips?
Steph x.


  1. Great post hun, its given me that push that I need to keep going with my fitness goals!!


    1. Aww that's so awesome! I'm really glad. If you need someone to cheer you on, just let me know : D
      Steph x.

  2. I love this post, I've found that getting into a routine and sticking to it really helps. The biggest change for me has been committing to 3 months of once per week PT sessions. Now if I don't go regularly I feel like I'm letting both of us down, not just me. I guess you'd feel the same if you had a gym buddy to go with, so thats a tip from me.

    I also have a banana and a coffee before heading to the gym, around 40mins before as I don't want to be ill whilst I'm working my backside off!

    Lauren xx

    1. Thanks so much Lauren. Routines are definitely best, it's true that three weeks makes a habit. It's awesome that you are getting training sessions! It's great motivation for me too. You could try rewarding yourself with something you've been wanting once you hit a goal? Not gonna lie, it's how I justify buying new workout clothes!
      Steph x.