Workout Wednesday | Survival Tips for Going to the Gym Alone

Earlier this week on my facebook page I asked if wether people preferred to workout alone or with a buddy.  I asked because a few weeks ago my husband and I were talking about it.  Turns out, I prefer to workout alone for the most part, while he needs a buddy.  As for the responses to my question on facebook, most people said they were ok with both.  Exercising or running alone was seen as "ME" time, while working out with a friend was also motivation to work a bit harder or a nice distraction from the miles ran.  

When I first joined the gym almost 2 years ago (WOW! I can't believe  it's been that long already!) I had to go with a buddy, usually my husband but also some friends of ours that would go in the evenings.  We tried to go regularly about 2-3 times a week but I found way too many excuses to not go and evening workouts took it's toll on our family time.  Kids ate before us, we rushed to get out the door, put the kids in the playroom, rushed to come home and shower and get them to bed and we would end up having dinner around 9pm.  It was not a routine we were accustomed to or one that worked for us.  I was paying a monthly membership and I am not one to throw money away so I had to get my money's worth.  I figured I had to find a way to make it work.  So, I put my big girl panties on and went to the gym alone one morning after dropping our oldest off at school and my daughter went to the gym's playroom.  I was so scared!!! I did a Body Pump class and although I was sore for days and felt completely inadequate compared to the other people in there, I kinda liked it.  I kept going and also tried out a few more classes until I found what worked for me and I created my schedule.  Soon, even though I was going alone, I knew I would see some familiar faces in my classes and I didn't feel so alone.  So, if you are scared to go to the gym alone, here are a few suggestions from me, someone who has been there, done that! 

  • Do Research.  Check out your gym's fitness group classes schedule, find a few classes you want to try out, and put them on your calendar.  
  • Be consistent. Don't give up on a class because you don't know the routine.  It will take a few times of going to figure it out and get into it.  If there was something about the class you liked, try it again.  Don't give up.   
  • Make gym friends.  We are all creatures of habit and tend to stick to what we know.  So, let's say you found a class you liked and you go for your second try.  Stick to the same general area where you were stood the first time.  Why do I say this? Because the other people will probably do the same and you'll start familiarizing yourself with them.  I'm not saying you have to become BFFs with the lady standing next to you at Zumba, I'm just saying a familiar face is nice. And, if you happen to grab a juice together and become BFFs, well, you can thank me later :)  
  • Have a plan.  If group classes aren't your thing, that's ok.  Put a workout routine together (there are tons of them on Pinterst and I even have a few on my Workout Motivation Board), save it to your phone, and walk in there like you own the place.  It's ok to look at your phone to see what's next, I do it all the time!  Oh and have a backup plan or don't be afraid to go out of order in case the machine you need is being used.

Well, there you have it.   My tips on surviving the gym alone!  Oh and I know that I am very lucky to get to go during the day, so if you have to go in the evenings, I suggest going directly after work if you can.  This way, it's done and out of the way before all the demands of home come flooding in :)