I’ll be the first to admit it. Getting up and going to the gym is hard. It’s scary and intimidating and you’re bound to feel hella nervous. It’s a new challenge you’re embarking on! Well, here’s five tips to make that ride a little smoother:

1. It’s human to be overwhelmed

Nobody waltzes into working out a pro. Walking into a gym cold turkey can be intimidating and that’s completely normal! Those big metal giants are scary AF. But never feel like you don’t belong, because you’re there for the same reason everyone else is: to become the best version of yourself. Instead of sticking to the treadmill your entire duration there, you could watch some tutorials (there’s hundred’s online), chalk out a plan before hand, learn how to operate the machines and then put on your headphones and march in like the badass you are. Alternatively, you could find a training coach or an experienced workout partner who can guide you through the process. 

2. Yes, the first few days will hurt

Your muscles are being introduced to something new so naturally there will be a sense of discomfort. But rest assured, your body will adapt and the pain will eventually fade away. The only way to ease the soreness is to keep going because once you quit the aching will return as soon as you restart. 

3. Don’t listen to self-proclaimed gym-bros

No, contrary to what the dude who looks like a puffed-up version of Michelangelo’s David says you do not need to do 500 variations of a particular exercise and overcomplicated, superhuman ninja-like movements to achieve your physical goals. There are a lot of people claiming to have the quick fix to physical fitness, but most of them are as true as unicorns in the sky. Stick to the classics and only listen to licensed fitness practitioners who actually know their shit.

4. Don’t let appearance be your only motivating factor

If you go into fitness with a superficial frame of mind thinking that shedding those kilos or getting that big butt, is the ultimate goal – you’ll never be able to sustain it as a lifestyle. Instead you need to go into it from a performance mindset with the end goal of becoming the best version of yourself – and that includes mental clarity along with physical. 

5. There’s life beyond the cardio section

It’s okay to be shell-shocked when you first see the big machines and incessant slamming of weights on the ground. But don’t just stick to the treadmill and the bike area just because you’re afraid. Weights are your friend, give them a try! Plus think how badass you’ll look.