My job is ace. I get to workout, help people with their goals and seeing people smash workouts and get stronger (both physically and mentally) is nourishing for my soul. As is mature cheddar but I’m not here to talk about that.

I get all sorts of people through the door. From just-become-mums, stressed out management heads, students, retirees to professional athletes on their way through the sleepy Scottish town of Livingston. It really is varied.

What also varies is the level of commitment people give to the gym. A lot of the people coming through the doors for the first time have the absolute no bullshit fire in their eyes that the regulars have; but sometimes they just can’t make it stick. I’ve been thinking about some of the reasons that might be and then what we can do about it.

You’re putting too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. 

You want to lose fat. You book into 6 classes a week and switch your diet so you’re eating 800kcal a day with 15 green teas and celery shakes. You lose 5lbs in a week (that’s your body getting rid of water) and then slowly your energy drops, you feel like crap, your progress begins to stall because you have played all your fat loss cards, when your body adapts… you have nothing left!

What we can do about it

We get good at things we practice. We make mistakes, we learn, we get better. It happens in every aspect of our lives. When I first started going to the gym, I couldn’t lift the bar with good form. Never mind putting any weight on! The first few days and weeks of being the weakest were hard, but when I started seeing little changes, first in my strength and then in my body – I was hooked!

You haven’t prioritised workouts yet

Now, I’m not one of these people who will tell you to get up at 3am every day and go to the gym otherwise you don’t want it enough. That’s not sustainable for people with real jobs, real families and real lives. But it easy to let life get ahead of your health. You don’t mean it to be that way but sometimes it just happens. Those 6 workouts you promised yourself turn into 4, then 3, then 1 and then zilch!

What we can do about it

Set yourself a minimum target of workout you want to do in the week. Start with one. You can always do more if things change, but just start with what you can stick to for the long term and as you get better and better you’ll want to come more. Progress really does keep people fired up. When people see the fruits of their labours, get compliemtns from family, friends and co-workers and generally feel incredible – it’s pretty addictive.

You don’t have a clue what to do

This is pretty common. You come to the gym, you haven’t planned on what to do and then someone is on the machines you want to use. You go to a different machine  and because your induction was ages ago, you’re not really sure how to use it. You sit on the machine, guess where the pin should be and try and move the weight. Then you get off and the cycle continues.

What we can do about it

Ask someone for advice. Everyone has been through the process of learning how to work out. I promise no one is watching, no one is hoping you will fail because we have all been through it. I still try and fail at many exercises (thanks kettle bells)  because I know I will learn from the process and maybe find something that will help transform my body.

Find the way you like to move and it’ll be a hell of a lot easier to come to the gym knowing you enjoy what you are doing!

Alternatively, find a personal trainer (hint hint).  They’ll be able to show you exercises, program a workout regime that is aligned with your level and goals and monitor progress so you are accountable. It makes it so much easier knowing someone is there to help and push you.


Please don’t be overwhelmed by the gym.

It is a positive place where people improve themselves.

Stick it out and I promise you’ll never look back.

About the Author Internet FitPro

Leave a Comment: