Getting Your Gym Psyche

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The gym intimidates me. Tons of shirtless dudes and waif girls run about crushing the plastic problems, bench pressing huge weights, pounding out miles on the treadmill and pretzeling into a million yoga poses. Still, I want to get in shape for an upcoming trip to Spain. I took a tip from body builder Ronnie Coleman who said, “Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.”


I’ve hit the gym pretty hard the past week and a few things have helped me more than Coleman’s simple quote. As the January post holiday rush comes to the Touchstone gyms. It helps to keep a few things in mind.

Have a plan

My first day in the gym after a long time away can be disorienting. I spend a bit of time figuring out where the jump ropes are, what happened to the hangboards and how to figure out the latest yoga class schedule. I putt around and always feel unsuccessful. My second day in the gym tends to be way better. I warm up jumping rope. I know which exercises I’m going to do, which boulder problems I’m going to try and when the yoga classes are. I take the time to build out a longer term plan. Two days a week, I train strictly power. I do two hard moves in a row and focus on that. One day a week, I do as many moderately hard boulder problems as I can and another day I do a pyramid.


Stick With It

“80% of life is showing up,” said Woody Allen. He’s not far from the truth. Going to the gym can be hard when it’s raining out and the weather’s cold. Break it down into smaller steps. Make it to the car. Drive to the gym. Go inside. Walk over to the jump rope. Stumble to the yoga class. You’ll be psyched you did it. Tenacity goes a long way into getting fit in the post holiday season.

Add Variety

Keep from stagnating by changing things up in your work out routine. If you always go to yoga, try a spin class. If you only climb routes at the gym, try bouldering. The changes make the gym a lot more fun. Every facet of the gym has an entirely different subculture as well. There’s lots of people to meet. The new challenges can help you advance in your other athletic pursuits. Yoga compliments cycling. Weight lifting helps bouldering. There is a ton of crossover. Switch your training regime to include something a bit different every time you head in.


Have Fun

Make sure to have fun when going into the gym. This will keep you returning for more. You’ll stay psyched if you have a good time in the gym when you go.