7 Challenges Every Gym Beginner Faces and How to Avoid Them

  • January 17, 2018

Going to the gym is a little intimidating — especially for beginners. I know you imagine the gym to be like what you see in the movies (filled with “bros” and popping biceps), but in real life, it’s not always like that. It can be intimidating, but there is no way you could pick up your pace if you don’t go at all! You won’t have progress if you just go home and watch TV, right? So, to help you out, we’re going to look at some of the common challenges beginners might face in the gym and how to overcome them. The gym should be a fun and enjoyable experience! So read on, shake that anxiety, and hit the gym!

Skipping Warm Up

When you get to the gym, you can immediately see people grunting and gritting their teeth while lifting huge chunks of metal. This sends your brain a signal to start working out immediately. Consequently, you skip limbering up to “catch up” with your buddies.

How to overcome:
Do not give in to the urge of catching up with others. Put in mind that you are at risk of injuring yourself when you don’t warm up properly. Do your warm-up routine. Do a few lunges, a few squats, a few push-ups, and some jumping jacks. This will get your heart pumping faster. Skipping warming up may save you time, but it can potentially harm you.

Starting Out Too Heavy

It can feel awkward to be using the small plates at the gym. You don’t want to give the impression you’re not that strong, right? However, starting out with huge weights can lead to serious injury.

How to overcome:
Remind yourself that training will result to a stronger physique and that injuries are painful! Everyone started out lifting the smaller weights and gradually worked their way to their current capability. Ask them how they started — you will be surprised to see where they started at!

Using Everything At The Gym

Gym equipment is fascinating… especially if it’s your first time. You’ll probably have the urge to try every machine at the gym. It can be fun, but it won’t necessarily help you.

How to overcome:
Plan a workout schedule. Pick which days you’ll work out certain parts of your body and what workouts you’ll do. This can lead to another common challenge…. (see below)

You Forget To Plan Your Routine

It’s okay to ask the gym people for help to guide you through your workout. Unfortunately, you don’t always consistently meet new people every time you hit the gym. This means that you will not have a regular schedule of your routine. You may feel like you are lost at the gym and trying everything without making progress.

How to overcome:
Simple research can help you formulate your workout schedule. Download workout plans and take them with you to the gym and define your goals so that your routine is aligned with it. If you are not sure how to start, you can do a three-day split and cycle the muscle group target for every workout day.

Skipping Rest Days

Rest days are intended for resting! It may feel like you are losing progress when your rest, but without rest, your body will not have enough time to recuperate and recover from the previous days workout.

How to overcome:
It’s tempting to go to the gym when you get bored. Plan activities for your rest days! Go out and have fun or use your rest day as a day to catch up on errands, stuff around the house, etc. 

Not Paying Attention To Form

Without supervision or someone guiding you, it is easy to miss out the intricacies of proper exercise form. It may seem as though you are not doing anything wrong while working out, especially when no one is looking, but you may not be doing the exercise properly. Improper form can lead to poor gains, or worse, injuries.

How to overcome:
A gym instructor can always help with your form. If you don’t want to hire a professional gym instructor, you can always watch YouTube demonstrations. Make sure that you follow it in front of a mirror to see if you are doing it right.

Too Much Reliance On Machines

Many people are hooked on Smith machines. When you do squats on a Smith machine, you don’t have to engage any other muscle aside from your quads. This may sound like a good isolation exercise, but what it really does is leave your core strength untrained.

How to overcome:
If you find it difficult to keep proper form without a machine, go ahead and practice with it. When you get the hang of the form, switch to a power cage.Try workouts that simulate daily activities. Remember, when you lift a sack of potatoes, there is no Smith machine there to assist you. 🙂


Everyone was just a beginner at some point. Some people might have been extraordinarily gifted and progressed from zero to ten quickly, but they are the few exceptions. If you can’t do what they can do yet, don’t force it— you might end up hurting yourself. Remember to follow these simple guidelines to make your workout experience more fun and enjoyable. The most simple baseline to monitor your progress is taking pictures of yourself every week and noting your weight. In a few months, the before and after pictures will inspire you and keep you motivated.

 Learned a few things from this post? Don’t hesitate to share with your friends!

Don’t let “gym-timidation” prevent you from achieving your fitness goals! Everyone started as a beginner, feeling intimidated by the long road ahead of them, but through determination and dedication they achieved their goals— and you can too! Take it one day at at time with a lot of small goals. Before you know it, you’ll have the body you once thought was only a pipe dream. You got this!


Author Bio:

Emily is founder of, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. Their aim is to help people like you to achieve your perfect body. BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise & fitness tips and making the most out of it. She is also a mother to one and she tries to find balance between her passion and her biggest joy in life.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article belong to the author. No product or event mentioned is being promoted or sponsored. The information contained here is for the sake of general public information and interest.

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