‘Too embarrassed to go to the gym’


Passing Gas

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Picture it: You’re in a deadly quiet yoga class. You’re breathing, you’re downward dogging and—whoops—now you’re farting. Even worse, it’s loud enough to rip the fabric of the space-time continuum.

Farting can happen anywhere but it's a fairly common occurrence at the gym. All that jostling gets your guts stirred up, leading to unexpected and unstoppable gaseous emissions.


Missing a step while checking out on a guy during Zumba

This is as weird as it sounds and downright embarrassing! You have been dressing up a little too nicely these days to flaunt your ‘fitness freak’ side to the new hot hunk of the gym. You couldn’t stop the butterflies wriggling in your stomach that’s giving your face a blushed glaze while exchanging a glance or two, and then happens the disaster! You miss a step and stomped onto the girl dancing next to you. Erm, kind of awkward it is!

The Premier Skills English Fitness Challenge

Your task this week is to complete our fitness challenge. We want you to do the Premier Skills English daily workout and tell us all about it! This is what you need to do:

  • 100 jumping jacks (2 sets of 50 reps)
  • 25 push-ups
  • 25 burpees
  • 20 crunches
  • 20 squats

Answer these questions in the comments section:

  1. Did you manage to complete the routine?
  2. How long did it take?
  3. Did you change the routine?
  4. How did you feel?
  5. What changes would you make to this routine?

If you are not able to do the Premier Skills English Challenge, you can design a daily workout for other listeners to follow!

The not-so-nice unshaven armpit or leg

Don’t even pretend that you don’t know what we’re talking about! I’m sure this oops moment occurred more than once in all of our lives. How many times have you had your arms over your head for some exercise and realized that you haven’t shaved your armpits? Or sporting a sexy knee length tight while your legs bare those cruel half-grown hair, spoiling the lanky lass look? The only thought that goes on in your head is to pray that none notices those not-so-nice-side of a girls’ life.

Football Phrase

Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week? 

Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was title contender. This phrase is used to describe the teams that have a chance of winning the league. 

Rich: Well done to Ahmed Adam from Sudan, Sabanoleg and Liubomyr from Ukraine, Kwesimanifest from Ghana, Zaid from India and Lakerwang from China. You all got the phrase right! What’s this week’s football phrase?

Jack: This week’s football phrase is just a word and is connected to what we’ve been talking about today: fitness. The word is ******.  When a player gets injured on the pitch, the first person to run on to the pitch is usually the ****** whose job it is to assess and treat injuries to players.

Rich: I think that’s a bit easier than last week’s phrase.

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to take part in our fitness challenge and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.

Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Preparing for your first visit

The best time to go to the gym

One question every new-starter asks is “what’s the best time to go to the gym?”

Morning is often hailed as the best time to fit in a workout, as it can reduce stress levels and leave you energized for the rest of the day. However, it all depends on your ‘circadian rhythm.’

A circadian rhythm is your internal clock, the one that causes you to fluctuate between alert and sluggish throughout the day. If you consider yourself a morning person, it should be easy to motivate yourself for an hour in the gym before work. But, if you can’t get anything done before your 9 am coffee, don’t beat yourself up about it — hit the gym on your way home instead.

There really is no ‘best time’ to exercise, it all depends on your body, so listen to it and hit the gym when it’s most convenient for you.

Working to your schedule

If your schedule is getting in the way of your circadian rhythm, it can help to get an extra hour of sleep every night. You feel the pressure of your circadian rhythm more when you’re tired, so getting to bed earlier might be the push you need to crush those 7am laps in the pool!

Dodging peak times

The other factor to consider when scheduling your session is when the gym is likely to be busy. If you’re looking for space when working on your strength, it is worth considering avoiding peak times. This is usually just before or after the working day, although on-site staff will be able to advise you further.

What to wear and take with you

If you’re truly looking to power through your session and achieve your peak performance, you’ll want to come prepared.

Here’s a list of gym bag essentials:

    • Gym-appropriate training gear (avoid denim or replica shirts)
    • Gym shoes (sturdy trainers work best; avoid weak canvas shoes)
    • Sweat towel (for wiping down equipment after you use it)
    • Towel and shampoo (for a post-workout shower)
    • Post-workout snack
    • Water bottle

Warming up

If you’re feeling self-conscious on your first gym visit, your initial instinct might be to skip straight to the treadmill or weight machine and ‘prove your worth,’ but this is a rookie mistake. One of the most important parts of a good workout is to properly warm up.

Warm-ups are crucial as they prepare your body for the demands of exercise, loosening up the muscles and reducing the risk of injury. This also means you’re less likely to pull a muscle during your workout and minimizes the chances of lactic acid building-up, which can lead to cramping.

Here’s an example of a simple warm-up that’s ideal for beginners:

Example warm-up for beginners

For more on how to effectively warm up, check out our in-depth guide on warming up from exercise, with sports psychotherapist Paul Martin.

Supporting your fitness journey

Booking a gym class

Attending the gym regularly is a fantastic step towards achieving your fitness goals. If you really want to reap the results, though, you should sign up for a gym class.

Gym classes are sessions led by a professional trainer who will take you through a fixed set of exercises. They’re done in groups, so it’s the perfect opportunity to build some friendships as well as pushing yourself a little further than you might when training solo.

There are hundreds of different classes to choose, ranging from yoga and aqua aerobics to boxing and even dance classes. Each class varies in intensity and duration. If you’re just starting out, we recommend going for a low-intensity or low-duration class so you don’t push yourself too hard.

Booking a personal trainer

Classes are great for giving you new ideas for workouts, but they can’t always help you move forward with bespoke goals. For this, you might need to work with a personal trainer.

Personal trainers are fitness professionals who work with clients to create custom workouts and provide advice during exercise.

What can a personal trainer help with??

  • Reaching an ideal weight
  • Developing strength
  • Rehabilitation after an injury
  • Improve their performance in a particular sport

Personal trainers usually aren’t covered in the standard membership fee. However, many gym members find it’s worth the cost of even just a few sessions when you’re starting out because it sets you out on the right path, meaning your workouts are more effective going forward. Personal trainers will also keep you accountable to your goals, preventing you from slowly drifting away from your routine.

Gym staff will usually set up a brief ‘meet and greet’ with your personal trainer so you can get to know their training style and they can learn what it is you want to achieve. If you’re wondering how you’ll know if your personal trainer is right for you, these 6 questions can help you decide.

I’m not sure what to do:

Never go to the gym without a plan; you’ll end up wandering aimlessly or clocking in a lackluster workout. You should know what you want to accomplish before you make it to the locker room — are you trying to burn major calories? Take a cardio interval workout with you. Need to stretch and de-stress? Opt for a beginner yoga class. Knowing what you’re doing and how long takes a lot of the intimidation out of getting to the gym. Print out one of our workout guides to take with you so you can follow along with ease.

How to Avoid It

  • Take beginner classes. Check the class schedule to see if they have newbie-friendly classes.
  • Tell the instructor. They can guide you through getting started and give you tips if there are particular parts of the class you find challenging.
  • Watch the workout. If the room has windows, watch the class to get a feel for it before you jump in.
  • Try it at home. If there’s an activity that you’re interested in, look for YouTube videos or DVDs to try at home before you join a class at the gym.
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