Ah, January. The month where the gym becomes so crowded you’d think you were in the same building as an America’s Next Top Model shoot. Those who have been working out for a while will tend to avoid the first few weeks of a new year like the plague because the newbies who made “getting in shape” their top resolution will have taken over. While it can be somewhat entertaining to watch people try to figure out how to use kettlebells and weight machines, it’s also frustrating because some people just don’t seem to understand the real purpose of the gym. As crazy as it might seem, looking gross and sweaty is kind of unavoidable if you’re doing it right. Ladies, this isn’t a fashion show and if you treat your work out session like it is then you’re only going to wind up hurting yourself. Maybe even literally.
The gym can be an intimidating place to even the most hardcore exercise fanatic. There are rooms full of machines that look like something out of a medieval torture chamber and people everywhere are grunting, straining and sweating. It sounds a lot like a men’s bathroom and that’s enough to scare off anyone, let alone a woman who’s never sweated to anything other than the oldies. However, once you realize that most people at the gym are way more interested in themselves than in you, things should be a little easier. The guy staring at his biceps in the mirror while flexing couldn’t care less if your sports bra matches your socks so don’t worry if your work out shirt has a stain or your ponytail isn’t perfect. Also, be warned that the three pounds of make-up you caked on before leaving your house will probably slide right off your face before you get five minutes into an actual workout. You’re not going to look your best at the gym and you’re not supposed to – getting exercise helps people look their best everywhere but the gym. And if you’re still scared of a particular machine or technique then just hop on a treadmill or bicycle and watch while someone else uses it so you can learn from their mistakes.
Of course, you don’t want to watch strangers at the gym too closely or you run the risk of being a creeper. You know the sort – they smile and lick their lips while pumping iron or perhaps hump an exercise ball as if that’s a workout. Some people think the gym is a hot spot to find a date and while being sweaty and wearing minimal clothing can lead to potentially sexy thoughts, most women don’t want to be hit on while they’re rocking sweat stains under their boobs and around their crotch. Of course, beating the hell out of a punching bag or running up 150 flights of stairs on the Stairmaster could be enough to deter any would be suitor so if that’s something you’re worried about just power through your work out and sweat up a storm. It’s not supposed to be pretty or glamorous anyway! After all, the gym is a place to focus on how to better get into your own pants rather than how easily you can get into someone else’s.