T Nation

My Virgin Trip to the Gym

I’m guessing for everyone, the first time you walk into a gym is going to be daunting, especially when you’re on your own, even more so if ya in a country that isnt your own. I guess most people hear the music from 2001 in their heads and start making elaborate plans to build a gym in the one cubic space left in the apartment.

I’ve always hated gyms, back in england, (in my hometown) you only went into a gym if you were a) a boxer b) a dealer c) built like a brick sh*t house or d) gay.

I’m skinny, the only dealing I do is when i’m playing solitare, they dont have shit houses in this country and I like the ladies.

In this country though, where you look totally different from everyone else, when I walked in, i walked into my own cowboy-walks-into-the-bar scene. The hyper-melodramatic music shut off, plates were dropped, people got up from chairs and benches and just…kinda stared at the skinny laowei at the door. I just said hi at about the same audio level as a mouse farting and walked into the less populated corner of the gym and started going whatever the f*ck i could on that machine. (after three minutes of figuring out where to put my ass, legs and pretty much the last of my confidence.

Slowly, sound and peripherical vision resumedbut then these big giant dudes came over and stared giving me advice, asking friendly questions about where i was from, what i was doing, and showing me the right forms, one guy ran off and came back with a diet he had photocopied. I couldnt read it for sh*t, but translated later it worked out ok. (I was trying too much too soon three days later my left arm just stopped working)

I listened.

These guys naturally have very little body fat and they looked amazing. being a skinny bastard myself I guess I’m halfway there :stuck_out_tongue: Ok first day I was nervous, and still am, i got to get back there tomorrow if i regain movement in my arms, but I felt good though. There was non of that macho bullshit or closeted poofs or spinning class or whatever-the-f*ck. Just a small room full of machines and guys working out, people who were friendly enough to come over and say hey and give a beginner some great advice.

So, day one was great.

Nice story.

Damn, at the gym I go to, there are so many new people all the time it just isn’t something anybody notices.

You are right though, the first time in can be hardest. Just keep going and start wearing headphones if people get too chatty.

Welcome to the jungle! At age 47 I started going to the gym and working out. I’ve been doing it for about two months now. I was nervous at first, but now I actually feel comfortable in the weight room. The other odd thing that I’ve discovered is that the bigger guys for the most part are the friendliest. They’ve always been willing to chat, give pointers and show me how the contraptions work.

Keep it up and keep checking out T-Nation. Lots of great info here!

Oh man, I remember my first trip to the gym. I was scared shitless. And I still am sometimes! Being new, it’s pretty embarassing curling a 50 lb bar between the guy doing 90 lb dumbbell incline presses and the other guy curling 50 lbs in each hand. But it’s nice that the people there are helpful. It gets easier. :slight_smile:

I’m not going to tell you how to workout, you can read about that here, but I do just want to point out, if you’re skinny, and looking to increase mass, free weights are the way to go. Big, heavy, compound free weight exercises release more hormonoes and indue more muscle growth than machines do. That’s all. :slight_smile: Good luck!