I’ve maintained minor interest in fitness since leaving school, and like most people, I managed a gym membership with varying success. Whether it was an hour on the treadmill, or playing around with weights like I knew what I was doing, I never really knew what I was doing! The gym was a social experience for me, which suited me fine for a long time.
In 2019, something changed – my motivations were different. I was no longer happy seeing the gym as a social venture, and I instead wanted results in my physical composition. For the first time in my life, I wanted to make a go of building real muscle.
A newbie to ‘gaining’, I sought suggestions from friends, used online resources and spent time finding a plan that suited me. I didn’t want a plan I’d give up after a few days, so it took numerous attempts to find one that worked. When I did, I was suddenly working out four days a week.
14 months into my fitness journey, my body has gone through an incredible physical transformation. I’m really pleased with the work I’ve done. However, the change transcends beyond the physical, as I’ve also experienced a fundamental shift in my mental health and feel markedly happier as a person.
Having goals to work towards and achieving those objectives, no matter how small, is a great feeling. Whether it’s lifting a heavier weight or gaining 0.2kg, these incremental improvements build our self-confidence and encourage further growth.
Instagram has been a great community for me. I set up a page to track my progress and have received overwhelming support from people I’ve never even met. At first it was terrifying; posting workouts and photos when I knew I didn’t have muscular strength, or delivering workouts with questionable form! Yet, followers remained supportive, and that cultivated a confidence in me which carried through to the gym floor.
Since learning more about fitness, I’ve been undoubtedly more confident in the gym and feel compelled to push to new peaks. I’m always nervous trying new exercises, but I now have the confidence to step into the arena and give it a go. I now confidently use new equipment and I’ve even found myself asking others for support – I find this new me is continuing to surprise me.
Working out has helped my overall mood. There are still days I want to do nothing other than lay on the sofa for the evening, but I remind myself why working out is important. I never finish my training wishing ‘I didn’t do that’. When I feel tired or lethargic, a small workout is what breathes new life into me, lifting my mood and energy.
Fitness is transformational for the body and mind. We were all beginners once and we’ve all experienced the dread of being the newbie on the gym floor. To anyone considering working out and not feeling confident enough to make the change, my advice is to you is just take that first step. The first step is the hardest one, but once you’ve done it, I guarantee you’ll never look back.
Follow me @slimatthegym for progress updates, and I’ll follow back so we can support each other smashing #goals!
Author: Josh James
Titles: Gay, Cis-man, Mancunian, Fitness, & Pop Music Fan