7 Myths About the Gym You Should Stop Believing

Are silly or unfounded excuses keeping you from hitting the gym? Stop believing these 7 common gym myths to start realizing your full fitness potential!

I am not a natural gym-goer. For a long time, I told myself that the gym wasn’t for me for this reason or that reason. But after giving the gym more of a chance, I now think that most people who don’t like the gym (like me) believe things about it that just aren’t true – or to at least not be true enough to be worth staying out-of-shape.

The realist in me has discovered that gyms are less intimidating than I once thought, and that it’s not worth it to let my gym myths keep me from feeling healthy. Here are seven myths that lots of us (myself included) use as excuses to not go to the gym…and why they’re just not true:

1. Gyms are for people who are already fit.

Gyms are for all kinds of people. Even if you’re at a gym that has a lot of extremely fit people, remember that they weren’t always that way and had to start somewhere. But the more likely scenario is that you’ll see people at all steps in a journey toward health. At my gym, I feel comfortably inside the range, not on the edges.

2. The only thing you do at the gym is lift weights.

This is a silly one, but I really believed it before I went to the gym! Now I know that stretching, working on your muscles, all kinds of cardio and, yes, weight training are all options at gyms. There are also gyms devoted to specific kinds of workouts, like rock climbing, kickboxing, PIlates, etc, if you just know that weight lifting isn’t your thing.

3. Weight machines are complicated and you’ll look silly when learning how to use them.

This may not be a myth… but looking silly for a few seconds is really not worth giving up on all gym equipment! I’ve gotten much better workouts since I braved the machines, and you look a lot less silly if you bring a friend or ask a gym employee to help you out with the machines or take you on a tour of the place. Many gyms include a free training session with your membership, which offers a great opportunity to get acquainted with the machines.

4. Gyms are gross or unhygienic places to work out.

The gym equipment gets cleaned so frequently (way more than I’d clean mine at home!) and you can always wipe down the equipment before and after you use it, not just after.

5. If you are already busy, there’s no way you’ll have time to go to the gym.

Being busy means you are already good at figuring out how to fit things in. It’s important to see the gym as something that you can and should fit into your life; it might not be every day, but if you budget the time for it, you will compress your other tasks to make room for it.

6. Carrying gym clothes is too much of a hassle.

My easiest solution is to just keep everything I need to work out in my car; I try to take freshly-washed gym clothes straight to my car rather than putting them away, because that way they are always there! You can definitely make this work if my forgetful brain has managed to do it. Many gyms also let you rent lockers, so you can keep heavier items like your shoes there and just tote your lightweight clothing to and from.

7. People at gyms are judgmental and will make you feel unwelcome.

If this is true, choose a different gym! For the most part, people won’t pay you any mind, because they have their own goals to work toward, but most of us are grateful to have other people around us, keeping us accountable just by being there and pushing us harder in our workouts.

Make it WayBetter

Get to the heart of what keeps you from going to the gym: the hassle? The inexperience? The judgment? Figure out how you can choose the right gym, the right schedule, and the right preparation to make it a part of your life.