The first time

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Phil Learney who is one of the most respected trainers in the industry he was putting on a Q&A session at a gym in Croydon and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to pick his brains on his experience of over two decades in the fitness industry.


The gym he was hosting his Q&A at was a very well-known gym in the bodybuilding circle. As I parked up and walked towards the gym it was apparent that this was not your typical leisure centre/health club! It was a raw bodybuilding Mecca. A far cry from the health and leisure club is where are usually matriculated. The converted warehouse set up, tractor tires in the car park, graffiti on the walls, the steel shutters spray-painted with the gym logo on them, the loud music coming from inside. This made me feel a little out of sorts I was a little out of my comfort zone.


Even for experienced gym goer like myself it still felt a little daunting walking into this establishment. It took me back to when I first felt apprehensive about going into the gym environment.


A lot of people go through this apprehension time and time again when they first start the gym. More than likely it’s a negative experience at PE in school and the thought of exercise is quite daunting to them and because they didn’t enjoy it then, they make the assumption that they won’t enjoy it now. Plus you are entering into an unfamiliar environment and this can be quite daunting and you can feel quite conspicuous, as I did when I walked into this gym.

However, as soon as I walked in I was greeted by a friendly lady at reception who was very helpful and welcoming and showed me where everything was. Surrounded by people who looked very serious about their weight lifting I began to feel like an outsider, like I didn’t belong, however, this was quashed when a member, who was twice the size of me asked me and had muscles on muscles, asked me if I was new and if I needed to know where anything was just to give him a shout!
I had created this worry in my head from judging a book by its cover and my preconception about bodybuilding gyms! The people there were friendly and too focused on their own weight training to be looking at me. And it is this attitude that you will find in most gyms, it’s a positive environment and people are genuinely helpful. It’s just a little daunting the first time.

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