5 Reasons NOT to Be Intimidated by the Weight Room

Slamming weights. Bodybuilders with mammoth biceps. Shouts and screams. Gym weight rooms don't exactly come with a welcome committee, and they're often packed with men who have set up shop in this corner of the gym for years. But with the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reporting that strength training burns about twice as many calories as previously believed, there's no reason to NOT hit the weights. Plus, the weight room isn't as intimidating as it seems. Here's why.

You'll Make Friends (Or More)

Unlike in the headphone-heavy treadmill zone, many weight lifters rely on the music pumping through the overhead speakers to amp them up. Translation: Conversation comes easier. "People commonly approach strangers to ask, 'Do you mind if I jump in for a set?' or 'Do you need a spotter?' says Deazie Gibson, a strength training instructor of fitness streaming channel Acacia TV. Plus, the ratio is in your favor if you're looking for a bf. "Oh hey, do you deadlift here often?"

Weight Lifters Support Each Other

Everyone needs a spotter at some point. This creates a culture of people helping each other out and rooting for each other's success, not tearing each other down.

Gym Resources Can Help You Get Started

There's a middle ground between figuring out each machine by yourself and signing up for a trillion dollar personal training package: "Try a couple personal training sessions to learn basic movements and form, then you can design your own workouts from there," Gibson says.

You'll Soon Feel Empowered

You'll make big strides in strength, replacing any feelings of intimidation with empowerment. Little else can make you feel as powerful as you will when you reach that new power clean record (or keep pace with that weight room veteran two squat racks away). And this benefit translates outside of the weight room, too—lifting that heavy bag of mulch into your trunk will be no sweat this spring when you're used to bellying up to the barbell.

You're Not as Lost as You Think

Part of the intimidation factor is thinking that everyone else is an expert and you're a total newb. Not true. First of all, you'll soon start to notice some bad form around you, even from people who look like pros. Secondly, just because someone more experienced has a particular workout plan doesn't mean that's the right workout plan for you. "Just as one pair of bright pink leggings might not be the workout wear of choice for everyone in the gym, one style of exercise isn't perfect for all either," says Gibson Source: Fitness Magazine

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