Kate Shepherd: Get Gym Confident


My name is Kate-Rose Shepherd, I am 20 years old and I live in the North-East of England.  In September 2018, I am taking the plunge back into education and will be studying Health, Exercise and Fitness, meaning you are about to hear from me a lot more on social media!  Follow my fitness journey on Cigarette Sounds in the third week of every month (I am the perfect Sunday duvet day read) and keep up to date with me on my current social media’s.

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3 Fool-Proof Ways To Get Gym Confident

We are all guilty of spending too many hours scrolling Instagram aimlessly. We (just me?) constantly watch videos of our favourite Insta-girls killing it at the gym and smashing every single work out. I love every minute of it, except when I I am watching these videos I cannot help but ask; 

How did you film yourself/take photos without worrying what everyone else in the gym though?’ ‘Did you move/change/adapt the gym equipment yourself? ‘Did no one comment or stare?’ ‘How did you break through the anxiety to even try that exercise in the first place?’

Even after a year of being a regular gym member, I still ask the questions of “how did you…” My confidence has definitely come on in a year and I have learnt so much – but I still wobble.  We all do I think.   So I am sharing some ideas and practices which have definitely allowed me slowly grow in confidence when I am at the gym.  Surprisingly, my everyday life has benefited too.

Educate Yourself

Now, I certainly am not suggesting you dust off the GCSE anatomy and physiology textbooks, and neither am I implying you need to look into the newest research on the human body. No, nat. Nope. 

What I am simply saying, however, is that I know I felt a lot more confident when I knew just a little more about the major muscles in our body.  Whether it was what they looked like, what types of motions and movements worked which muscles positively, whatever. For example, the Glutes.  I learnt that abductions and cable sidekicks were better for the Gluteus Medius, whereas squats were better for the Gluteus Maximus This was a big help in ensuring I was hitting all right muscles when creating a routine. 

Use the Gym How You Want To 

Everybody trains differently. Everything completely depends on what works for you, what you enjoy and what your goals are.  One of the best examples of using the gym how you want to can be seen through some of my favourite fitness influencers, including Sarah’s day (Sarah Stevenson – who I love, love, love).  

The Instagram Fitness Royalty rarely lifts heavy weights, but instead mostly trains diversely with her body weight and HIIT (High-intensity interval training) sessions. Whereas Tammy Hembrow – who is known as one of the ‘Queens of growing the booty’ – works mostly with heavy weights and uses a lot of compound and isolating exercises to build muscle.

You are paying a probably sky-high gym membership so, why should you not use it how you want? 

If you love dynamic movements and HIIT/cardio sessions? You can use the cardio machines and lighter free weight exercises with higher reps and body weight movements etc.   This will ultimately slim and tone your body.  If you thrive off looking like the heavyweights, and want to build up your muscles – hit the free weight section guys and gals!  Never be afraid to pick up the barbell.  Make sure you are comfortable with the desired weight and are able to fully execute the movement. If you’re particularly nervous or unsure about something, ask the instructors – it is their job to help you.

Make It a Lifestyle 

Even if the gym is fourth or 24th on the list of important things in your life – try to make it a part of your everyday. This does not mean you have to literally go every day. I am saying find what/when works best for you to go to the gym.   Find out if you are an AM or a PM person.  I most definitely am a PM person, I just do not do early mornings. 

Because of this, I would never be motivated to smash a workout at 6/7am.  On my days off work, I usually tend to go at 1/2pm. And when at work? Just whenever I can fit it in. Not everyone is like me though!  Some people find they just put off going to the gym if they do not go first thing. 

Are you one, or the other, or both?  Test run all times of the day and see which works best for your daily schedule and which times you prefer.  Something I am personally working on is when/what to eat before a workout. Some people need a full plate and an hour to digest while others can train just after their morning ritual of black coffee. I am experimenting with my pre-workout food as we speak.  

Once I found my own way around making the gym my own, making it an essential part of my lifestyle and educating myself on what I actually was doing; I saw elements spilling into my everyday life.  

By finding the style of training I enjoy and creating a routine I look forward to doing, I was a lot more confident and happy when doing it. Now I do not mind asking if that girl who left her water bottle by the cable machine if she is finished. I feel fine asking the meaty men if they could please load off the 50kg weights on the barbell so I can use it.

I am happy with myself to just be myself and do my own thing. I am a true believer in that simply feeling comfortable and confident in yourself makes a huge difference in how you perform in all aspects of your life. 

Until next month!

Kate Shepherd.



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