BRIDES magazineFitness

How to Learn to Love the Gym

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Photo by Bruno Gaget/BRIDES

Joining a fitness club can be intimidating: the crowds, the chiseled bodies, the complicated machines. Equinox fitness manager and personal trainer Keith Irace offers strategies to put you in the comfort zone:

  • Use the buddy system: It's always easier to try something new when you've got support. "You won't feel so conspicuous if you have company," says Irace. Bonus: A workout partner will help motivate you.

  • Time it right: Ask about the gym's slowest hours, and try to schedule your visits then. Navigating a not-so-crowded gym is less stressful.

  • Be proactive: "Most clubs offer a free orientation with a trainer when you join--take advantage of it," advises Irace. "This person will show you how to use the machines and the correct form."

  • It's all about you: Serious gym-goers tune everyone out. Put on your iPod, stop checking out the "competition," and focus on yourself.

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