Many of our members tell us how nervous they were before their intro session. I think this is pretty natural, not just in a gym setting but whenever you’re starting something new.
But one word comes up more than any other when we talk first-day jitters. That word is intimidation.
While this is probably too complex a topic to fully unpack in a blog post, I think that feeling stems from two big, primal fears:
1. Being left behind the group
2. Being the odd one out in a group
We can boil these two down further:
1. I won’t know what I’m doing and everyone will pass me. I’ll be alone.
2. I won’t be good enough at what I’m doing and everyone will think poorly of me. I’ll be the butt of jokes.
At Woodshed, we fix gymtimidation because we meet these two worries head on. Sure, we are kind, diligent professionals and we will treat you with care and warmth. That’s important, no doubt, but for us that’s a baseline expectation.
Our coaching and workouts help new members move beyond gymtimidation very quickly because we do two concrete things:
1. All new members begin their time here in 1-1 training with one of our coaches. During those first several sessions, we set you up with an individual program–right down to what weight you use on every single exercise. And when you move into group sessions, that means you’re doing everything in concert with the rest of the group. When they squat, you do too. When they consult their notebooks or apps for the next set’s numbers, you’re doing that as well. You slot right in with the group, full stop.
2. All group workouts are written and coached with multiple levels of engagement in mind. While we always ‘squat’ in our Monday group sessions, dig deeper and you’ll see a couple folks using a different barbell to make the movement easier on their shoulders, while others squat to a box to keep the movement in their hips and out of their knees. And when we move to the conditioning, you might see some folks swinging a kettlebell or doing ball slams while others use a barbell to do rows or cleans. Because this individualization and choice is built into our culture, we don’t really have to even think about it. It’s just what we do…everyone is running in the same direction but we all look a little bit different on the way there.
The result? One of our members, Mike, puts it best: “While I felt a little intimidated at the start compared to others, there was really no need to be; you’re working toward your own personal goals without respect to what anyone else is doing. There’s a lot of camaraderie; there’s a feeling of community.”
And when you feel that good about your workouts–when you feel safe and looked after–that’s when you start to make some serious progress.
Because it’s not just about soft edges and holding hands–hell, can’t do that anyhow! It’s about giving you the tools and guidance to run that personal race in the company of like-minded friends, every time you train.
And we believe those are the best kinds of races to run.