You didn't click on this article to read an intro, so let's get into it shall we?
1. It’s always harder than it looks
It will burn. A lot. Unfortunately, that’s the sad, sad, truth of exercise.
Watching someone workout is a whole different ballgame to actually doing it yourself. Running hurts. Boxing hurts. Yoga even hurts. You will now have an incredible appreciation for people who do crazy things like run marathons or go to the gym every day.
2. The instructor will smile throughout the whole, painful experience
Are they superhuman? Are they on drugs? Are they just insane? Who knows.
The instructor is going to put on a happy, bubbly persona for the entirety of the long, painful fitness class. It will feel equally confusing, frustrating and oddly motivating to see someone enjoying exercise that much. Good on them, I guess.
3. Everyone else is super coordinated
You, on the other hand, your lefts and rights are out the window. They’re gone. Adios amigos.
When everyone else is going right, you’re going left. As soon as you’ve got your squats down, everyone else is on the floor crunching. Don’t stress too much though. Maybe your limbs will figure it out next week.
4. Everyone seems really fit, too
Not gonna lie, it will be a bit of a shock to the system seeing just how far you’ve got to go.
It will seem as if everyone is just effortlessly pulling off tuck jumps with the same finesse (and insane smile) as the instructor. But take peace in knowing that everyone in the room started exactly where you are. You got this.
5. People have ‘spots’ apparently
Don’t get in Karen’s workout square. She will most likely bare her teeth and might even snarl a little.
Scope out the space and find a spot where you can see the instructor and they can see you. If there’s a mirror, make sure you can see it so you can check your technique, too. Just make sure it’s not Karen’s spot.
6. The workout glow is real
You’re not sweating. You’re glistening. Either way, let’s just be honest, you’re gonna sweat. Come prepared with a gym towel to mop it all up and plenty of water to rehydrate those lost fluids.
Oh, and deodorant is non-negotiable (for obvious reasons). You’ll see why when you walk past someone who has clearly forgotten this golden rule.
7. The post-workout high is very real
Feel those endorphins flowing through your body. You are THE fitness goddess. The epitome of health and wellbeing. You’re going to come back every day for the rest of the month. No, scratch that. The rest of the YEAR.
You will feel like this after most workouts. It’s the exact feeling that will make clear to you why fitness junkies are called fitness junkies.
8. You’ll be hella sore tomorrow
Oh no. Oh god no. It will hurt the next day. A lot. Don’t even bother with going back to the gym. Sitting on the toilet will be enough of a challenge.
It’s called DOMS, or the Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. It will get worse over a period of 24 - 48 hours. Just trust me in knowing that it does get easier the more you go.
9. Somehow, you’ll want to come back
Just like that, all those painful memories will dissipate into thin air and you’ll be itching to get back into it.
You’ll be wanting to run and jump and crunch and kick all with a ridiculous smile on your face. Again, it’s probably the endorphins talking. Doing it is another story.
10. You’ll get hooked
Next thing you know, you’ll be hastagging #gymlyf, looking up #fitspo and start eating #acaibowls for breakfast.
You’ll start seeing results, not just physically, but mentally too. You’ll be sleeping better, breathing easier and exuding a brand new layer of confidence.
Welcome to the gym life.
Illustration by Twylamae who also made this Elaine Benes tee.