When I was 16, I injured my knee. I could have gotten an operation for it, but the recovery was long, and I did not want to waste my time on it.  

After my injury, I needed to strengthen my knee. So, you could find me at the gym 5 times a week. ‘’Each day is leg day’’ was my motto. ‘’A day not in the gym is a day wasted.’’ It was so severe that the weights in the gym were too light for me… 

Now I am 20 years old, I have a knee injury, and I never go to the gym anymore. Every 2 months, I lose my balance, and my knee can't be used. The last time I went to the gym was 4 months ago, and I regret it each day. 

When you go to the gym as much as I did, you create an image of yourself. If I think back to that time, I was so happy. I was strong, never scared to fall, in peak condition, and at the gym, I had my own little family. But, what's holding me back? Simply, I am scared! Scared of being judged by others for doing something wrong. Thinking I am using someone elses equipment.  This is of course nonsense, but something has changed in me- it’s a scaredness and a lack of confidence. The confident woman, that you could find in the gym 5 times a week, has gone away and I fear that she might not come back. But I will not let that happen!  I'm going to give you (and myself) some tips on how to get that confidence back! 

What to wear? 

Firstly: Wear whatever you want. The gym is there for many people, and for you! You pay for your membership, and then you cannot wear whatever you want? That is nonsense! Personally, when working out, I am scared that people will look at me, especially at my butt or chest area. But, while wasting my time on TikTok, instead of going to the gym a few weeks ago, I came across a video where a girl just put a long sleeve shirt around her waist. The shirt part covers your butt, and the sleeves cover your intimate part.  

But, if you want to show what you’ve got, just do you! No one is at the gym to judge you, and if they do, ignore them.  

Someone that posts about activewear for not that much money is @chaysembyrd. You can check her account out if you are interested in buying new sportswear- yoga pants, tops, etc. If you want to shop for workout shorts you can check out @kaligdj.  

How to get motivated 

Starting with working out is a real struggle. You need to be consistent with it!  

You need to fit in into your schedule. So, before you start, think about your goal. Only in it to become more active? Make sure to ask an employee at the gym to help you achieve this goal by creating a personalized beginner's workout schedule.  in your legs or abdominal area. Everything is possible.  

After a while, you are probably more confident with what you are doing. You’ve been doing the same exercises for a few months now, and you want to add a little spice? You can again ask an employee, or you can try to ask another person who you see regularly in the gym. If you do not want to interact with other people, you can look at these TikTok accounts for some inspiration and help: @bethcarlinofitness or @RyanBenavente. They give tips and tricks on going to the gym, workouts, and more. For quick demonstrations on how to use equipment at the gym, you can take a look at @kayleebull at TikTok! 

Additionally, a small tip from me. I like to watch (on YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram) people who are also going to the gym. Not only for inspiration for my upcoming workout but also to get motivated! When I see someone working out while I am in my bed with 4 blankets, I do not feel bad, but I also do not feel that good. It makes me want to get up and do something! 

How to prevent muscle strain 

Be sure to stretch before your workout, to prevent injuries.  After your warm up, you stretch a little bit. This makes your muscles more flexible. After an intensive workout, there is no need to do stretching because your muscles are too tired. And, never stretch when you have muscle strain! 

After your workout, be sure to eat an egg, a bowl with yogurt, or just something with lots of protein in it! This helps prevent pain in your muscles. At the beginning of your journey, you will have some muscle strain, but that is normal! All the moves you are making are new for your body, or it has not experienced these movements in a while, so the body needs to adjust to it!  

For more motivation tips, you can check out the article already on the HUB ‘’How to motivate yourself to work out’’!