How to get past the intimidation factor when starting a fitness journey

New Zealand’s biggest fun run, Round the Bays 2023 is set for Sunday, March 5, and to prepare you item has opened RTB Fitness Club. This is an 8-week training program designed to get you fit and excited about your sport with a like-minded community, whether it’s running an event in Auckland or beyond. Each week we’ll bring you a story to inspire and educate you on your fitness journey. Join the RTB Fitness Club here.

While the start of a new year is the perfect time to start achieving your fitness goals, it can be easy to feel intimidated when it comes to walking into the gym, or joining a fitness community. Especially when everyone around you knows exactly what they’re doing.

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Fear or trepidation is something Hayden Pye-Redfearn, owner of CrossFit West Auckland gym The Training Lab, sees a lot of when introducing new members.

We hit them up for the best tips on kicking off your fitness journey without letting the feeling of intimidation hold you back.

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Read more:
* Are New Year’s resolutions worth it and how can I achieve my goals?
* RTB Fitness Club: How to start 2023 on the right path to fitness
* 5 tips for getting back to the gym after lockdown

Everyone has been in your shoes

It might seem like everyone knows exactly what they’re doing when you walk into a new gym, bootcamp or other fitness community, but Pye-Redfearn says everyone starts in the same place.

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“People need to understand that everyone in the gym starts on day one,” he said.

“Everyone has been in their shoes.”

That’s something Pye-Redfearn tries to emphasize to his new members. Regardless of whether people have been active for days, weeks or years, they start somewhere and also in their own place, with their own goals, when it comes to their fitness journey.

Hayden Pye-Redfearn, trainer and owner of West Auckland CrossFit gym The Training Lab, said it is important to remember everyone has "day one" of their fitness journey.

Lab Training

Hayden Pye-Redfearn, trainer and owner of West Auckland CrossFit gym The Training Lab, says it’s important to remember everyone has “day one” of their fitness journey.

Find a trainer who will spend time helping you

Whether you’re joining a gym, or starting an online fitness program, Pye-Redfearn says it’s important to find a trainer who “wants to give you time”.

Pye-Redfearn warns that walking into a big box gym without investing in a personal trainer – or another form of one-on-one training – can leave you unsure of what you’re doing, and “left to fend for yourself”.

“We’ve had a lot of people come in who have been going to the gym for a long time, who don’t know [the fundamentals of] back squat,” he said, showing the basic movement he taught his own members.

Whether you want to join a gym, or start an online program with the same person, “get a trainer or gym owner who will invest some time in the individual, and know everyone has been there, finish the first day of training,” he said.

Finding a coach or trainer who can take the time to teach you the basics can help with feeling less intimidated when starting your fitness journey.

Lab Training

Finding a coach or trainer who can take the time to teach you the basics can help with feeling less intimidated when starting your fitness journey.

Find your why – and remember it

It’s important to understand why you’re trying to start your fitness journey, says Pye-Redfearn.

For no reason that is important to you, exercise can become “like a chore”.

But even with the goal and why, it is important to eliminate the small, winning that can be done.

“If someone wants to do Round the Bays, for example, 8.2km is the final destination,” he said. But that end goal can be scary in itself.

“If you just keep looking at that run, it seems like a long way. A good coach encourages small goals, which might be running 400m without stopping.

If your end goal is long-term, Hayden Pye-Redfearn recommends making it a smaller, more achievable goal, such as running 400m without stopping.

Lab Training

If your end goal is long-term, Hayden Pye-Redfearn recommends making it a smaller, more achievable goal, such as running 400m without stopping.

Surround yourself with the right people

Remember that most people in a gym or fitness group are focused on their own journey and goals, says Pye-Redfearn. But it’s still important to find a community that you connect with, that will support you on your journey.

Pye-Redfearn recommends doing your research on websites and social media before finding a running group, gym or bootcamp that’s right for you.

Social media is often a good representation of the community involved in whatever program you join.

“If you like the look of it, go in, open it, surround yourself with great people – and go from there.”

What is RTB Fitness Club?

item has opened RTB Fitness Club with trainer Bevan James Eyles to help Kiwis excited about fitness, build long-term habits to stay motivated and connect with like-minded people. Whether you have bought an entry to join us on the day in Auckland, or are locked in to take part for real – we welcome you to connect and also be part of this club. Once you have purchased your entry for the race, you will have the option to also join the RTB Fitness Club.

For $25 you will get:

  • An 8-week walking, walking or jogging training program

  • Weekly video tutorials with Bevan

  • Weekly live Q&A with Bevan

  • Strength and stretching components to prevent injury

  • Access to RTB Fitness Club’s exclusive Facebook group

The first 250 people to join the club will get a FREE Under Armor T-shirt. Join the club here.

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