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22 tips for 2022: Overcome gym intimidation by practicing weightlifting moves at home

Close up photo of a barbell with three colorful weights on the end against a pink background.
Becky Harlan/NPR

Gym intimidation is real — and it's not just in your head. Sometimes, fellow gym-goers decide to offer advice unasked, like how to hold your posture while lifting.

If you want to break through that discomfort and start weightlifting at a gym, try practicing the movements at home first by using basic household items, like a broom, and free video tutorials to guide you.

Casey Johnston, a health and science writer who runs She's A Beast, recommends StrongLifts beginners programs, Barbell Medicine and the r/fitness subreddit as good places for beginners to start.

This extra prep will not only help you feel more confident with weights, but also help prevent you from hurting yourself.

And if you're trying to ward off conversationalists when you're just trying to workout, Johnston offers this advice: "Wear headphones, and potentially pretend like you're on a call. I think you should sort of rest in the idea that it's not super great manners to go up to somebody and comment on their form."


Here's more on how to start weightlifting.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Alex Sujong Laughlin and produced by Janet W. Lee.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alex Sujong Laughlin
Janet W. Lee
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