Okay so it’s summer (although if you’re in England this is a questionable state). Everyone is talking about diets/fitness/diets/fitness/diets…summer bodies, bikini bodies… YAWN! You don’t really care but you just want to fit into those mom jeans that don’t zip up after one too many Aperol Spritz’ and Saffron Pistachio ice creams. Apparently the gym makes you feel better about yourself too, so you suppose that would be a bonus after the three days you spent in complete hell deciding whether to buy a new clutch for your car or some Gucci loafers. Yes, some exercise will probably do you good.
But where to start? The gym can be an intimidating place, what with all those 6ft 5, vest-wearing body-builders… You don’t want to look like a fish out of water, so it’s probably best you read this guide on how to pretend you’re a pro at the gym…
Phase 1: Complete Immersion
For this, Google will be your best friend. Things you may want to google include…
- What is a fly-press?
- How to turn a treadmill on.
- Techniques for using the rower.
- Where are the water fountains usually found in a gym?
- Are there any water fountains in a gym?
- What do I do when I run out of water at the gym? (At this point you’ll be realising that water is an essential part of the exercising process… who knew?!)
- What does exercise equipment look like?
Etc. etc… You get the picture. Leave no stone unturned.
Phase 2: Memory
Having completed Phase 1, your next steps will require optimum brain engagement. Maybe train your memory with a bit of Soduku or some intermediate crosswords (apparently these still appear in newspapers).
Firstly you’ll need to find a workout plan. Google, again, won’t let you down. But for goodness sake don’t opt for something that requires complex machinery. Once you’ve found your workout plan (the best ones should just be sit-ups – there’s not too much that can go wrong there and you won’t make yourself look a complete fool…), start to memorise the moves. You don’t want to be one of these people consulting a little piece of paper every time you switch between a squat and lunge…
Phase 3: Floor-plan
If possible, find a detailed floor-plan for your gym. Or at least have a pre-workout recce in your own clothes (i.e. none lycra, none fat-emphasising clothes) to determine what goes where. The last thing you want is to be seen wandering round the gym looking for a coffee machine next to the stair master (they don’t exist in there, by the way).
Phase 4: Pre Work-Out Caffeine
Speaking of coffee machines…!
You can knock this one on the head once you’ve built your way up to exercising like the Duracell bunny, but caffeine is pretty vital on your first, tentative steps into the gym. You need to be on top form for keeping up the act of pretending you’re the ultimate gym expert, therefore coffee is probably required in bulk…
Phase 5: Observation
Hurrah! After all the planning and preparation, you’ve finally made it into the gym!
But before you attempt any unusual looking equipment, you need to observe others. Secretly. Avoid eye contact with anyone. You never want a middle-aged man to catch you watching him on the abs machine. Pick a spot and make sure you’re secluded. Maybe even find a mirror that you can privately watch someone with.
In the least stalker-ish way possible, observe their every move on the machine, memorising what setting they put it on and how they manoeuvre themselves. It helps if you find someone who looks like they know what they’re doing (maybe who’s attractive too but that’s just a bonus and not really anything to do with Phase 5…). *
* Disclaimer: do not blame this site for any issues you may encounter. Use this advice at your own risk and do not mention The Millennial Girl’s Guide if you run into problems with the law. If you do so happen to end up with a restraining order from executing ‘Phase 5’, it is advisable to change gyms and skip this part of the process next time (you clearly weren’t doing it very discretely anyway).
You are now complete! All the Phases to help deceive everyone into think you’re a pro at the gym are now finished and you should be a (faux) success at this exercise business! If it doesn’t work out for you though, don’t worry. After all, you’ve still got those Gucci loafers you bought before you even started this whole process…
What I’m Wearing
*The outfit shots in this post have been sponsored by Lucinda King jewellery
Dress | Zara, here
Jacket | Shein, here
Watch | Henry London, here
Trainers | Pull & Bear, similar below
Sunglasses | Céline, similar below
Handbag | Gucci, similar below