New Zealand’s biggest fun run, Round the Bays 2023 is set for Sunday, March 5, and to get you ready Stuff has launched the RTB Fitness Club. It’s an 8-week training programme designed to get you match-fit and excited about exercise with a like-minded community, whether tackling the event in-person in Auckland or virtually. Each week we will bring you stories to inspire and educate you throughout the fitness journey. Join the RTB Fitness Club here.
While the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to make a start on hitting fitness goals, it can be easy to feel intimidated when walking into a gym, or joining a fitness community. Especially if everyone around you seems to know exactly what they are doing.
That feeling of being intimidated or nervous is something Hayden Pye-Redfearn, owner of West Auckland’s CrossFit gym The Training Lab, sees a lot when introducing new members.
We hit him up for his best tips on kicking off your fitness journey without letting the feeling of intimidation hold you back.
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Everyone has been in your shoes
It may seem like everyone knows exactly what they are doing when you step foot into a new gym, bootcamp or other fitness community, but Pye-Redfearn says every person started at the same place.
“People have to realise that every person inside a gym started at day one,” he says.
“Every single person has been in their shoes.”
It is something Pye-Redfearn tries to emphasise to his new members. Regardless of whether people have been active for days, weeks or years, they started somewhere and are also at their own place, with their own goals, when it comes to their fitness journey.
Find a coach that will spend time helping you
Whether you are joining a gym, or starting out in an online fitness programme, Pye-Redfearn says it is important to find a coach that “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 exactly what you are doing, and “left to your own accord”.
“We’ve had plenty of people come in who have been going to a gym for a long time, who don’t know [the fundamentals of] a back squat,” he says, referencing a fundamental move taught to his own members.
Whether you are looking at joining a gym, or starting an online programme with like-minded people, “get a coach or gym owner who is going to invest some time into the individual, and know everyone has been there, done that with their first day of training”, he says.
Find your why – and remember it
It is imperative to know why you are making the effort to start your fitness journey, says Pye-Redfearn.
Without a reason that is important to you, working out can simply become “chore-like”.
But even with a goal and a why in mind, it is important to break that down into small, achievable wins.
“If someone is wanting to do Round the Bays for example, that 8.2km is the end goal,” he says. But that end goal can be intimidating in itself.
“If you’re just constantly looking at that run it’s going to feel like it’s too far away too early. A good coach encourages small goals, which may be 400m run without stopping.”
Surround yourself with the right people
Remember that most people in the gym or fitness group are focused on their own journey and goals, says Pye-Redfearn. But it is still important to find a community you connect with, who will support you along your journey.
Pye-Redfearn suggests doing research on websites and social media before finding the running group, gym or bootcamp that works for you.
Social media is often a good representation of the community involved in whatever programme you are joining.
“If you like the look of it then come in, have a go, surround yourself with really good people – and go from there.”
What is RTB Fitness Club?
Stuff has launched the RTB Fitness Club with coach Bevan James Eyles to help Kiwis get excited about fitness, building long-term habits to stay motivated and connect with a like-minded community. Whether you’ve bought your entry to join us on the day in Auckland, or are locked in to take part virtually – we welcome you to connect and also be part of this club. Once you’ve bought your entry to the race, you’ll have the option to also join the RTB Fitness Club.
For $25 you will get:
An 8-week walk, walk-to-run or run-only training programme
Weekly mentoring videos with Bevan
Weekly live Q&A with Bevan
A strength and stretch component to help prevent you from injuries
Access to the exclusive RTB Fitness Club Facebook group
The first 250 people to join the club will get a FREE Under Armour T-shirt. Join the club here.