Walking into a gym for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you're not some gym rat who's simply switching workout spots. When you haven't worked out before, have no idea what any machine is called, let alone how it works, and are out of shape, walking into a gym filled with know-it-alls can be pretty terrifying.
But remember that everyone was new once, and you're literally a week or two away from knowing all you need to know about machines, heart rates, inclines, levels, laps, and more.
The first thing to do is ask around and check reviews. Then ask for a free trial week. Most gyms do this in the hope that you'll join. If you're still unsure, join a gym that allows month-to-month memberships.
If the place seems too big and complicated:
Gyms can be labyrinths of fancy machines and people looking like they know what everything is for and how it works. If it looks intimidating, ask for a full tour and for someone to spend time with you to show you how each machine works and how it'll benefit your body. Write it all down and ask plenty of questions.
If it still seems too much, choose a smaller gym with fewer members and machines. This setting may benefit someone who gets nervous of super gyms and super sized machines.
If the clientele seem too perfect (or flirty) :
Truth be told, the vast majority of gym members are there to work out and get out. But some do like to strut their stuff, show their wares and check out other members, make a pass or two or show negativity to those who aren't in great shape (yet) . Stay away from this crowd and shut anyone down who interferes with your workout.
Stick the those who are there to exercise and go home. If it remains a problem, choose a gym that specializes in women's health, like Curves, Contours or Lady of America. This will stop the meat-market aspect and might even gain you a few girlfriends for support.
If you feel weird exercising alone or are losing momentum:
The vast majority of gyms hold classes.