Gyms can be intimidating. You’re surrounded by men and women who are skinny, ripped, and sweating like there’s no tomorrow. When you’re around these people, are you confident or do you suffer from gymtimidation? For those of you that aren’t aware, “gymtimidation” is feeling intimidated in the gym due to feeling as though you are not “fit” enough, worrying about what others are thinking about you, or afraid of now knowing what you are doing and others noticing. Whether you’re just starting out or are already a regular gym-goer, you may have already experienced this – I know I have. If you haven’t yet experienced it, you’re reading this just in time. The following are some tips that can get you to let go of gymtimidation. Remember that you are there to make a positive change in your life and nothing else matters.
1. Ask the staff or a trainer for help on how to use the workout equipment.
When you are confident in your ability to operate the workout equipment, you will feel MUCH better during your time at the gym. The staff is there to help introduce you to the gym and make you feel at home. If the staff does not do this for you, try considering another gym that is more welcoming.
2. You don’t need to be stick thin or have huge muscles to feel comfortable in the gym.
So what if you’re out of shape? EVERYONE starts somewhere! The people around you were in your position at some point and they have worked very hard to get to the point they are at. In the end, you don’t need to look like them. You are going to the gym to become a happier, healthier you.
3. Everyone is focused on themselves.
Trust me when I say that no one is paying attention to you or what you are doing. I mean this in the nicest way possible! The majority of the people are focused on their workouts. It’s normal to feel that everyone is watching you, especially if you are feeling a bit self-conscious. Just keep in mind that this is not the case. Just like you are there to put your body through one hell of a workout, others are there to do the same.
4. Go in with a plan.
This step is incredibly important. Depending on the size of your gym, you may have an overwhelming amount of options to choose from. This can overwhelm you and you may spend too much time trying to figure out what equipment to use next. Avoid this by developing a game plan prior to going into the gym. This allows you to be prepared, focused, and have an increased confidence because you will know exactly what you’ll be doing.
5. Look online for workout ideas.
This is something I did in the beginning of my fitness journey and continue to do nearly two years later! Searching online for workout ideas is a great way to get an idea of the different exercises that can be done. It’s also a great way to learn how to properly perform certain exercises if you do not already know how to do them. YouTube, Instagram, and Google have been my friend through my journey. Some of my favorite workouts and tips come from Whitney Simmons, Katy Hearn, Kathryn J, Emily Duncan, and Amanda Bucci.
6. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
The. Most. Important. Of. All. You are going to the gym to improve yourself, your life, your body, and your health. Every person at the gym is at a different point of their fitness journey. Everyone will have been there for days, months, years, or decades. Comparing yourself to someone else can bring you down and there is absolutely no reason for it. As cliché as it sounds, the only person you should compare yourself is the person you were yesterday. Aim to better yourself and improve your life – as that is the only thing you have control of. Remember why you started and never let this reason slip away.
Now go out there and don’t let this so called “gymtimidation” get the best of you. Learn to enter the gym with confidence, do your workout at maximum effort, and leave with pride. Feel free to leave a comment on your best way to avoid feeling intimidated at the gym!