7 Tips to Overcoming Gym Anxiety is a great way to getting past the dreaded “first day” at a new gym. Overcoming gym anxiety can be tough. Imagine this, you walk in a crowded place, the music stops and suddenly everyone turns and looks right at you. Or, at least that’s what it feels like anytime you walk into a new environment. Trust me, I have been there plenty of times. Even as an avid gym goer, whenever I walk into an unfamiliar gym, that’s exactly how I feel. Gym fear or Gym Anxiety is real and is a common feeling when frequenting a gym.
“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action”Walter Anderson
WHAT IS GYM ANXIETY
Gym anxiety, or also known as gym phobia, is the fear of going to the gym. That fear looks and feels different for every person but regardless of what feeds that fear, it is very real. In order to overcome gym anxiety, you must first identify what is causing you to feel overwhelmed. Being honest with yourself will help you to overcome those fears. Some common causes of gym anxiety include:
- not being able to work the equipment properly
- feeling inadequate or self-conscious around more fit people
- simply feeling watched every time you make a move
- overall embarrassment
- tackling new exercises alone
Whatever the fear(s) are the good news is there is a path to overcoming them. Generally, a good first step in tackling those fears is by having a positive mindset. Remembering that everyone in the gym had the same starting place and possibly had the same feelings as you. Ultimately, nothing should come in the way of you and your fitness goals.
TIPS FOR OVERCOMING
If you’re suffering from gym phobia or anxious feelings at your local gym, I’ve compiled a list of 7 tips to overcoming gym anxiety. You’ll see that there are some pretty simple ways you can remove gym intimidation that will make a huge difference in your comfort level.
ASK FOR A GYM TOUR
If you’re a new member, or just dropping in for a session or two, ask the front desk if they could provide a tour of the gym.
During a tour, the team members will give you the layout of the fitness center and you will get to see what equipment is available to use during your gym session.
This will make an easier transition into the gym environment on your next visit.
HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER FOR A SESSION
Most gyms offer personal training services which can be extremely helpful if you’re new to fitness or gym workouts.
Personal trainers will not only design a workout for your training session, but they will also show you how to properly use the equipment in the gym and ensure you have proper form while doing the workout routine.
Think of them as your personal support person while at the gym.
If you’re new to training, here is a great article that discusses Personal Trainers expectations when it comes to their clients.
Going with a friend always makes things less intimidating because you have a safety net in place.
It’s even better if your friend knows their way around some of the standard gym equipment and can offer some assistance to you while you work out.
Even if they don’t, it’s always nice to learn something new together!
That’s right, most large fitness facility offer a smaller space that’s for ladies only.
Even gyms recognize that it can be intimidating (especially to us women) so they offer a “safe space” within the gym.
The ladies only space usually has the same equipment as the larger gym just in a smaller quantity. The good thing is that you can relax and not have the fear that someone is watching and critiquing your form or movements.
If you’re going to a new gym (or any gym), I would suggest going in with a workout plan.
Think of the workout as your game plan. Research your workout ahead of time, know what equipment you want to use (or avoid) and know the order of the movements.
By having a plan, you are able to walk in confidently knowing exactly what you’re looking for and planning to execute while in the gym.
TAKE A CLASS
Most gyms offer more than just your standard weight lifting equipment. They offer fitness classes as well. A general offering within most gym membership is spin, kickboxing, step aerobics, dance aerobics, and even yoga.
Taking a class in a group setting can ease you into going to the gym and getting more comfortable in the space. You may even make a friend or two in class and you can all tackle the weight room area together.
If you’re still hesitant about taking the leap into a new gym, go at non-peak hours to help ease any anxiety.
Generally most people frequent gyms early mornings between 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. and again in the evenings between 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. If you’re able to schedule your session during non-peak hours, not only will you have fewer people to contend with, but also less anxiety and sense of self-consciousness.
Wanting to read more? This is an amazing article that planet fitness provides on the topic. I hope trying at least one of these 7 tips to overcoming gym anxiety will help you overcome your gym phobia.
If you’re still unsure where to start, or still a bit shy, here is a great High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout that me and my trainer put together. It can can be done at home or in the gym and can be done either with:
- Resistance Bands
I get that trying new things can be scary. However, if you’re committed to working through your fitness fear then you will be greatly rewarded on the other side! Whether that’s through increased physical fitness, increased general health and overall better physical appearance. I hope trying at least one of these 7 tips to overcoming gym anxiety will help the gym become not an intimidating place. You’ve come this far on your fitness journey, don’t let fear rule you!
If you want to learn more about nutrition and macronutrients for your health journey, this guest blog is a great read!
Feel free to also check out many of my macro friendly recipes under my “recipe” section. Many of the recipes are perfect for meal prep or even when building a meal plan, not to mention they taste amazing! Here are a few to get you started: