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How To Feel Less Intimidated In The Gym

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

If you feel intimidated in the gym, know you're not alone. Feeling intimidated in the gym atmosphere is common but you can move past it.

When I first started going to the gym, I could only imagine what it would feel like to be able walk in, do my workout and feel confident. Instead, I struggled with many fears and allowed those fears to dictate my progress. I always wondered, will I ever get over this or will I be dealing with these fears forever?

At the time, a cardio machine was my comfort zone. I remember learning in order to achieve the goals I wanted to achieve, I needed to lift weights. That was both terrifying and frustrating to me at the time. It was terrifying because it was new to me. It was frustrating because I felt stuck. I would have to confront this fear in order to start working on my goals. Then longer I wait to do this, the longer it would take for me to get the results I wanted.

I would walk into the gym, walk towards the weights and fear would grip my body and turn me around to a cardio machine. I felt like no matter how many times I tried to walk towards the weights, I just could not do it. Now I enjoy the gym (mostly) and as a personal trainer, I want to share that with people. My workouts empower me to feel strong and confident. Those fears do not rule over me anymore. It can be same for you if you try.

#1 Moving Past The Struggle

In order to move past this feeling, you must first think about what the fears are that you have?

Some common fears are:

1) Feeling like people are watching you

2) You're worried about doing something wrong and looking silly

3) You feel like you do not know what your doing in the gym.

If any of those reasons resonate with you, keep reading.

Time to analyze

Feeling like people are watching you? They are not. When you go to the gym, your focused on your workout and your performance during those lifts. You may see other people in the gym sure, but are you staring at them? Probably not.

The only times I find someone will get noticed in the gym is:

1) If they're doing something very impressive.

2) If someone is doing something very very very wrong.

If you fall into the category of worried you're doing something wrong or you feel like you do not know what your doing, here is what you can do:

1) Hire a coach- When you hire a coach, you have some there to walk you through it all. You can learn the safety tips, how to adjust equipment, what exercises you need to do for the goals you have, and what proper form should look and feel like.

2) If you can't afford a coach, try going with a friend who knows what they are doing.

3) If a friend is not an option, trying workout videos while analyzing your form in the mirror or via video you recorded so you can see what you're doing and how to improve your form. This step may require some research but its still an option.

#2 Follow A Program

If you do not have a progressive program that you are following, you're already at a loss. You need to have a program to follow that is designed to get you from point A-B. Once you have a program and you have practiced with a trainer or in the mirror, its time to move to the next step.

#3 Know Your Space

Before you start your workout, get to know the layout of the gym. If you're not sure how to use something, ask a staff member or trainer on site. This is going to help you tremendously.

#4 Visualization

After you learn where the equipment is and how it works, It's time to mentally run through your program. Picture yourself walking to each piece of equipment and completing the exercises in your program. Remember if your not feeling confident with an exercise in your program, practice it in a mirror or ask your trainer for feedback on your form. The more you visualize yourself mentality walking to the equipment and doing your program, your almost there!

#5 Practice & More Practice

You have prepared for this moment. You know what to do and how to do it. Focus on completing your exercises. Listened to a podcast or hype playlist you like. This is your time to work towards the goals you have.

All you need to do is exactly what you visualized. Follow your program as directed. If you are feeling extra nervous, try bringing someone with you. If that's not an option, focus on listening to your favorite up beat playlist while you work through your program, and pay attention to how well you can perform your exercises.

You Can Do This

Do you want to reach the goal that you have? Do you want to feel confident in the gym? If you answered yes, follow the steps listed above and you will get there. It's scary at first but you can and will move past this if you try. Just imagine for a minute how you would feel if you accomplished your goal? How would your life change? Believe and you will achieve.

Nervous about getting started? Looking for a coach or program? Don't hesitate to reach out.

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