Updated: Feb 27
How to Conquer Your Fear of the Gym
Large muscular grunting men, fit women in sports bras completely done up with full hair and make-up, mirrors everywhere, and there you are, sweating like a pig, mascara smudged, hair all over the place, and sheepishly trying to figure out how to adjust this stupid machine that you don't even like. You're dying to just get in and get out, and you're hoping that no one will take notice that you have no idea what you're doing. Yes - the gym can be the most absolutely terrifying place! So much so, that many people avoid it entirely. While I can't take away some of these fear factors - there will likely always be large sweaty men at the gym, you can begin to take steps towards making yourself feel more comfortable in this usually uncomfortable environment.
7 Tips Towards Conquering Your Fear Of The Gym
1. Hire a Personal Trainer
A large part of the intimidation factor for many people is that they don't know what to do at the gym once they're there. The easiest way to get around that is to hire a trainer to build you a workout and teach you how to execute it properly so that you can enter the weight room armed with gym confidence. Also, having a friendly point of contact at the gym can also help make you feel more at ease, and if you follow their expertise you'll likely see results much faster, which will make you feel more motivated to go in the first place.
2. Ask For Help
There is no shame in asking a staff member to help you. Often times we can feel shy or intimidated to ask for help, however many fitness clubs and studios hire floor coaches that are specifically there to help members navigate their way around the fitness floor. Many are personal trainers and they are more than willing to share their advice and expertise. If you're unsure of how to adjust a piece of equipment, just ask. Once you've had someone show you how to do it, you'll feel much more comfortable doing it on your own the next time.
3. Stay Focused on You
While you may feel as if everyone at the gym is staring at you, that is just your anxiety talking. Most people at the gym are only concerned with what they're doing, or they share that exact same concern as you do. Don't worry about what other people are doing, or thinking. Focus on yourself and what you came there to do, which is to CRUSH your goals!
4. Bring a Workout Buddy
Partnering up with a friend and dedicating yourselves to working out together can instantly make you feel more at home at the gym. Not only will you both feel less intimidated, exercising with other people can help keep you accountable. If neither of you is an experienced gym-goer, hire a trainer to create a program that you can do together. Semi-private training is a cost-effective way to make training more affordable.
5. Exercise at Off-Peak Hours
Most downtown fitness facilities are busy between 6-9 am, 11-2 pm, & 5-7 pm. If you have flexibility with your schedule, choose times of the day to exercise when the gym is less busy. With fewer people there you'll feel far less rushed when using a weight bench, squat rack, or cardio equipment.
6. Dress Comfortably
Have you ever tried to jog on the treadmill with the wrong bra, or feel like you're constantly having to pull your shorts down as every time you squat? Ever worry that your pants might be see-through when you bend over? These are all unnecessary worries, or issues to have to deal with at the gym if you wear the right clothes. Make sure you invest in a REALLY good sports bra and buy pants and shirts that you feel comfortable in. Sometimes buying a cute new workout outfit can even make you feel more motivated to go to the gym.
7. Join a Group Class
While the idea of joining a group fitness class may seem just as daunting, classes are an excellent way to learn new exercises from a qualified exercise instructor. You'll also likely meet some new friendly people. Again, having some friendly familiar faces at the gym can make you feel so much more comfortable.
Lastly, if you've tried all of above and you just still can't shake that gym intimidation, hire a trainer to come to you so that you can learn to exercise at home. There are also lots of great new online training options available and even home gym equipment like the new Peloton Bike that comes with built-in exercise instruction.
If you're looking for an experienced and knowledgeable trainer in Edmonton, you've come to the right place. Check out my site for a list of all of my services which include in-home personal training, gym training, online training, and affordable monthly memberships for my online fitness program.