Gym intimidation. It happens to nearly everyone and for some it actually becomes an excuse not to go.
Cosmopolitan Body did a study that revealed that women feel twice as embarrassed as men about exercising…especially at the gym where they “believe” that they’re being watched or taken note of.
Let’s face it, starting anything new can be scary and generate “fear” and working out at the gym is no different.
After all, we’re treading in new territory… there are new machines to learn… (Oh so many new machines), weights sitting stagnant and begging to be used and muscled fine-toned men and women that we have to perform in front of.
Without a doubt we just “know” that everyone is watching us. We’re center stage…”the show” and all these “thoughts” can lead to a very uncomfortable feeling that only generates more anxiety. (Here’s a very valuable tip: everyone at the gym thinks everyone else is watching!)
With all this playing in our heads, how can we not be intimidated?
Unfortunately when we take our intimidation too seriously we end up not going to the gym at all. The anxiety of it all is just too much.
But the real truth is, not working out, opting to give in to your anxiety by skipping your workouts only feeds your already low self-conscious feeling. It is not the solution to getting over your anxious feelings…it’s a contributor to them.
Being at the gym…overcoming these feelings is what’s going to increase your self-assurance and conscious feelings.
Doing what you don’t necessarily want to do (because you are anxious) is the actual fuel that boosts your confidence levels and your performance levels.
However, there are some proactive steps you can take that will help you to ease or eliminate many of the anxious feelings that are felt and generated when joining a gym.
First…getting familiar in your new surroundings is ultimately important to keeping your comfort zone in place. When you join a gym they offer you an introductory session. You need to take them up on this as they will walk you through how the machines are operated, how the weights are used properly and inform you of any classes that may suit your need. They will likely tell you about any personal training sessions that are available too. Knowledge is power and the more power you feel when entering the gym the less anxious you will feel.
When these “anxious moments” arise as they are sure to do, that’s the time you need to reflect back to why you joined the gym in the first place…to feel better about yourself physically and mentally, as a boost to help build your self-esteem and booster your confidence.
Shift these anxious feelings into pride for what you are doing. Truth is, although it seems as though the whole world is working out but you…85% of people are not yet enrolled in health clubs or gyms. So, in reality you are way ahead of the game and need to be giving yourself a “pat on the back.” That’s the kind of shift in perception that releases anxiety.
Rock to the music: Even though you may believe that people are watching you at the gym they are likely rocking to their favorite music or tuned into their favorite show (if there are machines with TV’s) and focused on their own workout.
Sure, they may glance at you when you first walk in… (That’s just normal human curious behavior that you also do) but soon they are back focused on themselves and oblivious to what anyone else is doing.
Music is a huge gym tool and the perfect way to tune the rest of the world out as well as quell your anxiety as you work out and groove to your favorite music at the same time. Just look around…nearly everyone (especially those working on cardio machines) is sporting some sort of head-phone. Music just makes anything more fun and that includes working out.
The best advice beyond all the above is to quit comparing yourself to others in the gym. The gym is like a rose bush with lots of flowers…some are in the budding stage and some are in full bloom.
Everyone you see at the gym was “budding” at one time and everyone is in a different stage of development.
It’s not others you are competing against…there’s only one person you need to be concerned about or that you are competing with…just look in the mirror…that’s your only true competition.