Gymtimidation. It’s totally a real thing. I know because I’ve been there. You decide to purchase a new guide and you’re looking through it ready to hit the weights first thing the next day, only to wake up in the morning with a list of excuses to stay home.
I used to have incredibly bad anxiety surrounding the gym. At first, I just didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I’d want to use the machines, but the thought of looking like a fool kept me from doing so. Then, even when I felt confident in what I was doing, I’d stress out about being the only girl in the free weights section. I’m not going to lie, to this day a full gym makes me a bit edgy. And the thought of trying out a new exercise and people realizing I don’t have a clue what I’m doing is a little bit daunting. But I’m here to tell you that it is possible to defeat this big, bad gymtimidation. I’m also here to tell you that everyone has been in your shoes at one point or another. I’ve learned little tips and tricks that allow me to combat my anxiety surrounding the gym and even embrace being the only female in a sea of testosterone.
Time it right. There is nothing worse than getting to the gym and not being able to find a single area of solitude in the entire dang place. Get to know the gym and the “peak hours", and plan accordingly. This is honestly the #1 reason I started going to the gym at 5:30 AM. Less people = Happy Lindsey.
Go in with a plan. This is one of the best pieces of advice I can offer. When I first started working out, not only would I plan the workout the night before, but I would watch youtube videos of IG accounts to learn exactly how to execute different moves.
Find an area of the gym that isn’t busy. If you’re not comfortable with navigating machines yet, grab a couple pairs of dumbbells, a kettlebell, anything… and find a quiet corner of the gym where you can just do your thing.
Make a bombass playlist. Excuse my language, but DO IT. Find songs that make you happy and empower you to absolutely crush your workout. When all else fails, Beyoncé [caution: this may lead to dance breaks during your rest periods — just go with it]
Buy an outfit you feel amazing in. Nothing makes me want to get out of bed in the morning quite like the chance to show off a new workout set. And no, you don’t have to have top-of-the-line clothes to workout, just whatever makes you feel like the super babe you are.
Put a hat on. I used to never understand how or why people worked out with a hat on, but now I don’t know how I ever worked out without one. It’s like you disappear from the world and everyone else disappears around you. Best. Feeling. Ever.
Bring a friend for support. Because friends make everything better. And it offers some peace of mind when you have someone to talk to and also watch your form.
Have a trainer show you around. This. Is So. Underrated. The trainers who work there, work there for a reason. Every gym has someone to show you around if you just ask. And when you feel comfortable navigating different machines, SO much of that gymtimidation goes away.
Don’t compare yourself to other people. I know it’s hard not to. The reality is that everyone has been a beginner and 99.99999% of the time it’s all in your head that people are watching what you’re doing. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Remember your WHY. Every time you walk into that gym or wake up and get ready to go to the gym, remind yourself WHY you’re doing this in the first place. Acknowledge your fear, conquer your fear and make yourself proud. There is no better feeling than that.
I genuinely hope that these tips are helpful. Do you have any tricks for getting past fear and anxiety around the gym? I’d love to hear ‘em!