The gym can be pretty intimidating, especially when you are first beginning your fitness journey. C’mon, a place literally filled with hot people? And you’ve spent the past 6 months laying on your couch eating potato chips? Yeah, no thanks. It makes sense. We’re all afraid of judgment. What if people are looking at me? What if I do a certain exercise wrong? How am I supposed to do that embarrassing movement that is supposed to get me the best booty ever?
These are all questions we’ve asked ourselves. Especially those of us who have, at one point or another, been terrified of stepping in, or stepping back in, to the gym. Well, we have to do it, so this is how to conquer your fear of going to the gym.
1. Visit First
When you first join a gym they, more often than not, give you a tour! Take full advantage of this. Whether you are just joining a gym, transferring, or just haven’t been in a while this can really help ease the experience when you actually go to workout. One of the scariest things when going to the gym is looking lost. You don’t want to look clueless with people that seem to know what they’re doing.
So know your way around. Know where the arm and leg machines are. Know where the weight racks are. Know where you can whip a mat out and do ab exercise or stretch. It feels a lot better when you are not wandering around. It makes you feel a lot more confident and like you belong there because the truth is you do!
2. Go With A Friend
Having a gym buddy not only gives you more motivation for you to get to the gym, but it makes the process of getting there a little bit easier. This especially helps if you tag along with a friend who is already going to the gym. That way they can show you the ropes, maybe give you a tour of their own including some tips on what equipment helps them the best. If you really want to conquer your fear of going to the gym, you can use your friend as a crutch, or a stepping stone, when easing your way into this new lifestyle.
However, once you get to the gym, you should try to venture out on your own. Sure you can do a workout with our friend, but venturing out on your own is really going to help you get over the intimidation of the gym. That way, when the time comes, you can continue going to the gym even without your friend by your side!
3. Dress the Part
Sometimes it is easier to fake it until you make it, and dressing like you belong in the gym makes it easier to convince ourselves that we really do belong there. I don’t mean going out and buying the most expensive gym attire and putting on a whole fancy outfit to go to the gym. I mean dress in what you are ready to move in. Get a pair of think leggings or shorts that will not be see-through when you bend over, and a nice t-shirt or tank top that you can move around in.
There is no need to look sexy or fabulous when you are at the gym. That will almost make you stand out more which is the opposite of what you want. Just dress like you are ready to get shit done. And then get it done!
4. Have a Workout Plan
Having a plan to execute when you are going to the gym is going to make it seem a lot easier and a lot less scary while you are there. You can execute this in several ways. You can look up some exercises and find what you think is going to work for you. Hop on Google and type in exercises to get you exactly what you want to accomplish. You can write it down on a piece of paper or in the notes on your phone and carry that with you to the gym.
You could also follow along with exercise videos, whether that be off YouTube, Pinterest, or an app on your phone. Just plug in your headphones and rather than listening to music, listen and follow a workout! Having a workout plan when you are going to the gym is going to make it seem like you are not just floating around the gym, looking confused, and like you do not know what you are doing. This is also going to help you get a great workout because you do belong! So make your time there worth your while!
5. Keep Your Head Up
In everything you do, confidence is key. Keeping your head up high when you are going to the gym is really going to crush your fear into a tiny little place inside of you until eventually it is gone altogether. Usually, all it takes is one time of going to the gym to make you realize it really is not all that bad. If you don’t feel that way, try a different gym. More than likely it is not you, but the situation you are in. In a situation keep your head up and own everything you are doing.
If you believe inside that you belong in that gym and you know you want to be there so you are going to put your all into your time there, you are going to be a-okay. People make mistakes, that is how you learn. It takes time to become accustomed to the fitness lifestyle. But that is exactly what it is. A lifestyle. If you do not get comfortable with what you are doing you are going to quit and end up back on your couch wishing you looked like the models you see on IG. Get up, pick your head up, and get moving because you can do this!