Let's be honest: gym anxiety is real.
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The moment you step foot in a gym, your mind starts racing with thoughts of what you're going to do wrong next and how much easier it would be if you were at home or on the couch.
However, as much as we might like to deny it, there are actually some pretty simple ways to overcome this fear and get into shape for good! So whether you're just starting out with working out or have been doing it for years - read on for some tips on conquering your fears of the weight room…
What is gym anxiety?
Gym anxiety is a feeling of anxiety before or during a workout. In other words, it's the physical reaction to the thought of going to the gym.
You may have heard people say that they have "a fear of the unknown," which is what I believe is happening with many people who find themselves anxious about going to their local gym and participating in some form of exercise—whether it be lifting weights or doing yoga on their own time.
So how do you overcome your fear? Here are some tips:
Don’t compare yourself to others
Accept that you won't be at the same level as everyone else. You will improve over time, and it's ok to feel uncomfortable when you're not doing enough or making progress. You can also accept that sometimes you'll feel like you're not making any progress at all—and that's fine too! It's just a part of being human.
Find your why
The first step is to understand what motivates you to exercise.
What do you hope to achieve?
Are there specific goals that are important enough for you and your health?
Is this a new habit or just something that needs some extra effort on your part?
Whatever the case may be, make sure that this is something worth working toward!
When writing down these answers in detail, it's important not only to think about how they will benefit your life as a whole but also how they'll improve each aspect of your life individually (e.g., physical appearance).
Find a buddy
Finding a buddy is one of the best ways to combat gym anxiety. Working out with someone else will help you keep your head in the game and make sure that you’re doing your best, even if they aren’t focusing on what they should be doing. You can motivate each other, share tips and tricks, and stay on track together!
Enter the gym with an "I got this!" attitude
You are in the gym, and you have an "I got this!" attitude. You're confident that you can do it!
The first step is to think about what you want to achieve and how your body will respond after the workout. Visualize yourself completing whatever activity is at hand, whether it's lifting weights or running laps around the track.
They can also be an additional resource when it comes to mental health issues or other concerns that come up during training sessions.
Try to go at the same time every week to get used to the regulars.
You should try to go at the same time every week. It's a good way to get to know people, and you can make friends with the regulars. Once you start going at the same time as others, it will feel more comfortable for you. You might even be able to ask for help from those who are regulars!
Going to the gym when it's less busy
The best way to avoid gymtimidation is to go when it's less busy. If you're used to working out at the peak of your local fitness center's popularity, then when everyone else goes home and leaves one by one, your experience should be less overwhelming.
Substituting exercises for ones that can all be done in one location
Try substituting exercises for ones that can all be done in one location (or close by). For example: If a gym doesn't have a barbell but they do have some dumbbells, use those instead; if they don't have a weight bench or resistance bands but they do have free weights lying around somewhere else—use those instead!
Join a group class
Group classes are a fantastic way to get out of your comfort zone, especially if you have a friend who would also like to try something new. You can ask questions and see what others are doing. If the class is too intimidating or intimidating for someone else in your group class, there will be other people around you who will be willing to lend an ear or lend their own expertise.
Ask for help from a trainer
If you feel that gymtimidation is affecting your ability to get in shape, ask for help from a trainer. Trainers are there to help you reach your goals and set up a plan of action for achieving them. They can also offer advice on form, technique and nutrition (if necessary).
We hope we’ve helped you understand that going to the gym isn’t something to be afraid of, but rather something that requires patience and understanding. You may feel like you are in a constant state of anxiety about your progress or your ability to keep up with others at the gym, but it is important not to let these feelings get in the way of pursuing a healthy lifestyle. If all else fails, remember why you started exercising in the first place!
PS: Interested in trying our last tip? Book a 7 minute strategy chat with one of our coaches here to get started!