Going to the gym for the first time can be scary. It took me quite a few trips on my own before feeling good and comfortable. And guess what? After years of going, sometimes I still feel awkward! Everyone starts with some level of a fixed mindset, though. We ALL worry about what we look like, who’s watching, and if we’ll ever feel comfortable.
As natural as it is to feel all of these feelings, I’m going to share five of my tried and true ways to swap your fixed mindset for a growth mindset, and overcome your fear of the gym.
What Exactly Is Gymtimidation?
Gymtimidation is the fear or intimidation of going to the gym for the first time. It can start by psyching yourself out that everyone will be mocking you, you’ll mess up, or that you simply won’t know what to do. All of these feelings are very common, and you’re definitely not alone in feeling this way. Even the most experienced weight lifters have experienced this at some point, so you’re in good company! The great thing about gymtimidation is that it’s temporary. It will absolutely go away after you start to find your groove in the gym.
5 Ways To Conquer Gymtimidation
As someone who used to have the worst gymtimidation, these are the five tips that helped me overcome it quickly! Take a few breaths, read through these with an open mind, and get ready to step into a powerful, confident gym goer!
1. Create Your Own Playlist
Don’t overlook this hack! Going to a new gym is all about finding your groove – literally. Going to the gym without your own music is tortute. And as a newbie, I find it even more difficult because you can hear every grunt, every weight drop, and every step on the treadmill. Just trust me on this one. Make a playlist that makes you feel like dancing, bring comfy headphones, and focus on y-o-u.
2. Wear Something Comfortable
This sounds simple, but it’s one of the most important tips. If you’re already worried about being in the gym, you don’t also need to be worried about how you look. There’s nothing worse than trying to stay in the zone while getting interrupted by “is my underwear showing” or “this bra is so uncomfortable”. Wearing something you feel confident in will change your entire attitude going into the gym. Hey, is it so bad that you have an excuse to go shopping!?
3. Practice Your Form
Practicing your form is a great way to get comfortable in the gym. Watch YouTube videos on how to properly do whichever exercise is new to you in the mirror a few times. This will help create muscle memory and you’ll feel so much more confident when it comes time to do your reps in the gym. Not all gyms have mirror accessibility so it’s best to do a test run at home.
4. Go In With A Plan
I’m out of the gymtimidation zone and I still like to go to the gym with a plan! Especially in my early days when I was new, having a plan took some of the pressure off once I was there. There’s nothing worse than feeling frozen and not really knowing what to do. Whenever I don’t have a plan, I feel like I don’t get as great of a workout. Decide what you’re going to focus on ahead of time – legs, arms, core, push vs pull moves, etc. You’ll be glad you did, I promise!
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
This is the best tip I ever got. When you’re new to the gym it can feel like everyone around you is a pro and can’t be bothered by a newbie. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you want to use a machine that you’re not quite sure how to operate, the gym staff would be more than happy to help you. If you see someone else using it and are feeling friendly, just ask! It’s a great way to break the ice and even if you don’t become best friends, it’s always nice to see a familiar face around.
With these tips, you’ll feel the gymtimidation melt away in no time. I know you’re going to kill it, go get ‘em!