Here’s what you need to know
1. Improving your confidence in the gym will improve your confidence in other areas of life.
2. It can take years for some people to feel completely confident in the gym.
3. If you know what you are doing in the gym, you will feel more confident. Get a good trainer and plan your workouts in advance.
4. Get yourself in the zone, dress awesome and remember that most people aren’t watching and/or judging you at the gym. All this will boost your confidence.
Lack Confidence In The Gym?
You’ve just signed up at your local gym and you’re excited to start getting fit.
But when you walk into the gym on Monday night, it looks a lot different than when you signed up. It’s absolutely full of people, especially big, loud guys lifting very heavy weights. Your confidence plummets. As you start your workout, anxious thoughts race through your head.
Oh God they are looking at me. I don’t belong here.
I feel so frumpy. I hope my shirt hides my fat.
I want to train legs but there’s a group of guys standing near the squat racks. I can’t possibly go over there and do squats.
I’m sure I’m not doing this right and everyone else is laughing at me.
I wish there was a female section so I could feel more comfortable.
Gymtimidation, or lack of confidence in the gym, is a problem for many women.
I know how you feel. For years I struggled with it. My anxiety would start the night before I planned to go to the gym. A feeling of dread would be so strong that by morning I would decide to do some yoga or go for a walk instead.
Then one day, I made up my mind to get over it. I knew my lack of confidence in the gym was related to my lack of confidence in other areas of my life. I knew if I could get over my gymtimidation, it would boost my overall self-esteem.
It didn’t happen overnight though.
It took me at least a year of continually forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other every time I walked into the gym to get to a point where I felt like I belonged there.
Here are my best, simple tips for building your confidence in the gym.
Simple Tips To Overcome Gym Anxiety
1. Get a trainer and a good plan.
Most trainers will teach you proper form and give you a plan so that when you exercise on your own, you will feel more competent. But really good trainers know that it’s more than just exercise prescription. Most women need help ending negative self-talk and boosting overall self-esteem.
When I was a newbie trainee, I hired a trainer who helped me do exactly that. Two years of training was a huge financial investment. But it was the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. A good personal trainer knows that their role is to build confidence. When you find someone to do that for you, it’s life changing. One hundred percent worth the investment.
2. Find a quieter area in the gym.
When you are a newbie, the busy areas of the gym can be intimidating. If you can’t train during a quiet time at the gym, you can set up your workouts in other areas of the gym.
Most gyms will have studios for classes that you can use when they are empty. Set up some weights for a workout away from the crowd. During peak club hours, you might also find the machine area is quieter and offers more privacy than the free weight section.
Do what you have to so you feel comfortable, just don’t skip your workout.
3. Realise they probably aren’t looking at you.
Most dudes in the gym are more into themselves than they are into you. Seriously. Watch them for a while. You’ll notice they check themselves out in the mirror way more than they check you out.
But if you’ve hired a good trainer you’ll have better form than most of them anyway. So if you find them watching – let them. Maybe they’ll learn something.
4. Get some clothes that make you feel awesome.
You know how great you feel when you put on your best dress and head out on the town. The gym is the same way. If you wear baggy, old clothes, you’ll feel frumpy.
Ever noticed what those intimidating women in the gym with great bodies are wearing? You can bet they’ve put together an outfit that makes them feel like a rockstar in the gym.
Good quality training gear will fit your body better regardless of your current shape, and go a long way to making you feel prettier and more confident. Don’t wait until you have the “perfect” body to treat yourself.
Follow my Workout Gear Pinterest board for inspiration:
5. Zone out.
Good music can get you going when you don’t feel like it. But it also helps you zone out.
If the idea of certain people offering you help or tips undermines your confidence, earphones will help keep people from talking to you.
You could also wear a cap. Not only will a cap hide your eyes so you don’t have to engage with people if you don’t want to but it also means you don’t have to worry about your makeup and hair. Perfect!
6. Plan your workouts in advance and practice them using visualization.
Plan your workout in advance and mentally walk yourself through it the morning or night before. A great place to do this is while lying in bed waiting to fall asleep or before you get out of bed in the morning. Visualize yourself walking through the gym confidently and going straight to the weights you plan to use.
There’s a reason athletes use visualization. It works. It was one of my best strategies when I was trying to build my own confidence.
7. Train during off peak times.
In most gyms, peak times will be first thing in the morning and again from about 4:30-6:30pm.
Most gyms are busiest on Monday and then taper off as the week goes on. You’ll find training on Thursday and Friday after work significantly more pleasant than training on Monday. Gyms are also usually quieter on the weekends, aside from Saturday mornings.
Don’t Let Anxiety Hold You Back
If the gym just isn’t your thing then you have plenty of other options to keep fit. But if anxiety and lack confidence holds you back, don’t let it be your excuse or keep you from achieving your goals.
Try even just a few of the tips in this article, and I promise your confidence will improve. Remember, it’s about more than the gym. You’ll feel more confident in all areas of your life and it’s so worth it!