9 Tips for Overcoming Your Gym Fear
This year, I’m not letting fear and the excuse of “I can’t” or “I don’t have time” keep me from pursuing what I love, so I’m diving in head first and focusing on learning weight lifting.
Last week I started a new chapter in my fitness journey.
On my first day of the new program I had been nervous with excitement all day. I was so nervous I thought I might vomit but I took a deep breath and walked in. The weight room was filled with teenagers and it was buzzing with excitement of youth athletes training; many of whom will go on to become collegiate athletes, Olympic athletes, or even professional athletes. And then I thought to myself: What is my old ass doing out here with a bunch of kids that know what they’re doing?!
This weight room is not one I’m unfamiliar with; it’s in the same building as where I take the majority of my classes and I’ve trained there before. So why the nerves? Why was I suddenly so intimidated? Because it was something new and that’s scary.
I worked through my fear over my next few sessions to identify the root of my insecurities, so now I’m sharing with you my tips to overcoming your gym fears and to gain confidence at your next workout:
- Realize we all started somewhere. Everyone had their “day 1” where they were unsure of what they were doing and had to learn from the beginning. This won’t be your last “first time” doing something new and it wasn’t theirs either.
- Everyone has their own insecurities. Just because someone is confident in an area that you’re not doesn’t make them perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. The more you push yourself to face those insecurities, the closer you are to gaining confidence in those areas.
- 99% of people won’t be assholes about you taking control of your health and fitness. Afraid of being made fun of because you don’t look the part or have no idea what you’re doing? We’ve all been there before (see #1) and we’re just overjoyed to see you trying something new to get fit and healthy.
- There are no stupid questions. Ask all the questions you want. Further your own knowledge and understanding.
- Your trainer is there because they want to help you and enjoy sharing their love of fitness and seeing your successes. Seriously, your trainer is a good person and is a wealth of knowledge. They take joy in seeing your progress, whether it’s weight loss, confidence, or continued physical strength.
- Have a workout outfit you love and feel confident in. The right gear for your class/workout can make all the difference, making you actually feel like a badass when you wear it. Run, don’t walk, to your favorite athletic retailer and get some cute goods.
- Bring a friend! Misery loves company? Just kidding! It’s always more fun to experience something with a close friend. Bringing a buddy can lessen the nerves you have about trying something new because you’re a united front.
- Know that most people are focused on themselves and their own progress and don’t have time to judge you. It’s taken me years to realize that whether you’re in a class or on the weight room floor, everyone is focused on themselves, ensuring they are doing the right moves or have the correct form. No one has time to stand around and judge you.
- Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. That feeling of nerves and insecurity is good. It shows you how much you want to succeed at your new endeavor.