Gyms become particularly intimidating places for those who are new to fitness and therefore might feel as if they lack the confidence to go to the gym on their own. With a wide variety of fitness formats to choose from within its walls, gym fear is a completely normal and common form of anxiety to have when this experience occurs.
Above all, always remember that everyone has to start somewhere. To encourage this message as much as possible, here we’ll explore fresh techniques for alleviating that dreaded gym fear, why public workout scenes are worth the appearance and how to make the most out of your workouts wherever they happen.
Battling the origins of gym fear
For those that aren’t all that familiar with a gym environment, stepping through those doors for the first time can easily rouse feelings of anxiety and nervousness for the potential fitness journey ahead. And naturally, there are plenty of reasons that might be responsible for making you feel this way.
The clearest culprit behind this hesitation sensation is the feeling of self-consciousness. This could be attributed to doubts about appearance, fitness level or ability to perform the exercises correctly. And when in the presence of those who might be perceived as more experienced or physically fit, these feelings can become exacerbated.
Intimidation is really the word we’re looking for here, and it’s very easy to feel intimidated in the presence of complex gym equipment and highly trained individuals. And this is where fear of judgement begins to raise its ugly head, as newcomers may worry about being compared to or scrutinised by others.
Combined, it's easy to begin doubting your ability to meet your fitness goals because of all this anxiety. Perhaps these feelings have become more intense over time following a negative experience at a gym before. Negative past encounters act as a major deterrent for many people to engage with a gym facility at all.
It’s easy to read the above and be forever deterred from entering a gym. And while they aren’t without their faults, gyms actually serve a very important purpose within the social context of fitness.
The clearest picture of their benefits is portrayed through the wide variety of fitness equipment that they offer. This availability can help to tailor exercises to specific goals and preferences, while also making fitness convenient to those with busy schedules.
But they’re more than just a room with gym equipment, as many gyms have positioned themselves as social hubs for people with similar fitness goals and interests to come together. Whether through classes or gym buddies, this approach really helps to cultivate a sense of camaraderie and community around wellness.
It’s certainly no secret that gym workouts are fantastic for feeling fab, and they offer a dedicated space where a community of people can work towards their physical and mental wellness together. In this, gyms also act as a good fitness resource for instruction, guidance and support around your fitness journey.
The benefits provided by gyms confirm that fear of them is a bridge worth crossing. And while this must start with small steps, over time, the grass will certainly prove to be greener on the other side.
Fight the fear
Taking everything into consideration, there are many reasons why you’d want to overcome your fear, and now we’re going to be looking at the how.
First and foremost, remember that each member of the gym community is working towards their own fitness goals. Set realistic expectations for how you want to progress and silence your mind when it begins to compare yourself to others. It’s ok to be a beginner!
One of the best ways to alleviate gym anxiety is to prepare for your visit. This might include packing your gym bag with all the essentials, or planning out which routines you plan on doing.
Always start with the most familiar exercises that you know when creating a gym plan, and build up from there. If you’re thinking of using a specific piece of equipment, check out how it works before your visit. This foresight will allow you to perform exercises safely while being able to feel more at ease within the gym environment.
This development will also include learning as you go and discovering new movements, equipment, forms and etiquette that’ll build your confidence over the long term. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins, and acknowledge your achievements no matter how small they are.
Whether you’ve ticked off a set of exercises, reached a new milestone or increased your weights for the second week in a row, always be proud of every effort.
And there are extra benefits waiting for those who can work out with a gym buddy, a close companion who can provide support, encouragement and confidence while making the experience a whole lot more enjoyable.
Likewise, for those that might not know which exercises to do, the expertise of a personal trainer will ensure you have clear direction and can train with confidence.
The best of both worlds
Be gone gym fear! Now that you’ve managed to overcome your worries and doubts, there’s nothing else standing between you and the person you’re training to become. It’s ok to feel a little nervous about making your first appearance at the gym; building confidence takes time.
Choosing to overcome fears of judgement and self-doubt will mark a big step forward for your fitness, health and overall wellbeing. However, with our modern outlook on life, we strongly believe in the possibilities and advantages of a hybrid model.
By this, we mean that yes gyms are great, and yes that it’s good to exercise with other people within a dedicated space to sweat. However, it’s unrealistic to expect to only work out in the gym, or for your fitness goals to be solely limited to an external gym environment.
Having the best of both worlds means that your workouts are balanced between home and the gym. This arrangement will encourage you to become dedicated to the action, not the space. Because sometimes the gym’s just too far, or it’s shut, which might often mean no workout happens at all.
Engaging your mind and body within a mix of the two environments will allow you to reap the benefits of both. And to kickstart your fitness journey into motion, we’ve got everything you could ever need right here.
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