We all know the feeling. As you walk past gym-goers that look like they’re about to hit the runway instead of the gym and machines that might as well be alien structures, a ball of anxiety builds itself in the pit of your stomach.
Here are 10 tricks to beat gymtimidation and squash that ball of anxiety, so you’re free to kill your workout.
1. Remind yourself that everyone is too busy concentrating on their own workout to notice yours
Thank goodness for self-absorption, right? It means the person on the treadmill next to you could care less about your huffing and puffing. So relax and sweat like nobody’s watching.
2. Practice makes perfect…and calms nerves
Worried about looking silly doing crunches in the gym’s weight room? Even though the gym’s not about being pretty, you might feel more comfortable performing your ab routine in public, if you know you don’t look ridiculous doing it. Practice in front of a mirror a few times. Not only will it improve your form, but it’ll reassure you that you look strong working your abdominals.
3. Be your cheerleader
The busier you are getting pumped about your workout, the less time you’ll have to be nervous. Blast the most epic entrance song as you walk into the gym and lace up your shoes. Don’t just stop at the entrance, keep yourself excited during the workout by setting alarms titled with encouragements to go off on your phone throughout. The constant support will keep your head in the game and free of jitters.
4. Make a plan
Planning what machines to use and when will keep you focused on your workout and determined to complete it. When your gym goals are scheduled and written down, the hesitation to follow through is reduced. Because once you put your mind to it, you are unstoppable.
5. Learn from an expert
Most of gymtimidation comes from feeling lost every time you step foot into the wasteland of exercise machines we call the gym. The best way to conquer any feelings of disorientation is to get a guidance from a professional. Ask a trainer or the gym’s owner for a personal training session or a tour around the gym. Once you know the ropes, you can walk into the gym like its your fitness playground.
6. Google it
If you feel unsure of how to approach a certain machine, use the web to figure out how to use it. Try watching Youtube videos or reading step-by-step guides on how things work. Knowledge is power and can squash any fear of venturing away from the treadmills.
7. Keep your priorities straight
You’re the reason you’re at the gym. So forget the rest of the gym-goers and focus on giving yourself the best you got.
8. Buddy up
You know how it was 20x more terrifying to walk into a middle school dance alone, than next to a friend? Turns out middle school logic stands. A friend by your side will make hitting the gym a lot less scary. Plus, its way easier to tackle the balancing struggles of yoga class with someone by your side to laugh it off.
9. Warm-up for your workout outside the gym
If you’re feeling too nervous to step inside the gym, start outside. Complete a few days of workouts away from the gym. Do a couple laps around the block, some sit-ups in the bedroom, maybe run a few flights of stairs. Then, you can march into the gym knowing what your body is capable.
10. Admire yourself
The very fact that you made it through the gym doors is impressive in itself. So give yourself credit for beating every obstacle. Who knows? You might even be a little intimidating yourself.
Have you have ever had gymtimidation? How did you move beyond it?