Even as a certified personal trainer, I sometimes feel like an outsider at the gym. When the weight room is super crowded I feel like everyone is watching me, especially when the gender ratio is overwhelmingly male-dominated. Even though everyone struggles with the spotlight phenomenon, it’s important to feel safe, comfortable, and valued while working out. So, here’s a list of workout spots at the Main Rec Center and Williams Village Rec Center that even the most gym anxious people might enjoy.
Upstairs – Will Vill Rec Center
Because the Will Vill Rec is so much smaller than the Main Rec Center, I recommend this whole gym for anyone who likes a more homey environment when working out. The Multipurpose Room is great for mat workouts and the small weight room is also an underused space. Go catch the Buff Bus and enjoy these wide open rooms all to yourself!
Annex Weight Room – Main Rec Center
For those who want to lift some weights, I recommend the Annex Weight Room at the Main Rec Center. Hidden on the bottom floor of the building, the Annex is much more lowkey and less intimidating than the main weight room. Try the Annex a few times to get comfortable and then when you’re ready, test the waters of the main weight room!
For cardio geeks like me, stationary bikes are wonderful. I love sitting down with a good murder mystery podcast and pedaling away for an hour or so. Stationary bikes can be found at either campus gym and are more approachable than treadmills for nervous gym rats.
Like the stationary bikes, rowing machines can be found at either gym and are great for those who want to do cardio, warm up their arms, or find a machine that’s not out in the open. Also mega bonus because the CU rowing machines have mini games so your workout can go by faster. I recommend the fish game!
Workout classes are a great way to meet new people, try a new workout, and gain confidence in the gym. The Main Rec Center offers a variety of classes, ranging from spinning to meditation to rock climbing. I love workout classes because they introduce me to new movements and I don’t feel awkward making mistakes. Also, workout classes are very female-dominated and have a very positive energy. Sign up for a class now and have a fun, energetic, welcoming experience.
3rd Floor – Main Rec Center
Finally, the 3rd floor at the main rec is a great spot on campus to workout because it has a little bit of everything. There are treadmills, squat racks, machines, free weights, and more. Plus, because you are on the top floor, there are little to no passers by who might distract you. So, instead of entering the gym with no direction for your workout, head to the third floor so you can comfortably get into your groove.
Finding the motivation to get off the couch and workout is hard enough, but generalized gym anxiety can make it almost impossible for introverted and inexperienced gym rats to enjoy their workout. Especially with a huge gym like the Main Rec Center, finding a spot to comfortably lift your weights, do your squats, or run a mile without the stress of other people being around can be a challenge. Luckily, I love working out and have highlighted some of my favorite introverted workout spots. Now is your chance to break a sweat without thinking about anything except for your playlist!