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Six Tips for Getting Over Your Fear of the Gym

Going to the gym can be hard, and if you are inexperienced it can be extremely nervewracking. Not knowing what you are doing when you get there or being too afraid to even go can scare a lot of people away. These are some quick tips and tricks so you can gain confidence and own it at the gym! 

1. Plan Your Workouts

Knowing what you are going to do before you get to the gym will help you feel more comfortable than you think. Planning ahead will help you know which machines or equipment you will need to use. That way, you won’t have to stand around in the gym, feeling uncomfortable because you don’t know what to use. Try focusing on a different area of the body each day, using machines or dumbbells/barbells for your arms one day, then switching to leg machines the next. Mix it up and have fun with it, it doesn’t have to feel like torture!

 

2. Know How to Use the Equipment

A lot of people are afraid of the gym because they don’t know how to use the equipment and don’t want to make a fool of themselves. It can definitely be scary; some machines look like contraptions meant to cause you pain. But once you’ve planned your workout, you will know which machines to use, and you can start figuring out how to use them. There are some brands of newer equipment that have barcodes on them and if you open their app and scan them, it will show you how to use them. Otherwise, most machines have small diagrams and pictures showing the different moves you can do. If you still aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask the staff or a fellow gym-goer. Make sure you know how to properly use the equipment before hopping on, or you may injure yourself, and we don’t want that.

 

3. Bring Headphones

This one may seem obvious, but it really helps. Being able to drown out the sounds around you and focus on what you’re doing will make your workout much more satisfactory. Play something that pumps you up; I like listening to EDM or 2000’s rock jams. Try doing workouts to the beat of songs or look up workouts that are as long as the songs you like. Listening to music while running can be especially beneficial because you can’t hear yourself breathing heavily. When you start hearing your heavy breathing, your body will begin to feel more tired. So crank up the jams and go kill that workout!

 

4. Wear Something You’re Comfortable In

A lot of articles about going to the gym recommend that you wear something cute so that you’ll feel confident, but I don’t necessarily agree. You should try to wear comfortable clothes because when you feel comfortable in your clothes, you will feel comfortable in the gym. If you are wearing something too tight or too short, it might interfere with your workout because you’ll be too worried about readjusting it to give the gym the best you got. You also want to make sure you have a full range of motion while working out. This isn’t to say that comfy clothes aren’t cute; there are plenty cute ones out there. I wear a lot of Gymshark gear (gymshark.com) because it is less expensive than a lot of other active gear companies and everything they create is very comfortable. There are tons of similar companies and brands out there, so go find ‘em!

 

5. Get Into a Routine

Pick a time every day that you are able to go and stick to it. You are more likely to keep up with working out if you are consistent. Most of the time, if you go at the same time every week, you will see the same people and that will help you feel more comfortable. If you are worried about there being a lot of people, try going at weird times like early in the morning or late at night when there will be fewer people. Around noon and between 5pm-8pm are typically busy times, so avoid those at first. Pick different areas of the body to work each day and do it every week. Some areas to focus on are arms, back, shoulders, abs, legs, glutes, and chest. You can combine some of these areas to get a fuller workout like working calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes in one day.

 

6. Focus on Yourself

I think the number one reason people don’t go to the gym is the fear that people are looking at them and judging them. I can guarantee you that no one is watching you. The people who are there are there to get their workout in and leave. They don’t care that you are only curling 5lbs or squatting the bar. So make those loud grunts and sweat profusely. You are there and you are making an effort and that is more than the majority of the population can say. Focus on bettering yourself and you will thrive!

 

After using these tips, you will be a boss babe in the gym and be more confident than ever!

Olivia is a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is double-majoring in Mass Media and English and has hopes to get into publishing. She is the current senior editor for the MNSU chapter of Her Campus and loves to write. In her free time when she's not writing or editing, she loves to sleep, hang out with friends, longboard, read and sleep some more.
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