Getting Over Gym Nerves


For my entire life I have been an athlete, so working out is part of my daily routine. However, after graduating from my high-school sports teams and quarantine, I hit a bit of a lull and developed some unhealthy habits. I recently decided it was time to break those unhealthy habits and get a gym membership. Most of the training I’ve done over the years took place with a group so working out alone is somewhat new to me. Walking into the gym for the first time was a bit intimidating; I stayed within my comfort zone by heading straight for the treadmill and then going for a swim. 


After a few visits, I decided to determine some goals and create a schedule. The next time I went to the gym I once again headed straight for the treadmill, but this time I used it as an opportunity to learn the gym’s layout. From this information, I developed a workout plan that reflected what my goals were: to gain strength and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A plan helps ease the gym nerves and gives me more confidence. Since I know what I want to do and where I can do the exercises I want, I have less anxiety about going to the gym. Furthermore, it allowed me to research the proper technique beforehand and make sure I performed the exercises in a way that wouldn’t injure me. 


The spotlight effect is how we tend to overestimate how much others notice us. This was very much in effect during my first few workouts. I felt very self-conscious and felt like everyone thought I didn’t belong. Creating a plan removed (for the most part) these thoughts from my head. I realized the truth is that everyone is doing their own thing and are not worried about what others are doing. Moreover, following a plan and jamming out to my workout playlist boosted my confidence.


Creating a schedule is what kept me going to the gym consistently. Honestly, some days I just wanted to sit at home and watch a movie while eating Whole Foods Chocolate Candy Cane Sandwich Creams. The schedule kept me going to the gym even on lazy days because it reminded me that I needed to stay on pace. Weightlifting is split into three sections: upper body push, legs, and upper body pull. On the days between lifting, I swim and run. Although, there is one day that is just stretching and allows for a little laziness. Personally, I found that the mornings were better for me because fewer people were there. Machines and weights were more available so I could do things at my own pace and not feel rushed. 


In the future, to improve my gym experience I’m searching for a gym buddy. From previous experience, I’ve found working out with a friend or group is rewarding on various levels. You’re able to keep each other motivated, on track, and have some fun at the same time. You might even be able to learn new things from each other. 


Going to the gym may cause some nerves at first but you’re able to get over them and develop healthy habits. First off is to determine goals and create a schedule around them. Secondly, focus on yourself and realize everyone is there to achieve their own goals. Lastly, create a schedule that you commit to. I may have had a case of the gym nerves at first but now it’s a good stress reliever and is a way to get out of the house. You too can get over the gym nerves and take steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.