How To Get Over Your Gym Anxiety

For many of us, going to the gym is a daunting task. Whether you’re scared or embarrassed you’ll use a machine wrong, you’re intimidated by all of the experienced muscle heads you might encounter, or just generally hate the idea of working out in public; we all have our reasons for saying “Oh, I’ll just start going next week.” This ends here. This year, we’re not going to let our fear of the gym stop us from improving our lives, both physically and mentally. Remember, everyone is on their own journey, and if someone is judging you at the gym, chances are they’re just projecting their own insecurities onto you. You do you girl! Here are some of the steps I took to get over my crippling fear of going to the gym.

1. Start working out at home

Personally, I found it extremely helpful to begin my fitness journey at home. I had no idea how to properly perform exercises and was terrified of looking inexperienced at the gym. YouTube and my bedroom mirror became my saving grace here. I looked up workouts that I could do at home and did them in front of my mirror to make sure that I had the correct form that was shown in the video. Doing this made me feel much more confident when it came to stepping into the gym, knowing that I at least had the correct form for the exercises I was doing.

2. Have a plan, and write it out

When you do work up the courage to go to the gym, I highly recommend writing out a workout routine for yourself. Either have it in the notes of your smartphone or bring a small notepad. You’ll end up spending less time looking lost in the gym because you’ll know exactly what you’re going to do instead of wandering from machine to machine. If possible, scope out areas of your gym where you feel the most comfortable, and go to those spots until you feel confident enough to branch out to new areas.

3. Get a workout partner if you can

Working out with a friend can do wonders for those who are intimidated by the gym. This was something that helped me significantly at the beginning of my fitness journey. Even if you can’t go together every time, having someone with you while trying a new machine for the first time, testing out a new workout plan, or just having someone to talk to on the treadmill, makes the gym less of a chore and more of a fun experience.

4. Treat yourself to new workout gear/clothes

When I first started going to the gym, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb next to all these people in their color-coordinated spandex outfits, shaker bottles, and big headphones. While this isn’t at all necessary, I know that I felt more confident at the gym when I was wearing something that I felt good in. I slowly swapped out my old worn out middle school t-shirts and ratty sweatpants for some cute workout outfits, and I noticed how much more confident I felt. I felt like I looked like someone who knew what I was doing there, even if I was just winging it.