If you are just starting your fitness journey, going to the gym can be pretty intimidating. It's such a common occurrence, they've termed it "gymtimidation."
The gym, where bros roam in their natural habitat, the creepers stay creeping, and the women assume that you can't lift anything that isn't covered in neon colored neoprene.
Related - 17 Tips to Drive Better Upper Body Gains
If you are intimidated or even the slightest uncomfortable around other people, every smirk, laugh, and person you see in the gym feels like they are against you.It sucks.
A little secret that I've used for years now is that the majority of people in the gym really don't care about you. They are there for themselves and only care about themselves.
I'm not poking fun at anyone or saying this is negative, but know that the two bros over in the corner by you smiling are probably laughing because one of them just said a "that's what she said" joke.
This anxiety can be paralyzing to the point that you are trying to find the "perfect time to start." The only "perfect time" to start is when you just go to the gym and get to work.
So if you really want to get your fitness journey rolling, let's look at these 10 tips to get over gymtimidation.
No More Gym Intimidation
#1 - Pick the Right Gym
Picking the right gym is important to maintaining the drive to want to go workout.
Certain gyms attract athletes, bodybuilders, and powerlifters. These gyms generally have more weight plates and power racks than machines. They have mammoth sized monsters who are there to train.
Others cater to people of all fitness levels, encourage a friendly atmosphere, and have a decent selection of machines and a few free weights.
I've been to quite a few gyms and the ones that are more in your face and "gritty" worked surprisingly well for me. When you look around the room watching people lift weights you can't even count that high on a bar, it really encourages you to get as serious as them.
So spend the time finding a gym that works best for you. Ask for a free week pass so you can check it out.
#2 - Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you are at a gym where the staff does anything but hide behind the front desk, don't be afraid to ask them how to use a piece of equipment.
Learning something new and improving your skills will boost your confidence and allow you to train without that nagging thought in the back of your head of "am I doing this right?"
Avoiding injuries is how we continue our fitness journey. Take the time to learn what's what and get to work.
#3 - Utilize the Free Training Session
If you've never set foot in a gym or even picked up a dumbbell, trying a free training session is worth it. If your prospect gym doesn't offer a free session, spend the extra money and sign up for a few sessions.
I've run across a lot of great personal trainers, and a lot of bad personal trainers. The bad personal trainers still have a general understanding of exercising and can get you in the right direction in regards to form and lifting weights.
They will be able to show you proper gym etiquette and they can help you create a plan to reach your fitness goals.
#4 - Go During off Hours
Nothing is worse than going somewhere and there is a huge line. It creates anxiety, wastes time, and overall it sucks.
Going to the gym when everyone and their mother (literally) is in the gym can be overwhelming. Going during off-peak hours could give you an all-access pass to an empty gym.
I used to go at 5 in the morning and had the gym to myself. It was great, and the boost in productivity and endorphins made my day go smoothly.
#5 - Bring Your Friend
Whether your friend knows anything about the gym or not, bringing one is a huge confidence booster.
If you can find a friend that will consistently train with you, they will help hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and give you a spot whenever you need it.
No more looking around for the least creepy person to give you a spot.
#6 - Sign up for a Group Class
While I've never signed up for a group class, many friends and family have and they love it.
It's a great way to meet new like-minded people and you'll always have someone telling you what you should be doing.
Start with something that you've always wanted to do, even if it's Yoga or Pilates. Don't worry about not being able to keep up at first, it takes time and practice to get better.
This is a personal competition, not who can keep up the best in class.
#7 - Start Exercising at Home
Exercising at home is a great way to get started learning your body and gaining confidence.
There are so many fitness apps and streaming classes that you can jump into something and get your sweat on.
Once you hit the gym, your confidence will be higher and you will be able to enjoy the experience more.
#8 - Read More Articles
Between our YouTube channel and the blog, there's no shortage of quality information at your fingertips.
You can learn what to expect, what to do, and know everything that you need to know before you even walk through a gym door.
#9 - Create a Killer Workout Playlist
Studies show music improves our physical health, boost productivity, and a variety of other fascinating things. Check out how music affects our physical health.
Music has been shown to reduce our perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15%. Creating a playlist of music you can zone out to and get your sweat on will help push you to new limits.
#10 - Know You Aren't Alone
We all start somewhere. Every person that you are intimidated by in the gym felt the same way at one point.
Fighting those fears and overcoming that anxiety will get easier, trust me. Soon enough, you'll be the person that people are intimidated by.