Gym anxiety, “Gymtimidation” and why we feel it
The meaning of gym anxiety, also known as “Gymtimidation” is excessive worry before or during working out at the gym. Going to the gym for the first time can be scary but there are ways to cope with it to easy those gym nerves!
Remember that everyone in your gym has either felt or is currently feeling the same anxiety as you, it’s just hard to tell because most people are good at masking it. That girl in your gym who looks really confident is probably on her phone secretly Googling how to perform a specific workout (I’ve been there, done that, in fact I still do it sometimes!), and you should know this is perfectly normal!
Lucky for you I have written a number of different ways that have helped me and can help you to ease your gym anxiety. Check out my 5 tips below from a girl who has been weight training for 3 years!
1. Wear clothes that make you feel more attractive
I remember in school when I would show up in a new outfit and a new pair of shoes and I would feel like the most confident and powerful girl to walk through ht e halls of my primary school. Clothes can really do that for you as a lot of you may know.
When I first started at the gym I decided to buy myself some cute workout clothes as my gym anxiety was through the roof. When I tell you the following week I showed up to that gym feeling positive, optimistic and excited to workout. I felt stunning!
So my first advice to you would be to go out and get yourself a cute gym outfit that you know would make you feel more confident. Wether it’s a pair of shorts, leggings, or an oversized tee (my go-to lately), choose anything that will make you feel like the confident queen that you are!
2. Study your gym
This is something I still do to this day before going to any gym! The day before, check out their website or social media platforms for pictures of the inside of the gym. most gyms usually have an Instagram account so I would try this first. Once you have found pictures of the gym, study the layout the gym. Find where the machines you need are and memorise them, so that when you walk into the gym you won’t feel that gymtimidation, as you can walk straight in and head towards the machines you want to use without feeling embarrassed of looking like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Having an idea of where the machines are situated beforehand should help ease you gym anxiety once you have entered the gym for the first time!
3. Plan your workout routine beforehand
There’s nothing that sets off my anxiety more than the unknown; not knowing where to go, not knowing what to say and not knowing what to do. Planning your workout routine beforehand is a great way to stay mentally organised, and what I mean by that is your head won’t be jumbled up with a million thoughts like “what do I do now?” or “I must look so embarrassing I don’t even know where to start”. You can use your Notes app and even bring a workout diary log with you with all the information you need to carry out your workouts, such as; the types of exercises, the number of sets and the number of reps for each workout.
Having your workouts planned beforehand should help ease some of those gym nerves as you can just walk straight up to your machine and get started without standing there for ages wondering what to do and where to start!
4. Don’t overcomplicate your workouts
This is especially if you are a beginner and do not know where or how to start at the gym. In the beginning it can feel very overwhelming walking up to a machine you have never used or trying an exercise you have never done before. I would suggest sticking to simpler exercises that you feel wouldn’t be too overwhelming for you to start off with. For example, you could just start with machines like leg extensions and legpress for legs, dumbbell exercises like dumbbell curls for the biceps or goblet squats for the lower body!
There are a number of different exercises you can start off with that are not to difficult or overwhelming to begin with. Of course if you feel confident enough to try something a little more out of your comfort zone by all means go for it! This is just for people who would prefer to start with workouts that won’t add on to their gym anxiety, aka, gymtimidation.
5. Find the right time to go to the gym
Off Peak hours are your best friend! Off peak hours are the least busiest hours at the gym. The busiest hours to avoid are between 8AM until 10AM, and 4PM to 7PM. Anytime before or after these hours should be quieter. If you struggle with gym anxiety then I would suggest trying to go to the gym when there are less people as it will help you feel less overwhelmed, and more machines will be available for you to use. This is a great way to deal with your gymtimidation!