Getting fit is a goal for many people, although very few end up achieving their goals. Fit can mean different things for different people – to one person it could mean beating their sprinting record and doing 10 pull ups, for others it could simply mean being able to walk a few miles without getting out of breath. Everybody is unique and wants different things, so comparing yourself to other people is not a good idea when you’re looking to improve your fitness levels!
One thing that can stop people from achieving their goals is gym anxiety. You can get equipment and work out from home, but mostly, there’s no room and you may struggle to motivate yourself when in your home environment. Going to the gym can help you get into the right headspace for a workout, which is important if you’re going to beat the only person you should be comparing yourself to – yourself!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways you can end any gym anxiety and apprehensions you have and get real results.
Know That Nobody Cares About What You’re Doing
One of the biggest reasons for gym anxiety is feeling like people in the gym are going to be watching you and judging you. The truth is, nobody cares about what you’re doing. If they do care, it means they’re not focusing on their own workout and results, so more fool them.
However, if you do feel like somebody is making you feel uncomfortable or giving you unsolicited advice, make sure you set boundaries. Some people may be harmless, but reporting something to the gym staff may help you to feel safer in the gym environment. Getting comfortable with setting boundaries is the first step to ensuring people leave you alone.
Get A Good Induction And Pay Attention
All good gyms will have you book an induction before you use the gym as they don’t want you to get hurt. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and make sure you pay attention. It’s absolutely fine to keep asking questions if you need to, though. That’s what the staff are there for on any given day!
Have A Few Personal Training Sessions
Although staff will be happy to help you use the equipment if you’re stuck, they won’t stand there and talk you through your workout. Have a few personal training sessions so you can feel a little more confident. They are expensive, so it could be a good idea to take advantage of any free offers your gym has going on. Your trainer will be able to correct your form and give you valuable advice if they are properly trained and knowledgeable. Just remember that not all trainers are created equal!
Make The Most Of Invaluable YouTube Content
There’s so much free content out there on Youtube that it would be pretty silly not to make the most of it. Whether you’re looking for advice on how you should be working out or general fitness tips, you can find it. It’s a good idea to find a few influencers and channels you like – looking at too many random channels could end up confusing you, as not all influencers are created equal (just like personal trainers!).
As we all carry phones everywhere with us now, it’ll be super easy to check out an exercise while you’re in the gym if you’re unsure. It’s a good idea to look it all up before you go, of course, but there’s nothing wrong with checking again if you’re confused. Just don’t spend a long time checking social media and spending too long in between exercises, as not only will it mean a less effective workout, it’ll mean hogging equipment.
See If Your Gym Has An App
If your gym has an app you can use it to see how busy the place is before you go. This should give you peace of mind so you know what to expect before you arrive. With some gym apps you can even get workouts for free, if you’re unsure of what sort of things to do in the gym – that’s if somebody from the gym hasn’t offered to put a free one together for you already. It’ll also allow you to book classes easily, which could give you an incentive to go.
Figure Out The Best Time To Go
The best time to go to the gym is usually off-peak hours, such as early afternoon. You might even get lucky and be able to make the most of the gym with nobody else around!
Put Some Good Headphones On And Get Lost In Your Workout
One of the easiest ways to forget about gym anxiety is to put your headphones on and get lost in your workout. Over the ear headphones can get a little sweaty, but they can be great for signalling to people that you’re busy and not willing to talk. For some, it can even be a good way to get focused.
Make a playlist or use one of the many ready made playlists on spotify. Switch things up so you don’t get bored.
Go In The Morning Before You Can Make Any Excuses
Sometimes, going first thing in the morning can be a good idea if you’re the kind of person who tends to make excuses to not go later on. If you don’t want a hard day at work or something else to get in the way, try to get into the habit of going in the morning.
Fake Confidence Until You Make It
Fake confidence by pulling your shoulders back and having your head held high. Act like you know what you’re doing and you’ll feel far more confident.
Have Awareness And Take Your Time
Take your time when warming up and setting up for your workouts – rushing could cause injury. Make sure you put all of your equipment away, too – it’s basic gym etiquette, but again, take your time. You should also know who’s around you and make sure you have enough space to do your thing.
Get A Friend To Accompany You
Ask a good friend to accompany you if you think it will help. You don’t need to go together forever, but it could help you to get used to the machines and lay out.
Reading more books will help you in many ways. Self help books and books on working out can both be helpful, so learn as much as you can. You can’t not have confidence when you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Knowledge is power!
Always Know What You’re Going To Do Before You Go
You should always have a good idea of what area you’re going to be working on and what exercises you want to do before you go. Taking a notebook is a good idea, as you can note down your weights this way, too. Try one of these effective upper body workouts to start yourself off gently. Never walk into the gym without a plan!
Not only is breathing important for getting the most out of many exercises, it’ll also help you to relax. Deep breaths can help to relax you in no time – most of us take shallow breaths, which can signal to the body that we are anxious!
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
You don’t need to erase your feelings of being scared before setting foot in the gym. Some of the techniques here might help a little, but erasing it completely may not be possible. This is why you may need to simply feel the fear, acknowledge it, and do it anyway. Pretty soon, whether it takes a session or 5 sessions, you’ll realize you are no longer afraid and that you actually enjoy it!
Stop Overcomplicating Things
Overthinking is one of the worst things you can do in all areas of fitness. All you have to do is go and work out! Even if you just stay for 10 minutes, it’s better than the day before. Eventually, you can build up the time you spend in there.
As well as working out, focus on making sure you’re getting enough protein and that you’re managing your food intake depending on your goals (whether that’s weight gain, fat loss, or maintenance/general fitness). You don’t need to be perfect with your workouts and what you eat, you just need to be consistent! You might find that when you stop expecting perfection from yourself you feel more free, and you stick to the routine more because you enjoy it, therefore getting better results.
Hopefully, the advice here will help you to get rid of that pesky gym anxiety for good, help you to feel more confident and powerful, and enable you to get amazing fitness results – not just body, but mind, too. Small steps are just fine – there’s no need to change everything at once!
This is a collaborative post.