5 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Gym
The Gym. A big space filled with lots of iron slabs, funny looking machines and stationary moving equipment (cardio machines). The sweaty humans flexing in the mirror at their new muscle, the guy on the bench grunting with his big heavy dumbbells and the big belly trainer trying to sell you personal training packages.
I understand why women say the gym is scary and I really don’t blame them. It’s not exactly the most inviting environment, but weight training is important for us so don’t let that stop you!
Here’s 5 great tips to overcome that fear:
1) Block them out.
It’s no secret that there are some egocentric people in the gym who look down on others who aren’t as fit / strong as them. They size you up as you walk in and push their nose in the air to let you know they are competing with you. It’s like high school all over again.
It’s simple, just don’t compete. Their focus is on all the wrong things.
Don’t let these people who are compensating for their own insecurities get in your way. Let them deal with their own problems while you focus on improving yourself. There can only be respect and admiration in someone who’s working on themselves, nothing else.
2) Shrink the gym
Some gyms are full of equipment and it can be quite overwhelming to know where to start and what to do.
Unless you’re someone who’s competing in bodybuilding or disabled, there isn’t really a huge need to use the machines.
Instead, zone in on the free weights and sometimes the cardio machines. Eliminate the equipment that you don’t really need to worry about and your options become much simpler.
3) Walk in with a plan
A program / workout plan is essential for consistency and results. Walking in and just attempting to do whatever you feel like is good once in a while to add an aspect of play but you need to walk in ready for battle with strategy.
There are many free programs online, there are many coaches who can also create a plan specific for your goals. After a while, you’ll start learning how to program your own workouts and know what you enjoy in the gym.
4) Build confidence
The best way to build your confidence in anything new is to practice, practice, practice.
You have to start somewhere and the basics / foundational movements are always best.
I think hiring a personal trainer is a really good idea. Tell him / her that you have a goal of learning proper form so that you can go off and start working out on your own and I’m sure they’ll do their best to set you up for success.
5) Start at home
If you’re pretty shy, you don’t have to have to start at the gym, you can always start at home.
My clients usually start with dumbbell workouts at home before working their way into the gym.
If you want, I have a free dumbbell workout that you can use to get started. It’s called the #4x40program (click to download) that takes you through a 40 minute workout with video instructions. It’s a great starter program and been effective for fat loss with my female clients.
Resistance training is extremely important for women (read this) and the idea of the gym gets in our way all too often. Step out of your comfort zone and learn something new that also benefits your health and it’ll make taking that big step into the gym that much easier!
p.s. If you’re brand new to working out and want something simpler, I have a free bodyweight home workout you can use instead. Download the #5x15workout here.