GYM-PHOBIA…. It’s real!
“I’m embarrassed.” “I’m nervous.” “I am too shy.” “I don’t know what to do.” “I feel like everyone is looking at me… judging me… laughing at me….” I hear this sort of talk all the time at my job & mainly from girls. To be honest, it is also something I remember feeling myself.
Back in the day, I would be too scared to walk into the weight area because it was filled with men & I was too intimidated or embarrassed for fear of being judged or laughed at. Because of this, I focused all my time on cardio, since that was where I felt most comfortable as a girl. Well fast forward 5 years later and here I am, a personal trainer, showing MEN how to lift weights of all things.
NO ONE CARES
The biggest lesson I have learned through this growth process is that people don’t judge you. In fact, it is quite the opposite! Not once have I had a discussion with a co-worker or friend at the gym about how someone else looks in a negative tone, no matter how big, out-of-shape, messy, done up, clueless or unfocused they may look. Truth be told, we DO talk about people that come into the gym sometimes, but it’s usually along the lines of how far someone has come, noticing their change, hard work, offering help & sharing excitement that they have taken control of their health!
The one thing you have to remember is that people in the gym usually love fitness & they just want everyone else to love it as much as they do!
However, I understand some of you will still feel the fear & nerves so here are some of my personal tips I use to wipe away the worry & get into the gym!
5 TIPS TO OVERCOMING GYM-PHOBIA:
1. KIT YOURSELF OUT (Look The Part): I don’t know why, but everything is better when you are wearing a new outfit, this includes gym clothes. If you haven’t been involved in the gym previously, or if you are getting back into it, go get yourself some brand new duds. Pick out something pretty that makes you want to show off. When you look good, you feel good & confidence is sexy, so work it girl!
2. MAKE A PLAN: I find going into the gym with a workout plan helps you feel focused & confident. You walk in with a purpose, you don’t wander around aimlessly, lose your drive & then end up leaving after puttering around for 15 minutes!
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
There are plenty of online sites with workout programs you can print out. You can also talk to a personal trainer at the gym. If you are able to afford it, they guide you, help with form, routines, improvement etc. They can also create a routine for you for a small fee if you aren’t able to hire them full time.
3. ASK FOR HELP: Never been into a gym? Not sure what machines are what? How they work? Where the treadmills are? Well personal trainers are great for answering all those questions & you don’t have to hire us. Well at least not me. I’m usually just so happy that someone is taking the steps to improve their life & health that I am 100% willing to show them around the gym. We can explain how everything works so that you can feel comfortable with the machines and not intimidated by trying to figure out how to work the leg press. Honestly, just ask for help, I can guarantee every gym has someone in it that is willing to show you around & familiarise you with the equipment.
4. PLUG IN: I love music! Honestly the difference between training without music & training with your favourite artist playing in your ear is NIGHT & DAY! There is something about plugging in those headphones, getting caught up in the song & lifting weights or going for a run that makes the rest of the world melt away. I train 100x harder & better when I have my iPod. I find this is the best way to tune out the other people in the gym, as well as your fears or insecurities & just get amped for a RAD workout!
Create a playlist of all your favourite songs before heading to the gym & it will make everything better!
5. JUST OWN IT: Seriously. Don’t even think about what everyone else is doing or thinking in that gym. People are impressed by go-getters. Can you think of one time in your life you looked at someone improving themselves & judged them negatively? No, unless you were secretly just jealous. But usually it just doesn’t happen and no one is going to do it to you either. So, put those headphones on, rock some Avicii (or whatever gets you going) & get to work!
Everyone is rooting for you, promise! 🙂