The gym can be an intimidating place, especially if you’re a newbie or getting back into working out. You might look around at all the fit people and complicated equipment and feel a little uneasy, out of place or overwhelmed.
That’s totally normal. In fact, most of those people who look like they know exactly what they’re doing feel just the same way sometimes.
Still, we get that it can be awkward. That’s why we’ve put together a few ways to kick the insecurities and help you feel more confident at the gym.
1 . Have a plan for your workout
Walking into a gym without a plan is like exploring an unfamiliar city without a map. Having a structured workout plan gives you a sense of purpose and direction. This will help keep you focused on what needs to be done, rather than the people around you. Plan your exercises, sets and reps in advance. Keeping it on your phone will ensure it’s always handy and easy to update. There are plenty of free resources online that can help you create a plan for your fitness goals. With a clear plan, you’ll feel more prepared, focused and confident navigating your way through the gym.
Don’t feel discouraged if the equipment you need is taken; you might just have to shuffle your plan around. It might help to focus on workouts which require only a few difference pieces of equipment (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands only). As you become more familiar and comfortable at the gym, you can expand your workouts with new equipment and exercises.
2. Avoid peak times
No one likes an audience while they’re exercising. If you feel self-conscious working out in front of others, you may find it easier to go to the gym during off-peak hours. These are typically (very) early mornings, early to mid-afternoons and late at night. During these times, the gym will be less crowded, giving you the freedom to explore different equipment and workout areas at your own pace and leisure. You’ll have more space, fewer distractions and you can take your time getting accustomed to the gym environment.
3. Wear an outfit that makes you feel confident
A good gym fit isn’t a fashion statement (well, not exclusively), it’s one you feel confident and comfortable in. Your outfit can significantly influence your mood and self-esteem at the gym. You don’t want to be constantly adjusting ill-fitting clothing or dealing with discomfort. You want clothes (and shoes) that will provide comfort and aid your performance in the gym. Dress in workout gear that fits well, offers adequate support and makes you feel good. When you feel good, you’ll feel more self-assured and empowered in your own skin.
4. Hire a personal trainer show you the ropes
A lot of gym anxiety comes from feeling like we don’t know what the heck we’re doing. If you’re new to the gym or not sure how to use certain equipment, consider hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions. They can introduce you to various machines, guide you on proper form and technique, and provide a personalised workout plan tailored to your goals. This will not only boost your gym confidence, but also ensures you’re exercising safely and effectively.
5. Focus on accomplishing fitness goals
Perhaps the greatest source of gym confidence comes from within. The gym is a tool to help you achieve your fitness goals, not a place for competition or comparison. Each time you step into the gym, remind yourself why you’re there. By focusing on your wins, little and big, and seeing your progress over time, you can shift your mindset from intimidation to motivation.
6. Pick the right gym
Ultimately, your gym should be an environment which makes you feel motivated, welcomed and confident in your fitness journey. At Sista Fitness, our aim is to empower women through fitness. Our women-only gyms are intimidation and judgement-free, where you’ll always feel safe, accepted and supported.
We offer personal training sessions with experienced female PTs to help you build the skills and knowledge to confidently workout independently. We have a variety of group fitness classes which cater to all ages and fitness levels. Should you ever need a little extra guidance, our friendly staff are always available to answer any questions you may have.
If you’re in search of a gym with these values and facilities, consider joining the Sista Fitness family. Contact us today and be part of a gym which builds confidence and muscles.