Are you nervous about going to the gym? Do you feel like you're not in good enough shape to be there? Do you feel like everyone else at the gym is in better shape than you are? If so, you're not alone. Many men feel anxious and intimidated when they go to a gym. In this blog post, we will discuss how to overcome your anxiety and get the most out of your time at the gym!
Understand Your Anxiety About Going To The Gym
What is it that you're afraid of? Is it the physical act of working out? Is it the people at the gym? Is it the fear of not knowing what to do or how to use the equipment? Or are you simply nervous because it's something new?
Any of these are valid concerns and most gymgoers have faced these concerns at one point or another. Once you understand your anxiety, you can begin to work on overcoming it.
Once you have identified where your anxiety comes from, it is possible to address it by selecting the right gym for you, finding a friend to go with you, or even things as basic as watching YouTube videos to better understand the workout machines before you set foot on the gym floor.
Not All Gyms Are Alike - Find One That Works For You!
Some gyms are meat markets for beefy dudes to strut their stuff in front of women as well as their fellow muscle heads while others are for casual folks sporting a dad bod just looking to keep those extra pounds off. Other places are hyper-scientific places with gurus that will help you find your perfect workout lifestyle.
Any one of these places can be a great gym to become a member of for different people but it's important for you to figure out what you are looking for so you don't make a mistake and get frustrated while your gym anxiety grows stronger.
Luckily, most gyms will allow for trial passes to come in and work out a few times and others will offer guest memberships where an existing member can bring a friend in to try things out.
This is often the best way to find a spot that is right for you before committing to one single place.
Prepare For Your First Trip To The Gym
Now that you have an idea of how to find the right gym for you, it's time to start preparing for your first trip! This may seem like a daunting task but we'll break it down into a few simple steps.
There's nothing saying that you can't just simply walk in the door and hop on a treadmill but if you have gym anxiety, the best way to resolve it is by planning and preparing.
First, research the types of workouts you want to do. If you're not sure where to start, look up some beginner workout routines online or on YouTube. There are tons of great resources out there that can help get you started.
Second, invest in some quality workout gear. You don't need to go broke buying the latest and greatest from Nike or Lululemon but having a good pair of sneakers and comfortable clothes that won't restrict your movement is important.
Third, create a game plan for your first few visits to the gym. Decide what days and times you will go and what workouts you will do. Stick to this plan as best as you can and don't be afraid to change it up if something isn't working for you.
Finally, before you start your first workout, ask the gym manager about etiquette and if there are any specific things that are expected by members so that you can avoid making rookie mistakes.
The most important thing is that you take the first step and just go! Walking into the gym for the first time can be scary but once you're in there, getting started is usually the easy part.
Gym Buddies Are Helpful Motivators
One of the best ways to overcome gym anxiety is by finding a workout buddy. Having someone to go with you can make the experience much less daunting and more enjoyable. This could be a friend from work, church, or a men's group you are part of or it could even be a neighbor down the street. Make sure though that they understand your gym anxiety and concerns so they can help be part of the solution and not reinforce any negativity that might be already manifesting itself in your mind.
A gym buddy like this is also a great help in terms of motivation and keeping you accountable. For instance, if you guys share a ride then it takes both of you deciding to take the day off instead of just one of you choosing to break the routine.
Of course, it's not necessary to have a gym buddy but if you can find one, it's definitely worth considering!
Personal Trainers Can Help You Get Over Gym Anxiety
Depending on what your needs are, a personal trainer can help you overcome gym anxiety in a variety of ways. For instance, if your concern is not knowing what to do during your gym time, they can walk you through exercises that are right for your body type and goals.
Another benefit of hiring a personal trainer is that if your anxiety stems from being out of shape, they can actually help you develop a basic fitness program that you can do at home so that when you join a gym you feel confident and strong instead of always going for the lightest weights or lasting only a couple of minutes on a treadmill.
Ask For Help If Machines Or Gym Equipment Appear Intimidating
If the sight of all the machines and equipment in the gym fills you with anxiety, don't be afraid to ask for help! Most gyms will have staff that is more than happy to show you how to use everything and many of them will even give you a brief tour when you first sign up.
Don't be shy about asking questions either. No one expects you to be an expert on workout machines and everyone had to start somewhere.
For example, you might think using some kettlebells is super easy and something you can do with your eyes closed. But, even swinging kettlebells the wrong way can cause you a lot of pain. Here’s a definitive guide on proper kettlebell swing form if you need one.
Start Slow And Work Your Way Up
One of the worst things you can do when trying to get over gym anxiety is to try and do too much too soon. If you're new to working out, it's important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you get more comfortable with things.
Rushing into things is a surefire way to end up feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and injured. So, take your time, listen to your body, and most importantly, don't forget to have fun!
Reward Yourself For Reaching Your Workout Goals
Anxiety is often caused by your brain having too many things to think about and not being able to focus on the important things in front of you. Setting goals and having a plan for what you want to accomplish during your time at the gym is essential in your quest to get over gym anxiety.
So, set those goals and then reward yourself for achieving them!
That reward can be anything that motivates you but something related to your workout goals is ideal. For instance, buy yourself a new pair of shoes, get a massage, or take yourself out for a nice dinner. Whatever makes you happy and motivated to keep going, do it!
Focus On Your Goals - You Are The Most Important Person Here
Going to the gym can be a daunting experience, particularly if you're not in great shape or are intimidated by other people who seem to be in better shape than you.
In this blog post, we have discussed how to overcome your anxiety and make the most of your time at the gym. By understanding your anxiety, preparing for your first trip, dressing for success, and starting slow, you can feel more confident when going to the gym and get the most out of your workout. Reward yourself for taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle and stay motivated by setting goals that challenge but don't overwhelm you. With these tips, getting back into shape doesn't have to be intimidating - it can be fun!