A Story About “Gymtimidation” (gym+intimidation=gymtimidation)
So, you decided to start going to the gym on your own, but this time you’re headed into the weight room instead of lingering on the treadmill or elliptical for hours. This took a lot of courage and you’re so proud of yourself for getting to this point.
You get to there and you’re pumped to actually be lifting for real. You watched a few form videos on YouTube and you have your swipe workout screenshotted and ready to go. But then you start to feel like everyone in the weight room is judging you. So, you start wondering:
“Why’s everyone looking at me?”
“Am I doing this wrong?”
“Is my form wrong?”
“Am I going to hurt myself?”
“Maybe I’m lifting wrong?”
And you start to get in your head and eventually leave without finishing your workout. As you’re leaving, Gym Bro Chad decides to offer you some unsolicited lifting advice about how girls like you shouldn’t lift because you’re going to “get big and bulky with callouses on your hands.”
That’s gymtimidation at its worst—𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐮𝐩 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐲𝐦 𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬.
I’ve been there and it sucks.
But you need to remember that everyone was a beginner at some point. Everybody has struggled to figure out how to use a new piece of equipment at the gym. You are not alone and you will build confidence in the gym over time.
Everyone deserves to move their body and train in a way that makes them feel good (except for maybe the gym peeps who don’t put their weights back or leave the benches all sweaty and don’t wipe them down).
Men tend to dominate the free weights area of a commercial gym. As a newbie in the gym, it can feel incredibly intimidating to be in that space. I know this firsthand because that used to be me. When I first started lifting, I literally wouldn’t enter the weight room without my workout partner who was far more experienced with weights than I was (I mean hello, I was a swimmer in high school, not a lifter). As time passed, I started training on my own and I eventually built comfort and confidence in the gym and overcame gymtimidation. 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭, 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬— 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐲𝐦 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬. I don’t care if you’re lifting 10 pounds or 100 pounds. We all start somewhere. Strength is for everybody, okay!
Here are 5 tips for how I overcame Gymtimidation:
✨Hype yourself up: Remind yourself that you are a beautiful, badass who is in the gym to feel strong, inside and out. At the end of the day, there’s always going to be someone who knows a little bit more than you and that’s okay. Focus on yourself and your goals. The rest is just noise and it doesn’t matter.
✨Go in with a plan: Knowing exactly what you’re working on can help reduce the anxious feelings around going to the gym and being in the weight room.
✨Go to the gym when it’s not busy: Training during off-peak hours can be helpful since there are fewer people in the gym. Call your gym and ask them when it’s the least busy.
✨Train with a workout buddy: Having a training partner can help you feel more comfortable in the gym since you have a support system with you.
✨Have a dope playlist for your session: grab your headphones (or AirPods) and blast that music at a safe volume
Work with a Coach: Sure, you can figure it out on your own, but that takes time. Personally, I learned a lot from YouTube University and Coaches I followed on social media, but working with a Coach 1:1 was a game-changer for how I viewed the gym and my training.
Let me know if you found these tips to be helpful! If you have any other tips on overcoming gymtimidation, drop them in the comments below⬇️