You have to admit that you’ve felt this at least once when you were at the gym: the feeling of being judged, the feeling of being talked about, or the feeling of being conscious. Every gym-goer goes to the gym with the aim of becoming fit and healthy. However, not all gym-goers are at the same level of fitness.
Some already have tons of muscle, well-defined abs, or sexy curves. If you’re not already like this (which is the majority of us!), this can make you look down on yourself. At some point, you might even have heard people saying things about you.
But the good news is, it might all just be in your head, and you're just experiencing gym anxiety.
Yes, it can be overwhelming to be in a gym full of Instagram worthy bodies, but remember that they also started somewhere. Don't lose confidence and motivation to achieve the results you want to gym anxiety. Sports Samurai has come up with all the things that you need to know about gym anxiety, its causes, and how to overcome it. Let’s get started!
What is Gym Anxiety?
It is the overwhelming feeling of being self-conscious, resulting in loss of confidence due to an intimidating, embarrassing, or awkward situation in the gym. People with gym anxiety fear that they will be judged based on their fitness progress.
What are the Common Causes of Gym Anxiety?
Some of the common causes of gym anxiety are the following:
1. You feel uncertain.
Feeling uncertain can cause you physical and psychological stress. Not knowing what workout to do and how to do it can lead you to overthink things.
2. You compare yourself to others.
We tend to compare our progress with others. Their workout might be working well for them, or they might have experienced results faster than you have.
3. You feel judged.
We have that feeling that all eyes are on us or that people are talking about us behind our backs.
4. You don’t feel like you belong.
If you're just starting your journey, you might feel like the gym is not the place for you.
Now… let’s get into the real reason why we’re here.
How Can You Overcome Gym Anxiety?
1. Plan your workout routine.
It helps to know your workout routine before you start. The reason why is because it helps you to be more confident when you walk into the gym, rather than walking around aimlessly. There are plenty of free workouts online or on YouTube, which can help you to get started. Watch videos on how to do the exercises with correct form. This will have you to feel less judged, and you’re less likely to compare yourself to others.
2. Choose the right time to work out.
If you go during off peak hours, rather than at busy times, you won’t feel the pressure of being around lots of other people. This will help you not feel judged, and will help you to feel more comfortable. If you work a standard 9 to 5, going first thing in the morning could be your safest bet, as most gyms are packed after work. Once you get more comfortable with your workouts, switch this around if you need to.
3. Talk to Fitness Instructors or Personal Trainers.
If you have questions that seem to be bothering you, it will help to talk to the instructors or Personal Trainers from time to time. Maybe even consider getting in a few sessions with them too, to help you feel more comfortable with the gym and the equipment.
4. Work out with a friend.
It may be more motivating to bring a friend with you during a workout. For some people, it’s good to have a familiar face while exercising. Your gym visit will be fun and more relaxed. You’re also less likely to feel uncertain or judged by others, as you’ll spend the time focusing on your friend. Just make sure that it's not a friend who will ask you to eat out a lot after your gym session! We all have that one friend...
5. Focus on your goals.
We all have different reasons for working out in the gym. Try to be more focused on yourself, and your goals, instead of worrying about others. Why did you start in the first place? Believe that you can achieve the goals you have set yourself. Learn to stop overthinking and turn those negative thoughts into positive ones.
For instance, instead of thinking that people are looking at you because they are judging you, it would be better to think that they admire your motivation and dedication.
Gym anxiety is a common feeling of many people who go to the gym, but we need to learn to work our way around it. We must try to conquer this anxiety so it doesn’t stop us from achieving our goals. We’re hoping our tips above will help with this!