How to Avoid 'Gym Intimidation'
Nerves, the jitters, embarrassment. That feeling you get when you open the door to the gym and you try to think of a number of excuses to turn around and run away. If this sounds familiar, I want to show you how not to be intimidated by the gym.
Nerves, the jitters, embarrassment. There are many words or phrases I’ve heard it called. I like to use the phrase ‘gym intimidation’.
That feeling you get when you open the door to the gym and your knees go weak, or you sweat (without doing any exercise), and you try to think of a number of excuses to turn around and run away. If this sounds familiar, I want to put your mind at ease.
Don’t run off
As a personal trainer it’s been a crazy month for me so far, particularly this week with everyone getting back to the grind of work and holidays having come to a close. When sitting down with someone I expect conversations to follow a certain path. Talking about goals with the conversation expanding from there. Discussions I expect would be around health and wellbeing, diet and nutrition, weight management, or injury and rehabilitation.
Feeling intimidated? It’s understandable
However, the most common discussion I’ve had so far has been that individuals are intimidated when in the gym. Psychology has such a massive part to play in exercise. People feel that they will be watched or that people will laugh at them. It’s understandable. You’re new to the gym and you don’t know where to start. Everyone looks like they are professional with their sweat bands and their colourful leggings.
Every gym has an idiot – the 1%
Every village has an idiot, and believe me, every gym has an idiot. There will always be that know-it-all, or the alpha male that screams and grunts louder than everyone else whilst flexing his pecs. I’m already rolling my eyes at those grunts.
The professionals in the gym laugh at these people, not you! You are the ones that we want to help.
99% of people will help you out
I have spent the last week trying to convince people that they can enter the gym with confidence. 99% of people will be happy to help if you have a question. The personal trainers and fitness instructors are more than happy to help. We enjoy helping you and seeing you progress. Additionally, believe it or not, the majority of members are happy to help.
Concentrate on your own goals
Focus on those 99% of people that are in the same situation as you; going to the gym to achieve their goals. Wanting to achieve greater fitness, lose fat, tone muscles, be a stronger individual, whatever it may be. Ignore that one gym idiot. Use the tools at hand to help you. Gym inductions, diagrams on machines, personal trainer taster sessions, the thousands of YouTube videos. There really is no need to be intimidated in the gym.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Hopefully your training is going well. It’s two weeks into the new year now. Some of you will be doing great, are still motivated, and have got over the initial severe muscle soreness that can occur. Others may be struggling. If you’re one of the ones struggling, then don’t be so hard on yourself. You may have had a bad day, a big meal, or some excess Christmas chocolate or wine.
At some point we will all have a cheat day, or a slip up. The key is to get back on it and carry on the upward trajectory. Don’t beat yourself up, it really does happen to us all. If one bad day turns into three or four then you will be on the slippery slope with your slippers on. Keep the hiking boots on and keep climbing the mountain. A few good days will make you feel so much better and you’ll be a lot closer to your goals, and will feel a lot better about yourself when you walk in the gym.
Get your head up and your shoulders back, you will not be beaten! Remember, it’s still the start of the New Year, and there’s still over 11 months to achieve your 2018 goals.