Gym Anxiety

I myself get a little anxious when I go into someone else’s gym so I can fully understand why someone who hasn’t trained before and doesn’t know where to start would be anxious about coming into ours.

The perception is that everyone who is already training there is super fit and strong. You feel that you won’t fit in there. Which 100% isn’t the case. It is actually full of people who are just like you or were just like you when they started out.

The fact you have made it through the front door and into the gym is a massive accomplishment and maybe even the hardest part of the journey. Here are a few tips to consider to reduce your level of anxiety in the gym and make the starting process a lot simpler and less scary than it may seem.

1. Set goals. Set small achievable goals to help give you some direction and focus. Understand the WHY behind these goals and HOW it will make you feel should you achieve them. Revisit these goals on a monthly basis.

2. Have a rough plan in place. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Getting there is the hardest part but to reduce that feeling of anxiety when you are there try to have a rough idea of what it is you are there to do. Less is more. Focus on doing a few things really well rather than lots of things with very little focus.

3. Ask for help. Book a handful of sessions with a PT to help you make the transition of getting started or going back into a routine easier. If you are feeling anxious about it all, you will benefit greatly from getting the extra support at a time when you need it most.

4. Start small. Lighter weights and shorter sessions to start with. Maybe just start by training 1-2 x per week and slowly build it up. Give yourself a chance of long term success. don’t rush, we get fitter and stronger over time so be patient.

5. Join a Group. If you struggle at the thought of training on your own then look to train with others. This will help motivate you to get there and keep you going during the session. I attend our own classes for this very reason. In a class or group PT environment the instructor takes away the stress, you just need to turn up on time and follow the instructions and often you are surrounded by like minded people who offer extra support. Let the instructor know you are new and just getting started with exercise so they can suggest the right level of exercises and help you get the most out of the session.

Gym Anxiety is very common and perfectly normal. What is also very common is those that take the plunge and ask for help rarely look back. If you managed to commit to your first session then get it in the diary for the same time next week. Keep the momentum going !

Lastly, although I know some of you will be thinking it….Nobody is actually looking at you or aware you are even there, so don’t let your fears hold you back!

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