Feeling a bit nervous about heading to the gym or hitting the weights room? You’re not alone. But that’s no reason not to go! The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to avoid feeling that ‘gym-timidation’.
Heading to the gym can be extremely intimidating, especially if you’re not a seasoned gym goer, but for many women it’s not the motivation they lack, it’s the confidence.
A gym full of bro-tanks, crop tops and shakers full of brightly coloured who-knows-what can be way more daunting if you don’t even know what you’re going to do when you get there.
Don’t stress about what other people are thinking because they’re probably focused on their own session or their mirror selfie game. It’s more than likely you wandering around the gym will go unnoticed and surely you won’t be the only one.
Here’s how you can enter the gym with confidence, work your buns off, and leave feeling accomplished:
- Set a goal & have a plan
- Train with a buddy or join classes
- Get a trainer
You should know what you’re trying to achieve and why you’re going to the gym in the first place. If you don’t know why you’re there, it will be easier for you to ditch the gym or settle for giving minimal effort.
Having a plan is critical to keeping your workouts effective, time efficient, and to give you confidence while doing them.
Find a structure that suits your goals, state a focus for each day (squats, upper body, cardio, etc.) and then plan workouts accordingly.
Plan the specific session for each day so you know what exercises, how many sets and how many reps you will do, and stick to it!
If you planned on four sets, don’t let fatigue, intimidation, or boredom get the better of you at round three.
Some wise words from my dad that always stick with me are especially relevant here: “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”.
Poor preparation can lead to a lack of confidence and subpar performance, so make a plan and commit.
If you’re new to the gym, classes are a smart place to start to familiarize yourself with the setup and maybe learn some new exercises you can put into your training regime.
Having a training buddy will make your workouts a lot more enjoyable, and increase your likelihood to stay consistent.
So classes are a great way to make gym friends if you don’t have anyone to train with already.
This is a good way to learn better technique or push through a plateau. A trainer will help you feel comfortable in the gym without feeling alone and can give you guidance on what you should be doing in the gym.
If you need help with a machine or piece of equipment, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. Most gyms are full of qualified trainers and staff who are willing to help, otherwise ladies, maybe here’s your chance to get the cute guy you’ve had your eye on to give you a hand.
If you are new to exercise, start with bodyweight movements. These should be perfected before adding weight, so make sure your air squat form is on point before grabbing the dumbbells or diving under the barbell.
Once your form is right you should add some weights, starting with lighter dumbbells or kettlebells. If you’ve got the strength and technique to use a barbell safely, then go for it.
Regardless, there is nothing wrong with not knowing and learning in the process. You’re making an effort to get better, fitter and stronger, and everyone was there at one point in time.
There you have it!
Having a plan and motivation is the best way to find some consistency and comfort in the gym.
Make your training sessions enjoyable so you want to be there and will stick to your plan, and that’s when you’ll see the results.
The confidence will come with more time and experience but having a plan will give you less room for uncertainty once you get there.
As you build stronger muscles and confidence, you will be able to push your body harder and you’ll forget to even care about people around you watching.
Don’t let gym-timidation get in the way of becoming a mega fit chick!
What’s your top tip for a gym or weights newbie to help them gain confidence?
Canadian native, Victoria discovered her natural sporting ability at a young age through synchronized swimming. While competing at college, Victoria completed a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with two minors in Nutrition and Biology and undertook a strength and conditioning internship working with college athletes.
With firsthand strength and conditioning experience as an athlete and also as a coach it was a no brainer for Victoria to pursue her passion in the industry. Shortly after graduating University, Victoria relocated to Sydney, Australia and explored different avenues of the fitness industry before finding herself at 98 Riley Street Gym.