Overcoming gymtimidation

by Carol Saldanha on Saturday 11 March 2023

3 min read

Exercising has well-known benefits for our health and wellbeing. But going to the gym can be a bit of a daunting experience for some, especially when we're just starting. The thought of being surrounded by experienced gym-goers and unfamiliar equipment can make even the most confident person feel self-conscious.

This feeling is known as gymtimidation. It can make it challenging for people to start their workout routine and can even hold them back from reaching their fitness goals.

Here are five tips to help you overcome gymtimidation, get your mind in the right space, and start moving your body.


Try off-peak hours

Gyms can become crowded during peak hours, which might add to the intimidation factor. Try to visit the gym during an off-peak time when there are fewer people. This can give you more space and time to exercise without feeling self-conscious. You also might find that you have more time on different types of equipment, allowing you to test and try new ones you haven't before.


Invite a gym buddy


Exercising with a friend can make working out more enjoyable. If you have a friend who is excited to join you during a workout, plan a gym date together - and make it fun! Having someone with you can give you the confidence to try new exercises, classes, and equipment. You'll be surprised how much you can learn from each other's tips, too. It also holds you accountable, so you know you won't back out of your planned session.


Hire a Personal Trainer


If you're new to the gym or just wanting to improve your exercise knowledge and overall fitness, hiring a Personal Trainer can be a great way to get started and ensure you get the best results possible. Not only do they help you set your fitness goals, all sessions are completely tailored to you - from lifting technique, nutritional advice, or introducing new equipment.

A Personal Trainer is there to support you, wherever you are on your fitness journey - in a safe environment. They will show you how to fall in love with the type of fitness training that works best for you. They go beyond what you want to achieve and help you find what you need to achieve in support of your goals.


It's all about you

Expect some anxiety or nerves when you first begin, it's completely normal to feel this way when you are trying something new. It can be common to feel self-conscious when you're surrounded by people who appear to be more experienced. Even people who have been attending for a long time can feel this way! However, it's essential to remember everyone starts somewhere. Focus on your workout and progress, and don't worry about what others are doing. It's all about you.

Remember, no one is there to judge you, they are only there to work on themselves. 


Keep it simple


Start your fitness journey on a simple program, as we're not here to outshine Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight. Set simple, achievable goals and gradually build your skills to boost your confidence.

Most gyms even offer introduction classes to their class programs. This is the perfect space for you to learn and find what it is that you enjoy (or don't). You'll be there along with other beginners or first-timers, so you're all in it together. It's also a great way to meet new like-minded people, that way you feel as though you have a mini backup team the next class or gym visit.  


You've got this

When managing the stresses that can come from gymtimidation, remember why it is you are here in the first place. You're working on your mental and physical health to better yourself each day. And there is nothing better than someone who wants to add positive habits into their lifestyle. You've got this!


Ready to overcome gymtimidation?

Don’t let gymtimidation interfere with your fitness goals. Drop in for a visit and chat to our team about what Virgin Active can offer you. If you're looking for the support of a Personal Trainer, our friendly coaches are highly skilled and ready to join you on your fitness journey to make you feel as confident and positive about your fitness experience.

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