It may not be a real word per se, but “gymtimidation” is real.
It’s that unsettling feeling of being intimidated by either the people you see at the gym—or the weird equipment that surrounds you there.
The fact is, you have to work to get the body you want, but that involves stepping outside of your comfort zone and heading to a fitness center near you.
🎲 Roll the dice.
♜ Make a move.
💪 Be bold.
🏄 Be adventerous.
💫 Be more. pic.twitter.com/qB9icr2Elu
— LIMU® (@LIMU) April 26, 2016
The good news: going to the gym doesn’t have to be a scary or shameful experience!
Here are a few tips that will give you the mindset you need to head to the gym and shake it off:
1. Find your niche.
The secret to joining a gym and actually continuing to go back lies in finding one that’s right for you in the first place. Before you sign up for just any fitness center or workout class, make sure the culture and vibe suit your style. Not everyone’s the Crossfit, tire-flipping type—and some of us just can’t handle the crowds at popular “big box” gyms. There are so many choices out there these days, don’t shortchange yourself by going with something that’s just not you.
2. Dress the part.
What you wear to the gym can seriously impact your mental state going into a workout, so invest in some clothes that make you confident and comfortable in your skin. Toss the faded, over-sized t-shirts and ratty sweat pants. A sad collection of workout gear will make you feel dumpy, out of shape and uninspired. Upgrade your wardrobe with actual workout clothes and a pair of shoes that makes you feel superhuman, and you’ll feel like you fit right in!
3. Have a plan.
If you don’t have a game plan when you walk into the gym—welcome to awkward city. Avoid aimlessly walking around, wondering which machine to try next. You’ll only waste precious calorie-burning time and have another excuse to worry about what others think. Have a plan of attack when you walk into the gym and map out your workout before you walk through those doors. Need some help? Think of the Internet as your endless resource of workout tutorials.
4. Start with the basics.
If you’re new to the gym, take it easy at first and try incorporating traditional exercises done at your own pace. Don’t try to match anyone else’s routine or workout style, find what works for you and familiarize yourself with the equipment gradually. Many gyms offer an introductory personal training session, so think about making that initial investment to get started out on the right foot and make the most of your monthly payment.
5. Zone out.
Zoning out mentally during exercise is one way to forget that you’d rather be anywhere else but the gym. You don’t have to love the process of getting fit, but if you want to actually look forward to going to the gym–or at least not dread it–it helps to distract yourself a little while you’re working out. Cue up a TV show you love, or get lost in some music to ease your nerves and make the time go by faster.
6. Buddy up.
There’s power in numbers. If you’re overcome by fear of the gym, find a workout partner or two to tag along with you. Have a friend or family member commit to fit along with you, and it’ll feel way less daunting stepping into a gym or a workout class where you don’t know anyone. Bonus: you’ll get to spend some quality time together and get fit while doing so!
7. Become a regular.
The best way to feel at home in the gym is to push through and keep going. Once you become a regular and get familiar with the machines, the culture, the staff, and the overall vibe, you’ll feel much more confident and at ease working out. The beginning stages of being a gym-goer are tough, but keep it up and you’ll graduate to pro status in no time.
And last but not least…
8. …get over yourself!
This last one may seem a little harsh, but you have to understand: no one is looking at you and judging you. Everybody else at the gym is far too busy worrying about themselves to notice you. When you’re at the gym, are you really sitting there, judging others, or are you thinking about yourself, your life, your to do list, your goals? Don’t get so absorbed in the thought of others watching your every move, they’re not.
Related: 5 Ways to BLU Up Your Workout Routine