Gyms can be pretty intimidating places, especially when you find yourself surrounded by long-time lifting fanatics, throwing around heavy plates in the weights room. Gym anxiety is perfectly normal and most people have experienced this at some point in time. Sadly, getting over this is all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone until you begin to feel more at ease. However, there are a couple things you can do to make the process easier:
Go with A Friend
Most things are easier when done in good company - bringing a friend to the gym will give you that much-needed support when you feel a little unsure. Not only will they be there to be your cheerleader and help you push through those tricky sets, but you’ll also be much less likely to chicken out of a session if you know you’ll be letting down a friend.
Book a Session with a PT
Often, a big part of gym anxiety is not knowing what you’re doing. Even if you just book one session, seeing a PT who can show you all the essential exercises and proper techniques, will help boost your confidence enough to hit the gym floor on your own.
Go with a Plan
Similar to the above point, entering the gym with a plan of action in mind will help massively with how anxious you feel. Like writing a to-do list at work, try to always make sure you have a training schedule to follow. There’s plenty of resources available online (like our 4-week bodyweight fitness plan), or for something a little more specific, contact a PT to create a tailored plan.
Avoid Peak Hours
An over-crowded 6 pm gym session is stress-inducing for just about everyone! Unless you really have to, try to avoid busy hours and go earlier in the morning or at lunchtime instead. You’ll have way more space to get on with doing your thing, without the added stress of fighting over equipment.
Invest in Good Headphones
Sometimes you’ve just got to drown out everyone else, so you can really focus on yourself. There’s no better way to do get into the zone than plugging in a good pair of headphones and blasting out a motivational playlist! As cheesy as it sounds, "me-time" never seems to happen that often, so don't let worrying about anyone else ruin the rare opportunity.