How to Build Confidence in the Gym
Have a gym membership? Great! Gyms give you access to tons of equipment day and night, every single day of the week. Resources are literally around every corner, and there is nothing stopping you from reaching your fit goals – except maybe one thing. Your confidence level.
Gym anxiety and low gym confidence are extremely common, but also possible to improve upon and fix. Whether it’s your first time ever working out, you took a long break and are coming back, or you don’t normally frequent a gym – the initial experience can seem intimidating.
But don’t let that drag you down! I am here to help you find your confidence and build on it. Follow my 6 ideas for how to build gym confidence below.
Six Ways to Build Gym Confidence
1. Acknowledge and Accept
Let’s start at the top. Every single person you see in your gym has been in (or is currently in!) your shoes. Don’t forget that. You are going to be uncomfortable and it won’t get better in a day…and that’s ok! You need to remember that you are stepping out of your comfort zone…and that’s an absolutely amazing, strong and empowering thing! You are starting a new journey in your life. And if you’ve already started your fitness journey, you are now moving into a new chapter. It’s all good, you’ll get there! Just acknowledge and accept that it is going to be uncomfortable every now and then. Don’t ever let that bring you down – you’re building confidence little by little just by showing up each day.
2. Go When It’s Slow
If you are intimidated by the crowds of people, try to go to the gym when it’s not busy. Sometimes this takes a bit of guessing (or just ask!). A lot of gyms are open 24 hours so you can try going later at night, super early in the morning or – my favorite – mid-afternoon. Experiment with what time works best for you.
3. Get Acquainted with the Equipment
Once you find a time that makes you feel more comfortable with the crowd size, start playing around with the equipment. Learn how the machines and equipment work, learn how to set them up, adjust them and learn how much weight is right for you. Trust me, if you know how to use a machine before trying to figure it out during your actual workout, you’re going to feel a WHOLE lot better when it comes to crush time.
4. Make an Appointment with a Staff Member
If you don’t feel comfortable learning about each machine you will be using on your own, talk to a staff member…that’s their job! They can help you learn about each machine, and tell you where equipment is located throughout the gym. Have any other odds and ends questions? Staff members and trainers are your best resources in the gym.
5. Slow and Steady
Even after you’ve become familiar with the setup of the gym and have met some staff members, go slow. You don’t need to move straight into the routine if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing right away. That is not an excuse to quit! Simply keep showing up and working with the equipment until you feel like you can pull those cables, set up the machines, and load up your barbell like the badass you are. You’ve got this.
6. You’re Human…and so is Everyone Else
Eventually, you’re going to do something embarrassing at the gym…believe me, I have lots of personal horror stories! You just gotta roll with it. It’s ok to look silly and it’s ok to have an off day or off workout. Trust me when I say everyone else at the gym has experienced the same from time to time. Learn to laugh at yourself and have fun.