I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this year about my fitness journey, where I started, what’s changed (good and bad) and where I am now and it made me really think about the anxiety I used to feel when walking into a gym.
It’s a pretty common thing, particularly when you’re starting out or join a new gym; you walk in and instantly feel like everyone’s starting at you – the girl that doesn’t know what she’s doing or doesn’t belong there. The gym areas typically used to filled with big, muscly men sipping on protein shakes, but I look around in the gym now and its not uncommon for as many girls as guys to be in there, and it’s amazing!
I used to get that feeling of fear every single time. Mainly because I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was also far too scared to try or ask for help. Fast-forward 3 years and I’ve realised that…
- People are usually staring at themselves, not anyone else (unless they’re jealous of them).
- Don’t be afraid to ask a Personal trainer for help – that’s actually why they work there.
- Confidence is key, and for me, that came with time and practise.
How did I overcome the fear?
Firstly, I joined in with classes at the gym. They’re not my favourite thing now, but they helped massively in building my confidence (and fitness levels obviously). I was able to get to know some of the trainers at the gym and when I finally got into the gym and lifting weights, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help if I was unsure on my form or moving something (particularly when people leave their weights on the bar…)
I also followed guides. Gym guides are great and I’ve tried so many different ones – some body weight exercises like Kayla Itsines BBG, and some more focused on weights like Corporate Sneakers MBB. All of them tend to have some really great and easy to follow content, and with a little YouTubing, you can watch how to do all of the exercises safely and correctly.
CrossFit also changed my mindset completely. I’m a dedicated CrossFitter, I’ve flitted in and out of it over the last two years, but I every time I go back, I get that feeling of knowing I’m going to be pushed to my limits and challenged to try new skills, but also have the confidence to know my own ability and if I need to scale something down – it’s never an issue.
Confidence is key
Confidence makes a massive difference in most areas of life; but the second I walked into the gym and ignored everyone else and focused on myself – things very much changed for the better. I realised that no one was staring at me or what I was doing in the gym, and I was confident in the workouts that I was doing.
The point that I became confident, I started to enjoy my workouts more and effectively see better results. Once you ask the questions, you find what you love to do and you know the basics, confidence will come. It doesn’t happen immediately and for shy people like me, it takes a lot of hard work to get to that point. I still haven’t mastered getting rid of the Resting Bitch Face though…I swear, I’m happier than I look…
What are your gym fears and have you overcome them?