9 Ways to Get Over Gym Anxiety (Like Now)


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Gymtimidation is a real thing! Have you ever felt awkward, shy, or uncomfortable? How do you get to be confident as an alone girl in the gym?

See, I’ve been going to the gym since I could afford to pay for my membership and drive myself to the gym. But to be honest, I only went to classes like kickboxing, boxing, and Zumba. Only because I had no idea how good weightlifting was.

I lied. Now that I remember, I took a weightlifting class in high school, but my memories are vague. After that, I had once gone to the gym with my boyfriend at the time and let me just it did not turn out well. I hated that there was nothing but men in that weight room. And that he wanted me to squat with god knows how much weight. I felt wimpy, and I never wanted to go back. 

So if you’ve ever had a bad experience or are scared to step foot in the weight room because you want to avoid anything wrong that could happen, read this first so you can feel confident in the gym.

WEIGHTLIFTING NEWBIE

I want to say Zumba classes were the last classes I took before diving deep into weightlifting. I was getting bored, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, and I didn’t see any results. That’s when I started going to CrossFit.

Now let me tell you I know people have a lot of good and bad to say about CrossFit, but this is what I loved about it.

  • Very community based
  • The coach explains the exercise
  • You work in partners
  • If you go to the class at the same time, those people that go at the same time become your crew, your buddies, and your friends. 
  • Accountability
  • People notice when you don’t show up.
  • Challenging
  • It’s fun

After a year, I left the country for almost a year, and when I came back, I wanted to try something different. Weight lifting for sure though still.

That’s when I decided to go back to my old gym and try things out on my own. But it brought back old memories of feeling shy. If this is you find out how I got over feeling awkward and instead confident as an alone girl in the gym and you can too.

Have a plan

Nothing feels more awkward than standing there with your phone in hand and looking to see what’s free to use.

Before you step foot in the gym, avoid feeling lost with your workouts and gym equipment. Choose a program that fits the number of days you can go to the gym, the level of difficulty you feel comfortable with, and of course, a program that you can see yourself enjoying.

If you’re feeling iffy about a couple of the exercises, check them out on youtube. As weeks go by, you will begin to familiarize yourself with new exercises and movements you weren’t sure how to perform before.

Following a plan is a great way to help you feel confident in the gym. 

Have a playlist

There’s something about your favorite song blasting in your headphones that lifts your mood, energy, and strength.

Having a playlist goes a long way. 

To this day, you can find me lip singing to music and maybe shimmying a shoulder here and there. I almost feel like it helps me zone out, focus on my workout, and pumps me up when I feel like my body is running on E.

P.S you also save a lot of time skipping through songs you don’t like, and lets you focus on what you went in there to do. Work out!

Dress comfortably

Nothing beats feeling comfortable and good about what you’re wearing. Save the clothing malfunctions for another time so you can focus on what you came to that gym to do. 

Here is a list of staple gym clothing pieces:

  • Running shoes
  • Flat shoes for squatting or deadlifting
  • Squat proof leggings (squat down and bed over to make sure they are not see-through)
  • Comfortable sport bras
  • Comfortable cotton tops

Some of my favorite places to get workout clothes from are TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Old Navy.

Go during non-peak hours

Gym peak hours are typically from 9- 10:30 AM or 4–7 PM at my gym. Of course very gym every gym is different. But if you’re going during peak hours sometimes, if not always, it can be tough to get some of your main lifts in like deadlifts, bench press, squats, or hip thrusts because of limited equipment. 

Of course, if you can’t go because of work, then that’s ok. Do not let this stop you from crushing every single gym session. Because of my part-time job during the week, I moved my workouts around. I now take my rest days during the week and instead workout on the weekend. It’s great!

Some of the benefits of not going peak hours are:

  • Less crowding
  • No time spent waiting on equipment
  • Less crowded bathrooms

Stretch and scope

While stretching seems to get neglected more than it should, I’ve learned to appreciate this part of my workout. It’s been almost a year that no matter what, before I start training, I take about 5 to 10 minutes to do a couple of dynamic stretches.

And can I let you in on something? 

Stretching out in the open area of the gym is when I take the time to go over my exercises for the day quickly.

What equipment do I need first? Is the bench taken right now? Should I start with my second exercise? Maybe this sounds funny, but for those 5 to 10 minutes, I’m scoping out the gym and pretty much planning how I’ll be moving around.

Track progress

Keeping track of my progress in the gym has helped me so much! It gives you something to look forward to the next time you go back to the gym, and it’s a reminder of where to start back up again.

The goal of getting stronger is progressive overloading. It feels incredible to see how much you improve over time on your lifts.

Aside from just tracking my numbers, I even write down my mood sometimes.

I say mood because, for example:

I’m not even joking. If you could only lift 9 of the 12 reps and felt like you almost could not complete that last rep, literally write down nine reps “tough lift felt hands slipping.” Then come next week when you go to repeat the same exercise, maybe you’ll lift it like nothing ever happened.

That’s progress, girl!

Ask for help

Sometimes this can sound a little intimidating. But asking for help can save you a tone of time, confusion, and hopefully, this never happens but even an injury.

If you’re not sure how to complete an exercise or use a machine, ask a trainer if they can help you out for a second. After all, they are there to help. Asking for help will stop yourself from questioning whether you’re doing an exercise right or wrong and boost your confidence.

Set your own Pace

You heard it before, and here it goes again. Your progress isn’t a marathon. I’ve met so many women in different stages of their fitness journey. Sometimes you need to take a step back and love your body. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and again not everyone has the same goal.

Fitness is a lifestyle that makes up a small part of you, yet touches a part of everything else in your life. Leave your ego at the door and feel like a badass at every single stage of your fitness journey. 

There is no rush to be the strongest. You must focus on the small things that build to the bigger things. Focus on improving your form, the number of days you make it to the gym and your strength, and, more importantly, your confidence.

Smile and make friends

You’re going to see familiar faces during the hours you choose to train. As your consistency increases, your gym will soon start to become like your second home. 

Believe it or not, these familiar faces may even help keep you accountable. 

In the beginning, my consistency always got better when I made new friends at my gym or came across the friendly staff. 

If you’re gone too long, the next time they see you, someone may ask where you’ve been. Like what? Someone noticed I was gone? It’s rather sweet. 

CONCLUSION

How do you get to be confident as an alone girl in the gym?

There’s no denying that anything new can be intimidating. I mean, if you aren’t doing something scared, is it worth doing?

Remember to have a plan when you first walk into the gym, watch a couple of videos of the exercises you need to complete, blast your favorite music, and get going.

Walk around your gym confidently, slay every single workout out, and be prepared for every workout session. What is new today will become a habit tomorrow. 

Write to me and let me know. What helped you gain confidence in the gym?

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