I’m not sure if this is a certified word yet, but it should be. Tell me if any of the following sound familiar.
You fear the weights section of the gym
You feel you are being judged by everyone
You get put off by idiotic males looking at you
You are scared of looking out of shape and clueless
If the answer to even one is yes…you are gymtimidated.
Gyms can be really scary places. From testosterone laden men grunting and heaving in one corner to other people sprinting like cheetahs on the treadmills to some really crappy music blaring out of broken speakers, with all the sweat and the smells and the trainer who is eying you like a fatted calf…yep gyms can be pretty intimidating.
Interestingly, as per research done in the UK and US, this is one of the biggest reasons why women do not do resistance training or training with weights. Even if they do…being gymtimidated completely messes with their ability to exercise with confidence and thus impeding their ability to get good results.
Here are some tips to help you overcome that.
Choose the right gym.
Choosing one that is close to you is the most obvious choice, however if choosing a gym which has more exercising choices like Cardio, Zumba, TRX etc means another 10 mins take that. Variety is important. DO NOT choose a unisex gym or a gym with different times for women etc..you are here to confront your fears not to pander to them.
Avoid Rush Hour
Choose your timing. Waiting around for the treadmill or machines to be free can be quite intimidating. In my experience gyms are most crowded in the evenings. Early morning or early afternoons are the best, however check with the staff there and make your choice.
Join a class
The best way to integrate yourself in that community is to participate. Join a class of anything that suits. This will put you in a crowd and you will soon become a familiar face. Once you are one of the crowd, then head over to the weights.
Focus on yourself
Remind yourself why you are there. You are there for you and focus on that and that only. The steroid dipped freak who is staring at you has little or no importance in your life. He is part of your existence because you have allowed it. Don’t.
Know your stuff
Do your homework. You might depend on the trainer for guidance however reading up on small things like how does each exercise effects the body, form& function etc helps tremendously. That knowledge is power is certainly true, in your case it is confidence too.
Invest in a great pair of headphone, preferably Bluetooth so the wires don’t annoy or get in the way. Load up a swinging playlist on your phone/mp3 player and lose yourself to it. That way your ears aren’t assaulted by the rubbish that most gyms play and secondly that keeps your focus inwards and helps keeps anxiety away.
Don’t work hard because you hate your body. Work hard because you love it. That will make all the difference.