You finally get a gym membership or maybe you finally go back to the gym you’ve had a membership to for years. Except you can’t even remember the last time you worked out. You’ve been trying to lose weight for some time now. You know you need to do this and make your health a priority. Not to mention you’re tired of feeling like crap. So you walk into the gym, gazing around at all the members who seem like they all know what they’re doing. People are lifting, running, sweating. You nervously walk up to a treadmill.
Suddenly, before you even take your first step, everything becomes silent. No, it’s not because you put your noise cancelling headphones on. Nope. You look up and realize everyone has stopped what they’re doing and they’re all staring at you. Not a word is said. There’s nothing, but deafening silence. Your heart is beating fast. Sweat is running down your temple and all you can think is, “I’ve gotta get the hell out of here.” You begin power walking towards the exit. No — you’re RUNNING to the exit. Everyone is STILL staring at you. You’re almost to the door. But wait! As you’re passing the juice bar, you trip up on your shoe laces and fall into the juice bar guy with a tray of smoothies. Crap! Ultra Mega Protein 5000 smoothies are everywhere. Oh no! It’s all over your clothes and even in your hair! Wait a sec. Your pants have fallen down. MY GOD! The horror! Ultra Mega Protein 5000 smoothies have gotten in your underwear! Everyone’s laughing at you. This couldn’t be worse! So you let out the most blood curdling scream in your entire life!!! And then!!! And then…
Well, there is no “and then” because you were just psyching yourself out. That was a very unrealistic and extreme situation to begin with. This was just an example of, “gymtimidation.”
What is gymtimidation (gym intimidation) exactly? “Gymtimidation” is a word used to refer to the feeling of dread, fear, or general intimidation we feel when going to the gym. Sometimes, you’re hit by a feeling of gymtimidation so intense that you can’t even make the first step in signing up for your membership. Other times, you find yourself paying for the monthly fee and standing frozen outside of the door each week. Sometimes you finally make it indoors, but then make yourself sick with worry that you’re being judged by everyone else around you and opt to leave before you’ve completed your workout.
Their thoughts usually go something like this:
“I’m very self-conscious about my body and I feel like everyone can see thru me.”
“I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing and people will notice.”
“I feel like a loser. Like why am I even at the gym?”
“I feel like people are judging me because I’m fat. I’m not strong, or in really good shape.”
Can you relate to any of those thoughts? If you so, take what I’m about to say into consideration.
The truth of, “gym intimidation” is it’s a projection of our insecurities. Those insecurities manifest themselves in such an impactful way, that we incorrectly and irrationally assume the negative thoughts we have about ourselves are the exact thoughts of how others view us in the gym. Which 100% stems from our self-reflection and self-confidence.
Here’s the thing folks, when you’re at the gym it should be all about you focusing on YOU. Because guess what? Everyone at the gym is there for many of the same reasons you’re there. They want to get healthy. They want to lose weight. They want to look good. They want to be challenged. So on, and so forth.
We all had to start somewhere. You, me, and others are no different. If you feel unsure about using a machine, you can always ask the gym staff, or even a fellow gym member. Actually, you’d be surprised by how often other people are willing to help you out. And if you really feel it’s necessary, you can always consider hiring a personal trainer.
All in all, it’s okay to feel nervous if you’re just getting into the groove of things. Just know as each workout passes by, as you begin to familiarize yourself even more with different exercises, any previous worrisome thoughts will have all, but disappeared.
Do your best. Give it your all. Most importantly, I commend you for making your health and fitness a priority.
If you live in the Las Vegas Summerlin South or Spring Valley area and want the help of a personal trainer to get more comfortable and overcome that gymtimidation, shoot me a message! I’d be glad to work with you.