Whether you’re new to the gym or returning after a long break, it can be a daunting place. There’s even a term to describe the feeling of nervousness or anxiety that many people feel when they think of going there: the “gymstimidation”.
There are several reasons why people may be afraid to go to the gym, including fear of being judged by other people, thinking that they might not be able to do certain exercises correctly, and to be insecure on how they compare to other gym goers.
But at root, one of the biggest reasons people may experience “gymbullying” is that many view the gym as an unfamiliar or intimidating place. This is largely because they may feel unsure of what they may encounter there or because they may not know what they are doing there.
But just because you’re facing a new situation doesn’t mean there aren’t a few simple things you can do to overcome your bullying – and most of them involve finding ways to remove that bullying. uncertainty.
People tend to like predictability – so much so that uncertainty is tied to emotions like fear and anxiety. But if we can learn to minimize feelings of uncertainty and push ourselves to encounter uncertain environments more often, we can make ourselves more adept at managing them.
Another reason people may feel nervous about hitting the gym for the first time is that they have low self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is our belief in our own skills and abilities, and whether we believe we have the power to succeed in a particular situation. It plays a big role in almost everything we do because it is essential to human motivation.
When we think we can’t do something, it makes us less likely to want to try that thing in the first place. This may explain why many people feel intimidated about going to the gym.
But there are plenty of ways to work around those feelings — even before your first visit to the gym:
Keep your training simple to begin with and plan exercises you can master quickly and enjoy. It can also be helpful to include alternate moves or exercises that you can swap out if the gym is busy or a machine is in use.
Research the gym and equipment to familiarize yourself with the layout and type of equipment you might encounter. Finding sources or videos online that show you how the equipment works can also help calm your nerves and better prepare you for what you might encounter before your first workout. Booking a one-on-one meeting with a staff member or personal trainer on the first day can also help.
Find a workout routine online or talk to a personal trainer to plan your workouts in advance. Not only will this help you know which machines or which area of the gym you will need when you visit, but it will also give you the chance to practice your moves beforehand.
Consider attending a group exercise class for beginners. Being around others who are in a similar place to yours can help you feel more confident and less anxious – and it can even be beneficial for your sanity.
Participate in off-peak periods first. It can help build your confidence and familiarity with the gym, and you may feel less nervous if there are fewer people around.
Expect and accept anxiety and some nerves. It’s a perfectly normal part of the process of trying something new, and everyone feels it, even people who have been in it for a long time. One way to deal with nerves is to practice mindfulness, a form of meditation that involves focusing on being present in the moment and any thoughts or feelings you may be having. This can help you overcome any anxiety you feel.
Being prepared before hitting the gym can help you walk away with a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Ultimately, this feeling will help you associate positive rather than negative feelings with the gym. This means you are more likely to stay with your commitment to go there.