You have your Nikes laced up, your workout clothes on, your earphones looped around your phone, and your Crush guide all ready for the gym. Your water bottle is neatly stored in your gym bag next to your protein powder, and your pre workout is already kicking in, putting an extra jump in your step.
But then you realize, there’s one thing that’s not ready for your gym session: you!
Gym anxiety. It’s relevant and real, and for many, it can even deter them from their fitness journey. Because like anything in life, the unknown can be intimidating--huge contraptions, endless rows of equipment, the huge guy in the back grunting and doing curls on the squat machine, and the bad ass girl throwing out sprints on the treadmill—it’s enough to send anyone running for the door.
And that’s exactly how I felt before I started lifting. But, 2 years into my gym membership, after months of resisting my brothers’ invitations to go workout with them, I’ve come to realize a few things: the contraptions aren’t all that huge, the equipment is user friendly, that guy lacks proper gym etiquette, and that girl is going to give you her extra hair tie when you forget yours in the car.
But, the thing is, everyone, regardless of where they are on their path or how much experience they have, feels unsure at the gym at some point! It’s completely normal; we’re all human after all! So, in the meantime, here are a few tips to help you cope with some of that gym anxiety:
- Bring a friend! Going in with a familiar face can be so helpful at the start. You can find the locker room together, figure out where all the machines are, take turns between sets. Not to mention, having a workout buddy makes working out all the more fun!
- Go in with a plan! Write out what you’re going to do, step-by-step, or pull up your Crush guide on your phone. When you go in knowing what you need to do, you’ll feel more focused as you move between each exercise. And before you know it, you’ll be so wrapped up in what you’re doing, you’ll forget you’re even at the gym!
- Remember that everyone is there for themselves! The gym can feel like a fish bowl sometimes, but at the end of the day, every gym goer has their own plans, their own goals, and will be so involved with what they’re doing, that they won’t be paying much attention to what you’re doing!
- Put on your favorite gym outfit, play your favorite song, and walk in with some confidence, real or fake—because it’s the little things that put that extra pep in your step!
And lastly, remember that sometimes all it takes is walking through those doors the first time; kind of like ripping off a band-aid. Because after that, each day will only get easer. So strap on your shoes, and go CRUSH your workout!