Have you been trying to get in the groove of working out, but just can’t seem to get yourself to the gym? We’ve all faced this problem at some point. Gym anxiety is that self-conscious feeling that you get when you feel like you may be judged based on your fitness level or knowledge, and it’s real. Sometimes it’s hard to focus when you’re surrounded by guys lifting heavy weights and machines that seem confusing to use. Here are some ideas for going to the gym worry-free!
Plan Out Your Workout
Walking into the gym with a clear plan of what you want to accomplish can help you stay focused. If you decide you are going to do the stair stepper for 30 minutes and then grab a mat and do an ab workout—stick to it! This way, you’ll know exactly what you have to do and won’t have time to think about what’s going on around you as much. It also gives off the illusion that you totally know what you’re doing…even if you don’t.
Bring a friend or workout buddy
Going to the gym alone can be sort of daunting at first. Instead of tackling it on your own, find a friend that already loves working out or one that is ready to get started too. Having a friend tag along with you can be really reassuring. If you’re bringing a friend that already hits the gym regularly, ask her to show you some of her favorite workouts. If your workout buddy is new too, it’s always nice just to have someone on the treadmill right next to you.
Go During Off-Peak Times
If your school gym is anything like mine, it probably gets super busy at certain times. This can make even someone who goes to the gym all the time a bit anxious. Ask around or test out different times to find when the gym is emptier. For me, usually the busiest time is late afternoon, so I try to avoid that! Going at off-peak times is really nice because more equipment will be free to use and you don’t have as many people there to make you worry.
Take a Fitness Class
One of my favorite ways to get a good workout in is taking fitness classes. A lot of schools’ rec centers or gyms offer group fitness classes. These are great because everyone is just there to have fun and get sweating! Many places offer a variety of classes like cycling, barre, yoga, arms, abs, conditioning, kickboxing, and more. The key is to try a few that sound interesting and see what you like the most. If you find a class that you’re enjoying and it makes you feel good afterwards, it will be much easier to stick with it.
Ask For Help
A really good way to learn how to do new workouts is just asking for help. If you see someone finishing up on some equipment, just ask them if they can quickly explain to you how to use it. Most times people will be happy to explain something that they’re familiar with. Another great option to utilize is personal trainers! If you just have a quick question, most gyms have trainers that can answer it for you. Otherwise, once and a while I like to schedule a session with a personal trainer. These are really great because the trainer will work you as hard as you want to work, and you will really learn a lot! If you ask your trainer to write out your plan on paper, you can do it on your own the next time. A lot of times they will show you how to use new machines or do different workouts, which is super helpful.
Good luck getting into the routine of going to the gym! Now go kill your workout.