Let’s admit it. As women, most of us want to be liked by everybody. So when we believe that others are judging us, it can be very intimidating, if not frightening. And there may be no single more intimidating place for a woman than the gym. We let that negative self-talk sneak in: If I can’t adjust this machine properly, will it be obvious I don’t know what I’m doing? Is there a spot in the back of the class so others won’t see when I mess up? If I start out with light weights, will people think I’m a lightweight!? This fear of being judged can actually hold us back from being ourselves, and therefore we aren’t focusing on our own goals while we’re at the gym. In reality, the judgement isn’t real. But tell that to the 65 percent of women surveyed by Fitrated who said they avoid the gym for fear of being judged. Because of fear, we put limitations on ourselves for no real reason. Here’s how you can squash that inner negative voice and get the most from your gym experience.
1. Pick the gym that’s right for you.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable working out in a gym with the opposite sex. Maybe you don’t want a gym that caters to bodybuilders. Maybe you are only interested in group exercise classes. To help you feel more confident, and make the most of your personal commitment to good health, identify what your workout needs are and choose a gym that’s just right for you.
2. Ask a trainer to show you around the gym.
Before you work out for the first time, have one of the trainers at the gym show you how to use the equipment. They can give you tips on proper form and technique as well as help you plan the best workout based on your fitness goals. Knowing how to properly use the machines and equipment will help you feel less anxious about your workout.
3. Get your group on.
If you like to blend in with the crowd, consider a gym or studio that offers group fitness classes. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn from everyone else – and rest assured that there are all skill levels in every class. Taking group classes also means a set start time, which can be just the thing to hold you accountable to a regular workout schedule.
4. Don’t do it alone.
One of the best ways to feel not-so-alone at a new gym or fitness studio is to join with a friend, a family member, a neighbor, or a work colleague. If you are learning together, both starting at zero, it’s less intimidating. Just remember though, you want to go to a gym that’s right for you, so make sure your goals match up with the person joining with you.
5. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Perhaps the most important lesson in not letting self-doubt ruin your workout is to remember why you joined the gym in the first place. You want to feel better, look better, be stronger, and healthier. Keep working hard and that confidence will find you!
If you are looking for a place to learn about weight lifting, aerobic exercise classes, yoga, and more, a personal training session with LHAA’s personal training interns is a great place to start building your gym confidence! Learn more here >>
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