Gym-timidation? How To Get Over Feeling Intimidated At The Gym

As comfortable as I am in the gym now, there was a time I absolutely hated walking into the weights room. Joining the gym is a battle in itself, but the challenge remains in walking past the sweaty men grunting and deadlifting and the perfectly put together women who don’t seem to have sweat glands. 

I dreaded the weight lifting experience. The weights room at my first gym was overpopulated with a thousand men and about two women. I would always find a corner with my baby weights and do a few self conscious arm curls before I made a run for it. As far as the men in the gym were concerned, I was there to do a few yoga moves and call it a day. 


At some point, when I realized I was losing out on some serious gains because of fear, I had to put on my big girl running shorts and get over the embarrassment and the feeling of intimidation. The honest truth is that no one really cares about what you’re doing at the gym. Most of the people who spend hours in the gym are very narcissistic and they only care about how their muscles look while they’re hitting their reps in front of the mirror. 

As a woman who has an active lifestyle, I know how important it is to feel comfortable when I work out. If I’m not comfortable or if I am too focused on what is happening around me, I end up having a very mediocre workout experience. It’s natural to feel intimidated when you’re a newbie but as you spend more time working out, it’s important that you shake off the negative feelings so you can truly focus on shaping your body and mind. 

If you’re looking to break out of your shell and be the best version of yourself everytime you walk into the gym, here are a few tips to help you through the process: 

Always have a plan: If you show up at the gym without a plan, and it doesn’t have to be a complicated plan, you’ll end up roaming about aimlessly or feeling like an utter donkey. Before you leave the house, map out what part of your body you want to work on and how long you intend to spend at the gym. When you have a target on your mind, it makes it easier to stay on track.

Ask for help: A good gym will always have a trainer on standby to help people who are new to the gym culture. Muster up some courage and walk up to a trainer if you need help. Do not be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly the questions may seem. If you don’t have knowledge about good form or gym equipments, you will not see desired results as quickly as you should.

Find a quiet corner: When you walk into the weights room, grab the dumbbells you need and find an empty spot where you can exercise without being distracted by the other people working out.

Download an app: There are numerous apps geared towards making your gym experience a little easier. Most of these apps come with video and audio instructions that are easy to follow along. If you’re worried about looking silly when you’re trying an exercise for the first time, I suggest you download the Nike Training Club app. The app comes with videos of personal trainers, athletes and celebrities showing each exercise move.

The more you go to the gym and try new exercises, the more your confidence levels will increase after each workout. Keep in mind that every single person at the gym is there for the same reason you are - they are there to workout and leave. Don’t let the burly men and the yoga moms send you running for the hills. Pick up a dumbbell and have a fantastic session.