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Do you suffer from gymtimidation?

Email sent: Sep 10, 2021 4:01am
How to overcome your gym anxiety 💪 ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏

Hey ,

Have you ever suffered from ‘gymtimidation’?

Gymtimidation isn’t a new phenomenon - my guess is that gym anxiety has been real ever since the first gym opened! According to a survey by Sure Women, 1 in 4 women suffer from gymtimidation, half have felt negatively judged while working out, and a third worry that others will think they don’t know what they’re doing.

And it’s not just women who feel intimidated in the gym. Lockdowns over the past year have increased levels of anxiety across the entire population. The gym can be a daunting place at the best of times, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re not one of those people who have dived into the weights section, or hopped straight back onto the treadmill. Everybody’s different, and we’re all taking our own time transitioning back into social spaces.

If you’re a little worried about returning to the gym, here are some gym hacks to help you beat that anxiety!

1. Planning, planning… and yet more planning!

I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest anxieties surrounding the gym is just not knowing anything. The key to solving this is to do everything you can to plan. If you’re a newbie to the gym, have a tour of the space, ask questions about how the equipment works, and mentally note where the machines you’ll be using are.

Before you set off, have a clear plan of what your training session will entail, and make it the least intimidating thing you can think of (e.g. running on the treadmill for 15 minutes). Start slow and easy - you can always up the ante when you’re more comfortable.

2. Make use of personal trainers

Not everyone has the money to pay for a personal training session, and they’re definitely not a necessity. However, if you’re totally clueless about what you’re doing in the gym, saving up for one or two sessions with a PT to give you some guidance on what to do and how to do it will skyrocket your results and your gym confidence.

Even if you’re not getting a PT session, don’t forget there are personal trainers floating all around the gym floor! They can seem intimidating, but chances are they want to help you train safely. If you see a PT walking around without a client, there’s no harm in asking them to check your form - plus, getting to know the people who work in the gym will undoubtedly make the experience a lot more comfortable for you.

3. Bring a friend

Naturally you’re going to feel a lot more confident walking into the gym if you have a friend by your side. Even if neither of you know how to use certain equipment, you can figure out how the machines work together and have a laugh with it if anything goes slightly wrong.

For me, the male-dominated weights section is a particularly scary part of the gym. Bringing a friend into it with me not only helps me feel more comfortable, but it also means we can help each other lift heavy plates off machines and spot each other - two things which are difficult to do on your own!

4. Focus on yourself

Self-consciousness is one of the main reasons why most people are too scared to go to the gym, but let’s be honest, the person who thinks the most about what we’re doing is ourselves. Most people in the gym are fully concentrated on their own workouts (or they’re too busy flexing/trying to take a sneaky selfie). Put a hat on, plug your earphones in, get the job done and leave. You’re on a journey with yourself, and the only person you need to be concerned about is you.

Moving your body is the ultimate form of self-care, so don’t counteract it by beating yourself up mentally. Whichever fitness level you find yourself at when you first get into the gym, and no matter how short or easy that first workout is, getting yourself into that building is the biggest step.

Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and, most importantly, enjoy your workout!


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Vivo Life, Bristol Road, Winscombe, BS25 1PR.

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