Tips for overcoming gym anxiety

by Michael Davis in Education | Training

Gym anxiety is characterised by self-conscious, confidence breaking feelings in conjunction with embarrassing and intimidating thoughts around going to the gym. It’s commonly experienced by newcomers or when changing to a different gym. If you experience or have experienced this before, know that you are not alone. Most people who have stepped foot in a gym have felt these anxious feelings at least once.

The most common cause of anxiety is the fear of the unknown. We don’t know what to expect. Since we are entering a new environment, this can lead to our minds making negative predictions such as people will be judging us, or people will laugh at us for not knowing how to use the equipment. It’s easy to understand why with all the gym fail compilations you can find on the internet that people are more self-conscious than ever before.

Here are some tips you can follow to help reduce gym anxiety:


  1. Bring a Friend

Bringing someone along to train with can be a great way to build up your confidence in the gym. It makes you feel more at ease with your environment. Many people who work out with a friend or partner report feeling more motivated to pushing themselves harder which leads to greater enjoyment.

  1. Attend a quieter session

Quieter sessions or times means less people to worry about. Less people also means more equipment availability. You will be able to build up your confidence and familiarity with the gym environment before attending a busier session. You could always contact your gym and ask which times are quieter.

  1. Get friendly with the instructors, especially if attending a group session

Instructors are always there to help you when you need. They should make you feel as comfortable as possible during your workout and answer any questions you have. Getting to chat with one of the instructors before a session is a great way to alleviate some anxiety.  Additionally, you could ask for an induction and additional guidance if you feel lost or unsure about a certain exercise.

  1. Opt for a community-based gym

Community based gyms are smaller and will offer a greater sense of community. Compared to commercial gyms, there will be less people and you will feel more welcomed.

You could search for a community-based gym in your area that suits your age group where you will find like minded people who are on the same fitness journey as you. Griffin Fit offers small group sessions up to 10 people, 1-1 PT sessions and an amazing sense of community.

5. Plan your workout

Planning your session before hand will save you time as you won’t be thinking about what exercise to do next. You can save even more time by hiring a personal trainer. At Griffin Fit, all sessions are planned for you so you don’t have to worry about planning them yourself.

6. Keep going

Just remember that by simply turning up to the gym you have already made a huge step. You should count that as a big win. The first step is always the hardest, but once you get familiar with the new environment and you really start to enjoy your workouts, those anxious feelings will gradually fade away. Always remind yourself that the benefits of being active outweigh the initial gym anxiety/fears. Keep going and I guarantee you will thank yourself !

Thanks for reading,