This is a real thing. I have been lifting weights 3-5 days a week since I was a sophomore in college (I’m 27 now), and I still get intimidated going into the weight room sometimes. I worry that I might look like I don’t know what I’m doing. I worry that I actually don’t know what I’m doing. I worry my outfit is stupid. I worry my form is bad. I worry people will judge me for not being able to lift enough. I worry that people will judge me from lifting too heavy (she’s going to look like a man!). I could worry my way right out the door and back into bed.
BUT – lifting is important. It grows muscle, which keeps your body healthy, allows to you have a higher metabolism (aka eat MORE FOOD HELLO), prevents running injuries, and makes you a more efficient runner. Here is an excerpt from Hansons method.
“Strength training helps to fight fatigue by training the body to be able to draw from fast-twitch fibers late in an endurance event.”
So the moral of my story here is you’ve got to get over your Gymtimidation. If you have a fabulous home gym, and never have to go to a public gym, that is awesome! But what if you travel? What if you want to work out with a friend? You should be able to walk into any gym, any weight room, and feel at home. Here are my biggest ways of getting myself to do that:
- This is the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given – Everyone else in the gym that you think is watching you? They aren’t. They are thinking about themselves. Everyone is concerned with what THEY are doing. They are not worried about you. I promise. If you can remember that no one is paying attention to you, except you, you are going to be way less worried. If you are working out at the same gym as these guys, I promise they are thinking more about their striations and form than what you are doing 🙂
- Have a plan. Don’t go into the weight room with no idea what you are going to do. Be specific – even just “I’m gonna do leg things today” is too broad. Put a workout in the notes in your phone, or write it on a note card. I keep a bunch of 5×7 index cards with particular workouts written on them. That way I just pick one of them out and go. You can get workouts a couple ways: make them up yourself, online forums, hire a trainer to give you a workout that you can do on your own.
- Get comfortable with form and the various machines. Smith machine, leg press, squats, deadlifts – overwhelming. Except not, if you break it down one at a time. Before you even go to the gym to do the workout that you have decided on, take a few minutes to understand what each exercise is. If you have the ability to hire a trainer, you can have them show what the exercises should look like. If not, simply go to YouTube and look up how to do them. Just search “rear felt flys.” Make sure the video source is reputable looking, and watch a couple different videos.
- Be courteous. Make sure you aren’t taking someone’s machine in the middle of their superset. Think of it like a golf course. This doesn’t mean stay out of everyone’s way and that you are not important. I just mean be aware. If you are kind and courteous, most people will return the favor. Are there those people who will be rude anyway? Of course. That is just interacting with people in any situation though haha!
- Wear something appropriate that you feel good in. Look good, feel good – am I right? Obviously you don’t need the fanciest gym clothes out there to go lift or workout. However if you are feeling nervous about a new gym, or trying a new exercise – you want to make sure that you are wearing comfortable gym clothes that fit well and aren’t going to hinder your range of motion.
Side note: Sneaky gym selfies are best done in the squat rack when no one else is around. Don’t be “that person” hogging up a machine while sit on your phone and play candy crush!!!
What are your best ways of getting over “gymtimidation”?