5 Ways to Crush Your Gym Fear

Ever since I joined my local {not really local, because I live way out in the country} gym this past December, I’ve had a few of you write to me asking how I did it. Not literally how I joined, but moreso how I got over my fear of the gym.

Not one guy in my gym looks like this. Not one.
Not one guy in my gym looks like this. Not one.

Yes, I had CRAZY, irrational fear of the gym. Remember this post in August 2011? Haha, see, I said irrational! Looking back there was no reason for me to fear those things. AND since I proclaimed not being fearful of the gym by the end of that post, there was no reason it should have taken me another year and eight months before joining. *SIGH* Can you just imagine the wicked sick figure I’d have by now had I just joined then?!

But no use crying over a spilled protein shake right now. So I’m only four months into my gym love affair instead of many more–better that than being held hostage at home by fear!

I get it, though. I totally understand where you’re coming from.You’re thinking about it. Teetering with the idea. Thought seriously about doing it in January, but the time passed you by. The first three months of the year are behind us now…no time like the present. So if I can get your booty in the gym and walking around that b*tch like you own it and laughing in the face of your scaredy-catness, then I’ll be a happy little trainer.

I quickly remembered and jotted down what I did that enabled me to kick fear in the arse for good. These five things worked for me…may they work for you, too!
5 Ways to Crush Your Gym Fear


1. STAKE IT OUT.

I’m not talking about hiding out in the parking lot a few times before you’ve made the decision to join so you can stare at the building and observe the members who belong there. Because that’s just silly. Who would do that? Okay, I did that.
gym_snap fitness_cardio
gym_snap fitness_machines

What I suggest, and what I only halfway did back in 2011, was to get a tour of the facility. Check to see when the gym is staffed {usually in the mornings and in the evenings} and get a personalized tour of the place, its machines, the locker room, etc. Talk to a few trainers. If you’re too shy to talk to them, observe them. Also observe the members. What type of crowd is there? What kind of feeling do you get in there? Do you feel at home or uneasy? Is the space big enough or too big? Do you see the types of equipment you desire? Does it appear in good condition? Is it clean? Ask questions!!

2. RESEARCH THE EXERCISES.

Take some time to learn difference types of exercises you’d like to do to meet your fitness goals. Do this before you get to the gym. One, you won’t have that deer-in-headlights look and two, this will be less time wasted during your work out. There are quality muscle building magazines out there that will instruct you pretty well {Muscle and Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, Oxygen, Men’s Fitness, etc} as well as Bodybuilding.com‘s Exercise Databank. <– No, really. The database is awesome. Check it now and come back later to finish reading. I’ll mark your spot. START READING HERE. Welcome back–Okay, there are also very decent YouTube videos out there that show you how to perform exercises. Just make sure you’ll watching from reputable sources!

3. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES.

When I first started working out, and this was at the very beginning, I wanted so very badly to wear the cute workout clothes I saw in the magazines, on TV, on the random college girls at Whole Food’s…But I couldn’t. Not only could I not fit into those clothes, there is no way they would have been comfortable to wear while working out–I would have been way too self-conscious and not focused on the task at hand…THE WORKING OUT!! Now you know, especially if you follow me on Instagram, that I’m all about cute workout clothes. But even when I joined the gym in December, there were certain outfits I wanted to wear, yet they wouldn’t have been comfortable. Four months later, I’m finally starting to feel at ease in some of those clothes, i.e. a tank top without a t-shirt over it, but there are still pieces that I shudder at the thought of wearing in public. My point–don’t wear what you think you should wear, wear what makes YOU feel comfortable. As much as I love my fashion, when you’re in that gym, one of the last things you should be focused on is clothing.

4. WEAR HEADPHONES.
headphones
At first, before I even set foot in the gym, I had my headphones on and the music going. Whether I used it to psyche myself up or just as a distraction from anybody who was staring at me {no one was staring}, I could get lost in the music and was put at ease. I used to have little earbuds in my ears, but now I have a pair of those big ‘ol headphones. No–not the name brand. #AintNobodyGotMoneyForThat These headphones were $5 at the dollar store and are completely awesome. They block out the gym’s bad music, televisions, random Chatty Cathys, and creepers. Anyhow, put the headphones on, block everyone out, and do your thing like nobody’s watching. {Because nobody’s watching.}

5. FACE YOUR FEAR AND DO IT.

I hate to say it, but it’s true. Sometimes the best way to get over your fear is to just face it. Even if I did the the first four things on this list, I still would be hemming and hawing over joining if I hadn’t just sucked it up and gone inside. I bought a trial membership online and hit “submit” super fast so I couldn’t stop myself. And once I had paid for the membership, I wasn’t going to waste my money. This was my way, my last attempt, of giving myself that push to face my gym fear and crush it. Best decision ever. And you know what, it wasn’t even that scary afterall… 😉

Okay! Those are my tips. Do you have any others to help anyone that may be on the edge?

 

Comments 10

  • Love the article. I know it can be intimidating to folks but it really isn’t that bad once folks get used to it.
    Diatta recently posted..FFFC April Showers Challenges 2013My Profile

  • As always a great article with very practical tips! You just have to do it. What I would add/reiterate is to ask the staff any questions you may have and just try every thing at least once. Case in point, I have a training background and for the FIRST time EVER, I tried the Arc Trainer machine last night and LOVED it…we dont know unless we try it. Great article. Keep motivating others. Genuine Feedback

  • I agree, a great article. I found that once I started going at the same time (5/530am mon to fri) and seeing the same people over and over and sharing a little “hey how’s it going” small talk really helped me feel more comfortable at the gym. And reminding myself that people are there to work out and not stare at me and judge me in their heads, lol.

  • Thank you so much for finding me and stopping by Aasyah! 🙂 And for the kind words!!

  • LOVE this!! Good tips for people scared to join the gym fun 🙂
    M. Love recently posted..Back to Skull Crushers 😉My Profile

  • You inspired me to get up and walk for 42 minutes this morning. 42 minutes might not sound like a lot but I sit all day for work. You are my hero!

  • Hi Anne! Thanks for poking around, lol! Born and raised and obsessed with the ‘Burgh for sure! Good luck at the race!!

  • Hey Cherie!
    Great story of yours! I saw it in the NASM newsletter, (I’m recently certified, and your story is inspiring, your methods instructional – so, thanks!)
    My only “tip” would be – Get a friend to join with you. Having an accountability partner, and some additional BFF courage always helps, right??

    Keep up the awesome work!!