Our Fitness BLOG today – looks at new joiners starting at the gym and the fear it can present with getting started…
Warren Active recognises that a Gym and Health Club environment is not second nature to everyone. Here at Warren we understand the idea of exercising in a new gym environment is challenging as not all gyms or studios are the same in terms of layout and user friendly equipment. Depending on individuals, a gym space can be a source of anxiety and intimidation and as a result leave a newcomer feeling de-motivated and discouraged.
This phenomenon as “Gymtimidation”
"The definition of this experience varies by source but is commonly thought to be associated with feelings of insecurity or feeling threatened by others in the same gym space who may be in a better perceived state of physical health. Every person can experience this at some point along their health journey" – Ref by author Dr. Erin Nitschke.
How To Beat Gymtimidation
“Before anyone can overcome gym-based fear or anxiety, they must recognize when it’s happening to them and what causes them to feel the way they do."
Asking yourself reflective questions before deciding how you can tackle the perceived threat of the gym space:
- if I had to explain my concern about going to the gym, how would I describe it to a close friend or trusted individual?
- what are my top three concerns with the gym environment?
- what would help me improve my sense of belonging and confidence in a gym setting?
Answering these questions in a journaling format or discussing them out loud with a friend, colleague, or family member can help reveal the root cause(s) of your sensations and perceptions as well as outline a roadmap to help you navigate moving forward and out of your gym-based anxiety.
Here Are The Best Ways To Beat It…
Just as there is no single approach to achieving personal health
goals, there is no singular gymtimidation strategy that will work for
every person who experiences the anxiety of exercising in a gym.
Try a few different strategies, see how they feel to you, and shift to others if you find something is not the right fit.
- Our top things that help new gym-goers to feel confident within the gym are:
To check out hiring a virtual personal trainer or WA Personal Trainer until you feel more confident with your progress.
- Bring a friend.
power in numbers and using a buddy system offers necessary social
support and accountability. Recruit a friend to workout with you.
- Dress comfortably.
of the experience of gymtimidation is related to not feeling
comfortable in an environment where tight or revealing clothing is often
worn. Invest in workout gear that you feel comfortable in rather than
choosing what seems popular.
- Avoid peak times.
gym & studio has peak times where the space is more crowded than
others. Usually, this means between 9-11am, and after 4pm. You can also
ask the Reception desk when the peak hours are, so you are sure to avoid
the larger groups.
- Explore a studio class.
you are more comfortable participating in a collective group that
aligns with your skill level and experience, a small group class or
small group personal training might be of interest.
- Ask for our FREE 45 min PT orientation & induction.
- Remember to take a tour of the gym first.
offer of “intro to equipment” is a free session and gives you a tour of
the gym and shows you the basics of all the equipment.
- Create a power playlist.
is a motivator and it also helps take the focus off the environment. If
music is not your preference, check out a podcast or audiobook to
enjoy. At WA our machines come with YouTube or the Sky News and other
channels to explore to keep you motivated.
- Celebrate small wins.
making it to the gym is a win if you are experiencing anxiety.
Celebrate that. Create a weekly log or journal of your achievements.
- Check out YouTube streaming for fitness motivation.
you are new to physical activity routines, consider checking out an
online streaming service to practice building strength and confidence
before venturing into a new gym – Or ask our friendly PT instructors
around the gym.
- Give yourself grace and space.
are normal and the anxiety of a gym atmosphere is more common than you
might think. Others experience it (I have even experienced it in new
gyms). Acknowledge and accept that this might happen more than once, and
it is ok to feel this way and it is more than acceptable to ask a gym
employee for help.
At Warren Active Health Club - we are here for you
“Overcoming gymtimidation, like achieving health and fitness goals, is a process that takes time”
Don’t rush it | Embrace how you are feeling | And focus on taking the initial first step forward...