Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt uncomfortable or self-conscious at the gym. We have all been there.
That’s because the gym can be an intimidating place, especially if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey! Everywhere you look there seems to be super fit ladies, complicated pieces of equipment, and don’t forget the giant guy shouting and grunting as he lifts an insane amount of weight.
Let’s face it, the gym atmosphere can be an uninviting environment. But you’re not alone! In fact, a poll reported by StudyFinds shows that half of the 2,000 people surveyed experience emotional discomfort when working out at the gym.
5 Tips for Building Confidence at the Gym
Building confidence takes time, but here are a handful of tips that can definitely help you get started on your journey to fitness.
And although it won’t happen overnight, you have to believe that you will build that confidence if you stick with it.
1. Find a Gym that’s Right for YOU
The most important thing when deciding what gym to join is identifying your needs. What are you looking for from your gym? What types of exercises do you enjoy? What types of people do you want to work out with? If you aren’t interested in body building, maybe don’t pick on a gym that hosts a weekly body building competition or has mandatory morning running classes. The better a gym fits in with what you are looking for, the more comfortable you will feel working out there.
2. Feel Comfortable in your Clothes
You know what they say – look good, feel good. We all know that this phrase is so true! If you feel like you look good in the outfit you picked out for the day, it can do wonders for your confidence and can make you feel unstoppable!
The same is true at the gym. While your top priority should be choosing clothes that are comfortable, supportive, and breathable enough to work out in, it’s also important to make sure that you like the way you look.
If you head into the gym in an outfit that you love, you’re setting yourself up for a more confident experience!
3. Talk to People
Making friends with others at the gym not only expands your social circle, but it helps to diminish that wall you’ve created in your mind between yourself and the “next-level people” you’re surrounded by.
And the first step to making friends is to simply talk to people! It might sound scary to strike up a conversation with a random stranger, but that’s where compliments come in handy. There’s nothing threatening about complimenting the person on the machine next to you on their shoes, their outfit, or their gym bag, and chances are it will lead to a conversation!
Talking to others will help to make the gym a less intimidating place. Plus, you’ll make new friends with at least one similar interest!
4. Keep Showing Up
As intimidating as your 1st gym visit might be (or your 2nd, 3rd, 4th…) the best thing you can do is to just keep showing up!
Over time, familiarity will replace the discomfort you feel at the gym. As you get accustomed to the layout of the building, the schedule, the equipment, and as you start to recognize familiar faces, the gymtimidation factor will shrink.
It might be hard, but you totally have the power to make it happen!
5. Compare Yourself to Yourself
Remind yourself not to compare your starting point to people who have been working out longer. It’s not anything close to a fair comparison because it’s not a level playing field – you’ll lose that mental battle 100% of the time!
Instead, focus on the goals you’ve set for yourself. Visualize where you’ll be in 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year from now. Think about your awesome state of health and how happy your body will be!
Because at the end of the day the only comparison that matters is comparing your current self to your past self. And the most important metric to measure is how you feel!
Remember that everyone is ultimately at the gym for the same reason – to improve themselves. Embracing this concept might be easier said than done but keeping this in mind can help you have a more positive perspective when you head off to your local fitness center!