How to Beat Gymtimidation

What IS gymtimidation?

It’s that feeling that shows up as  “I should go to the gym but I really don’t want to because I’m a bit self-conscious,” or “I’m going to walk into a new class and everybody’s going to be really fit, and I don’t know what I’m doing,”  and “I’m just not going to touch the machines because I’m going to look like an idiot if I touch the machines,” or “I know what I’ll do, I’ll go on the treadmill, or even better, I just won’t go at all.”

The list goes on.

If that’s you, (and it’s so common for many, many women)—you’re not alone.

One of the reasons I created my online program  is so you can do the workouts at home if you really suffer from gymtimidation AND you can get confidence going out there and moving your body however and wherever you want without feeling like a lemon. I am really passionate about helping women get over the fears and mindsets that are holding us back.

The key is not to let the voice of insecurity thwart your dreams of a healthier you. The more confident you get, the more willing you’ll be in the future to step into the gym, studio or park and do your workouts wherever you like without caring who’s watching.

Confession:  I get gymtimidated. All the time.

One of the major revelations for me when I became a personal trainer was when I realised was that 95% of the people in the gym don’t know what they’re doing either.

Not the guys in the weights section, the gym bunny at the front of Pilates or the runner slogging it out in the park.

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Gymtimidation is a mindset. The fact is, no one gives a damn about what anyone else is doing in the gym as long as they’re being considerate and safe. They're too busy worrying about themselves.

This idea that you’re not good enough, this idea that you don’t know what you’re doing, that people are going to look at you and judge you, comes from your head and everyone else has the same thoughts too.

The top tips for squashing gymtimidation are:

  1. Learn basic moves by following a confidence-creating program (like Lean and Lithe or another online program).  You’re going to learn some of the basic moves—squats, lunges—all the stuff that you can then go and do in the gym. Know-how = confidence.
  2. Hire a personal trainer. If you’re really struggling, hire someone local to you who can give you a couple of sessions to show you around and make you feel welcome.
  3. Use headphones. When I go to the gym, I put my Bluetooth headphones on, play my music really loud, and just pretend that no one else can see me. It really works a treat.
  4. Have a plan. You don’t want to be just standing around the gym, waiting for equipment to be free. Get your app or workout plan in front of you and know exactly what you’re doing from the minute you walk into the gym to the minute you leave.
  5. Be prepared for your wifi not to work. I take a screenshot of my workout on my phone, or write notes down in a little notebook of exactly what I’ll be doing in the gym so that when I go in there, I look confident, I know what exercise I’m doing, I know what equipment I need, and I just do it and I get out.
  6. Enlist a buddy! If you really struggle with gymtimidation, go with your friend. See if you have someone to support you, or maybe join an exercise class at your local gym so you get to meet a few people and start to feel comfortable.

Most gyms, when you’ve been going there for a while, are really welcoming. It’s more the idea of getting to the gym that’s scary. If you really hate the gym, you’re probably never going to go anyway, but that’s okay, because you can just do your workouts at home or find some other way to move your body that feels good to you.

If you struggle with gymtimidation and you’d like some moral support, jump into the Facebook Group and we’ll tell you how fabulous you are!  If you’ve got any other ideas that work for you, post them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them!


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The Corio Method is a unique, fearlessly fun and effective fitness method and training system that creates a stronger, fitter, leaner and more agile, beautifully balanced physique. Apply now for a complimentary Corio Kickstart Session with our coaches, available globally (value $250) and take the first step towards a new you.