Feel welcome, not scared

After speaking to friends and family members who felt intimidated in the gym it did not take me long to realise they are not alone- you are not alone.

A little while ago I released a survey asking some of you about your gym experience, whether or not you had ever felt intimidated whilst working out, with over 40 responses, 42% of you said yes.

Shocking as it is this wasn’t even the saddest part…the comments left me feeling disappointed in the way this industry rolls, which is why I am writing this blog. If I can help change one mindset for the better it would make my day *insert smiley face*.

One reader said “Everyone else knows what they’re doing and I feel like I’m making an idiot of myself using a machine wrong or only lasting 5 minutes on the treadmill" 

For the newbie: 

  • You are not an idiot for being new to something, even a gym goer like myself can go into a new gym and stare blankly at new equipment wondering what kind of contraption it is- all gyms can be different just take minute to familiarise yourself with it.
  • Remember staff are there to help, they won't mind taking a minute or two to demonstrate an exercise. Likewise, other gym members are only human, we might have angry lifting faces but inside we are all friendly and happy to offer advice when needed. 
  • on a side note, I also cannot last 5 minutes on the treadmill...

For the gym junkie: 

  • Remember you were once a beginner too
  • If you see someone looking unsure, maybe they are hovering around a particular piece of kit, or their form looks a bit off- offer a hand, don't be patronising, don't laugh or stare from a distance. BE KIND & SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE. 
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It is crazy how the human brain works, anxiousness and feeling judged are common feelings when stepping into any new environment. But how do we tackle it? 

  • Seize the day people! Simply there is no easy way about it other than diving into the deep end. If you are worried about people around you the best thing is plug in your headphones, zone out and smash your workout. 
  • Avoid peak time! Most commonly people will head to the gym straight after work and before dinner time. I usually aim for around 7 or 8 o'clock as it is beginning to die down meaning more equipment becomes available.  
  • Go with a friend, attend a class or book a PT session. If you get anxious it may be worth finding someone to help push you on. Friends make great workout buddies, they encourage you, challenge you and can even make a workout good fun! 

On average my survey takers felt a 4 out of 10 in the gym- YOU ARE ALL 10s. I could go in to a self-love ramble but let's save that for another day. 

Readers left comments such as:

"People stare, give dirty looks and make me feel uncomfortable"
"Many people are stronger, fitter, more confident. I don't feel like I should be there"
"I can't remember a time I didn't feel intimidated in the gym. I can't even go near the weights without feeling self-conscious"

For the newbie:

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  • "dance like nobody's watching" right? The truth is (especially women) there will always be someone staring or judging what you are doing, maybe they are even trying to take tips from you. The best thing I ever did was realise everyone is there to work on themselves, so you do you and just zone out from those around you!
  • Just because someone may seem more confident, fitter or stronger it doesn't mean they are not struggling with their own insecurities. Don't feel intimidated by gym junkies we are all human.

For the gym junkie:

  • Remember your first time in a new gym? Don't be that person who acts territorial, smile and make a newbie feel at ease. 

  •  The gym can seem intimidating to a lot of people so again if you notice someone struggling to find something or work a machine ask if they want help...a kind gesture goes a long way.

 

 

 

We have all been there so let's change it! Together we can change the gym environment one smile at a time!

If you fancy finding your confidence in the gym head to my facebook and check out my new ladies only classes to get you out on the gym floor & hitting the weights with an incredible community of women- https://www.facebook.com/moggsfit/

Morgan Bruce