Going to the gym can be scary, especially if you’re new to working out. No matter how your fear of going to the gym manifests itself, you can overcome it with a little preparation and a few tricks. Below are 9 tips for overcoming your fear of going to the gym.
Choose the right gym
Research potential gyms before committing to one. I have a membership at Planet Fitness, their slogan is a “Judgment Free Zone”. They pride themselves on making sure that every person that joins feels comfortable. Make sure that the gym you join has the equipment you need, and if you’re interested in group classes, see which ones they offer. Knowing that a gym will meet your needs will help calm you down and make going the first day easier.
Take a tour of the gym ahead of time
You will want to tour the gym before you join. Most gyms will be more than happy to give you a tour at your request and may require it for new patrons.
Make an appointment with a personal trainer
If you are new to working out, schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. Most gyms will offer you a first time meeting with a personal trainer when you join. They can teach you how to use equipment, give you information about fitness or workout routines, and answer any questions you might have. Being knowledgeable will help you be more comfortable your first day at the gym.
Research equipment and exercises ahead of time
If you choose not to make an appointment with a personal trainer, at the very least research equipment and exercises ahead of time. This will give you some basic knowledge and will prepare you for your first visit.
Plan your workout ahead of time
Before your first visit to the gym, plan your workout. Have an idea of what you will do during your time at the gym. If you’re new to fitness, choose a pre-made workout regimen to start with. You can always change it up later when you’re more experienced.
Plan your first few visits during non-peak hours
Choose non-peak times to visit the gym until you’re more comfortable. A less busy gym is a lot less intimidating than a busy one is. You will also be able to make it through your workout with less pressure and you’ll be able to take your time. If your gym is open 24 hours, they will have a schedule that shows you when their busiest times are. Early morning and late at night tends to be the slowest times at my gym.
Music is a great way to calm anxiety. You can listen to your favorite songs, or something upbeat to workout to. I bring wireless headphones so that I can still run on the treadmill. All the electric equipment at my gym has an outlet so that I can charge my phone when working out.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Try not to compare yourself to others. When you compare yourself to others it will hurt your progress and even prevent yourself from going to the gym. You don’t know where anyone else started, and you don’t know their story. The only person you should worry about in a gym is yourself. Compare your today to your yesterday, and gauge your progress on what you accomplish.
Use the tips above to overcome your fear of going to the gym. Don’t let fear keep you from reaching your fitness goals during 2018.