What is Gymtimidation? These 12 tips will help you overcome your fear of the gym

If you’ve ever wanted to go to the gym, want to own a sexy body like the models but were afraid to go to the gym, you may have Gymtimidation syndrome already.

For some people, going to the gym and working out is really normal for them, but for others it is different, especially when first going to the gym. They feel stress, fear and anxiety when walking out of the changing room and into the gym, many people think that women often experience this condition more often.

What is Gymtimidation?

Gymtimidation is connected from two words, “gym” and “intimidation‘ means threatening, resumption means only people who feel threatened at the gym. Can be understood as a term for people who are in an uncomfortable mood when going to the gym for the first time. They always feel the stress and being watched when going to crowded places and causing them to give up their practice.

Anna Serge, psychologist and personal trainer, says:Gymtimidation syndrome“happens when a person feels like a person”don’t belong here” or feel inadequate to do something.

They may also feel self-conscious about their physique or how they look in gym clothes. People who feel this way may constantly compare themselves to other gym goers who seem more confident.

What causes you to have Gymtimidation?

There are many reasons why people may feel Gymtimidation. Here are the most common causes in people with this syndrome.

  • Not knowing how to use exercise equipment properly
  • The feeling that other practitioners are looking at you
  • Worrying about not being attractive while working out
  • Afraid of sweating a lot when exercising
  • Having to share equipment so not sure about this when working out with others around
  • Feeling small, not strong enough compared to other gym people.
  • Low self-esteem and feeling inadequate at the gym
  • Feeling too exposed in the dressing room

People can feel like they don’t belong here especially in certain areas of the gym because “There is a common belief in the gym area that it is for men and women, then the Group X or Yoga rooms“.

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But fear doesn’t mean you won’t get over it, you just have to find the right thing that scares you and deal with it.

How to fight Gymtimidation syndrome?

1. Choose the right gym for you

Most of the gym’s profits come from people who sign up and don’t go to the gym. On the other hand, you are the one paying for those gymnasts.

So don’t waste your money, choose a gym based on some of the following criteria

  • Is the gym near you?
  • What’s the gym culture like, is it noisy, are there many people at the same level as you, is everyone there friendly?
  • Is the time frame you go to practice crowded?
  • Are you interested in any group classes?
  • Is there a trial run or not?

Based on the criteria you will be able to choose the most suitable gym and limit your waste of money.

2. Build a habit of going to the gym

It can take a long time to start hitting the gym, many studies have shown that forming a new habit takes 18 to 254 days, an average of 66 days (quite a long time). So in the early days, every time you showed up at the gym, you had a win, even if you just went to the gym, jogged for a few minutes on the treadmill, and then went home.

See also: 7 useful tips for new gym goers

3. Get comfortable with the exercises

Most people don’t know what to do at the gym the first day they arrive. I remember being so embarrassed when I stepped on a treadmill and didn’t know what to do to start it and had to ask other people.

What is Gymtimidation?  These 12 tips will help you overcome your fear of the gym

It’s time to get acquainted so you can choose some simple exercise equipment to get started, don’t be afraid to ask people at the gym because most people will answer you enthusiastically. . Alternatively, go to gym websites like Fitness Channel to see how-to tutorials for beginners.

If everything you learn to start with exercises like Squat, Kettlebell Swing, push-ups can help you gain more confidence.

4. Learn the basics of sets, reps and rest time

One of the most basic things you need to learn is knowing how to structure an exercise for your goals. Even a movement like the squat can produce different effects depending on how much weight you lift, how many times you lift, and how long you rest.

Usually we’ll have more than 12 reps if you want to build endurance, less than 5 reps if you want to build strength, in between these 2 points is for building muscle. The number of sets is controversial, but in general, 10-20 reps per week are ideal for each muscle group.

With rest, it also depends on the goal, if you want to lose fat the rest time needs less than 60 seconds, if you want to build strength, the rest time can be up to 5 minutes.

5. Consider hiring a coach

If you can afford it, don’t be afraid to spend money to hire a Fitness Coach.

Hire a personal fitness trainer

This will make the gym feel less intimidating because someone will show you what to do. However, the level of trainers at the gym is also not uniform, so you can consult everyone before hiring a coach.

6. Plan your workout

Once you’ve established a routine and gained the basics of gym training, it’s time to aim for real and measurable improvement, where the fun begins.

Every time you add a small piece of weight to the bar or lose 10 seconds of rest between sets, it’s your progress and you enjoy it. However, there will come a time when your body can’t progress any further, but don’t worry by that time you will know what to do next because you already have the necessary basic knowledge.

7. Find a workout that you enjoy

If you still don’t feel like lifting weights, there are tons of other options at the gym. My advice is to try different classes and see what you like. “I’m still trying many different subjects like HIIT, Yoga, Pilates… even though my main exercises are still weight training..”

8. Build confidence

To be confident you have to be sure of something, you feel scared because you are not sure what you are doing. To make you more confident, just find out what’s keeping you from feeling confident? Don’t know how to do weight training? Learn how to lift weights. Don’t know what to wear to practice? look for the right gym wear (see how to dress for men and women)

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Build confidence when going to the gym

For many people, exercising in front of others is an act of shame. As noted above, many people fear being judged by others. People who are new to the gym often worry that they might look like an idiot in front of others.

Psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapist Mandy Kloppers believes that these fears of judgment are psychological and are often exaggerated. “We all want to be liked and we often overestimate the possibility of others rejecting us.”

This is consistent with the feeling of many gym people. They have a distinct feeling that others are spying on them when, in most cases, they are not.

Kloppers recommends overcoming your fears by confronting them directly. “The less you avoid your fears, the more your confidence will increase. Do it for yourself and don’t care what others think.

So the next time you are working out and feel someone is looking at you, ignore them and focus on yourself because you know that most people at the gym are also focused on their fitness journey. their own health.

9. Don’t stare at others

If you hate having someone stare at you, others will too, but looking at someone in the gym as they move can be a reflex, but don’t let your eyes stay on anyone. it’s been so long, when they look back you will probably feel confused. So when exercising around other people, be aware of where your eyes are and focus on each exercise.

10. Pre-workout at home

Practicing in front of a mirror at home is also a way for you to both improve your technique as well as your confidence when you go to the gym if you are often worried about others scrutinizing your practice. You can visit gym tutorials on Youtube to practice at home easily.

11. Go to the new gym with a list of favorite songs

The loud atmosphere at the gym can be distracting and you can avoid this by bringing a playlist of your favorite music along with active noise-cancelling headphones to cut out unwanted sounds. want.

Listening to music while going to the gym

There have been many studies that show that listening to music while exercising will reduce fatigue, enhance mood, research has also found that listening to music while cycling can consume 7% less oxygen than people who do not listen.

If you’re not sure what you want to listen to, don’t worry, just search for “Gym music” and there are thousands of Playlists for you to listen to.

12. Going to the gym with a close friend

Having an acquaintance in a strange place will always help us feel more secure. Going to the gym with a close friend also makes it easier to maintain a workout routine as well as having someone to support you when exercising.

Are women more susceptible to Gymtimidation than men?

There’s no definite answer to this question as it depends on each individual’s experience, but Sergent says that in her career as a personal trainer, she’s heard women express various concerns. about going to the gym. “I hear from female clients as well as female friends commenting that the gym is a male-dominated environment where they don’t feel safe from harassment or stares. In addition, the exercise equipment seems heavy and difficult to use. It’s like it’s designed more for men than women.”

Kirsten Scheider, a women’s fitness expert and personal trainer working under the name Wolf Approach Fitness, says she decided to create a program to help women feel more confident in the gym after when noticing that more and more women are affected by the “fear of the gym”.

She speaks: “I’ve noticed that a lot of my clients only use cardio machines like treadmills, while there are loads of other high-quality pieces of equipment that aren’t of interest to them. The obvious need is yes, they won’t train with weight machines if their trainer doesn’t help to get them out of their comfort zone. So I made it my life’s mission to get more women to love weight training in their gyms..”

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According to research, Gymtimidation affects men and women differently. About 44% of women who go to the gym do not exercise with weights because they are afraid of not knowing what they are doing and fear of injury.

Others are afraid of being judged with 14% fearing scrutiny from men in the gym and 12% fear of scrutiny from other women.

The study also found that women tend to worry more than men about appearing out of shape or not knowing what to do around weights. Only 2 out of 10 men expressed anxiety when they didn’t know what to do at the gym.

These feelings are consistent with that of Dr. Sharon Gam’s clients and personal trainer with 14 years of experience.

She said “Many of my clients worry that they are not exercising properly. They feel clumsy and insecure about the way they move and they can be judged for doing their exercises wrong..”

Men also go through the gym as much as women. Many sensations occur in both sexes. However, Dr. Gam has noticed some trends that men do more often than women:

Men tend to feel like they’re not getting enough in the gym when they’re working out around other people. Sometimes they treat it like a competition and add too much weight to their workouts or try exercises that are too advanced for their current fitness level..”

For both sexes, exercise can be correlated with body positivity, but that’s more evident for women. A 2014 study found that in general, women exercise more often than men.

The same study found that exercise motivations were different between the sexes:Women say they exercise to lose weight and get toned, while men say exercise for fun is key.”

We can’t say for sure why these differences exist, but they’re worth knowing and acknowledging, especially when you’re exercising around other people.

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