Gym Intimidation


Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a fantastic week.  I have been doing crossfit this week and man are my legs sore.  When I sit down or go up stairs they are screaming!  It has been a good experience, but I will admit I had major cross fit gym intimidation going into it.  I thought I was going to walk into the gym and see a bunch of people straight out of the crossfit games and I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with them.  Boy was I wrong.  So far it has been a great experience, the people are so friendly, encouraging and the workout has been killer.  This got me thinking about gym intimidation.  Many people out there, some who are my friends, have said they are very intimidated to go to they gym, try a new type of fitness class, try a new sport, or just go for a run.  Some of the things I have heard people say in the past 20 years of teaching fitness classes are:  “I need to get in shape before I go to the gym,” “what if I can’t keep up,” and “what if I can’t do something.”  My experience is that when I have tried something new, there have always been people there to support, encourage and accept me.  Next time our mindset should be “what can I do,”  “what if I can push myself harder,” “what if I am not the slowest,” and “what if I like it.”  I also know that everyone who comes to my class is welcomed by others, supported by me, given modifications when needed, and encouraged to come again.  My advice for getting over the gym intimidation is:

  1. Try a group fitness class and stand in the back row or middle row.  This is what I did during my first yoga class and cross fit.  I stood in the back so I could watch the proper form and not feel like I had people watching me.  
  2. Go with a friend.  This will help you feel more comfortable and not as nervous especially if they have already been going to the class or gym.  When I first started doing hot yoga I went the first time with my friend Holly and I felt much better even before walking in.  
  3. Ask for help or modifications and don’t feel embarrassed about it.  As a fitness instructor I always appreciate it when my class members ask me questions before class, tell me about injuries, or stay a few minutes after for clarification on certain moves.
  4. Go with a plan.  If you are going to workout in the weight room go with a workout plan, so you are prepared.  There are great workout plans online, in magazines and videos on youtube.
  5. Just go!  The most important thing is to just go and give it a try.
  6. Once you have found an activity that you enjoy pay it forward by inviting someone to join you.  Ask them to join you for a run, for yoga or for a hike, because everyone has had a first time. 

Feel free to comment with any additional suggestions or advice you may have or what has worked for you.  Have a great weekend and go out and try something new!