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On Gymtimidation.

Do you ever experience overwhelm when you get to the gym? Like you’re not sure where to start or what to do? Ever feel like you don’t belong in the weight room with the grunting, beefy looking dudes hanging over the dumbbell or squat rack? Gymtimidation is real, and it can impact your fitness goals if you allow it to. Below are a few ways to get past gymtimidation and get back to crushing your fitness goals.

1. Plan ahead.

Arriving at the gym is not usually the ideal time to decide what you’re going to do for your workout. I’ve witnessed over and over again members arriving to the gym floor and then standing in the same spot scanning the room, not sure where to start or finish their workout. This I’m sure leaves the member feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious.

Planning ahead can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend looking like a deer in headlights. This can be as simple as deciding what group class you’re going to take by looking at the class schedule ahead of time or how long you plan on running on the treadmill for. It can also be as complex as planning out your entire lifting schedule for the month, how many sets and reps you’re going to do, and at what tempos. The degree to which you plan is going to depend on your exercise experience, but even the slightest bit of planning can make your gym time that much more efficient and comfortable. You will automatically feel more confident each time you go.

2. Go with a friend.

When I first started going to the gym, I would bring a friend or two with me many times. We were all pretty new to the gym and had pretty much no clue what we were doing, but just being together made the experience that much more enjoyable. We would try out new exercises or machines together, and would even create exercise games to make working out fun. The fear of looking inexperienced or “out of shape” diminished because I had my friends with me doing the same exercises.

3. Put your earbuds in.

Create a workout playlist that makes you feel unstoppable, and crank it up the next time you go to the gym. The grunting and weight slamming from others will be drowned away so you can focus on your workout and your fitness goals.

4. Avoid peak hours.

This isn’t always going to be possible depending on your schedule, but I recommend it if it is. Some days I just love having the gym (mostly) to myself. All (or most) of the equipment is available, and you have the space to spread out and accomplish what you came to the gym to do! A good way to find the quiet hours at your gym is to first try the gym out at different times of the day.

5. Ask for help.

Most gyms have knowledgeable staff who are there for the sole purpose of helping you accomplish your fitness goals. If you want to take the workout planning process almost entirely off your hands, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer or fitness coach. They will tailor a fitness plan specific to your goals and help you get where you want to go. If you simply have a question about how to use a piece of equipment, there is most likely a personal trainer or staff member to give you a quick tutorial as well. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help. It’s what they’re paid to do!

The next time you head to the gym, use these tips to help overcome gymtimidation. Remember, you pay your dues just like every other member and you deserve to get the most out of your time there. Do your homework, come prepared, and ask for help when needed.

Did you find this short article helpful? Let me know! Leave a comment below of shoot me an email at I’d love to hear from you.

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