Does the thought of working out in the gym make you anxious?

Do you find that the motivation to get fit can come to a grinding halt as soon as you walk onto the gym floor?

Does the thought of other people watching you exercise fill you with dread?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, rest assured this is perfectly normal and something that can be easily overcome with the right steps!


What is Gymphobia?

Gymphobia is the term used to by those who have a fear of going to the gym and/ or working out in front of other people. For those suffers of gymphobia, the symptoms are very real and can impact them with both mental and physical symptoms.

How to overcome Gymphobia?

The first step to overcoming the fear of going to the gym is to understand the root cause. The most common causes of gymphobia have been documented as:

  • Fear of being judged
  • Feeling intimidated
  • Not feeling fit enough
  • Not knowing how to use the machines/ equipment

When you look at all the above collectively and look deeper at the cause, these all come down to a lack of confidence and/ or a low self-esteem.

The key to overcoming any anxiety around the gym is to work on building confidence. There are a number of things that you can do to help:

BE PREPARED – when you visit the gym, have your workout planned out in advance. You are less likely to be distracted by what everyone else is doing if you are focussing on your own workout

TAKE A FRIEND – taking a friend to the gym is great way to overcome anxiety, as you have someone there to support you

HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER – if you are unsure of how to use equipment/ machines, a personal trainer will be able to teach you not only how to use them but also how to incorporate them in a great workout

ASK FOR HELP – all gyms will offer an introductory session, where they will walk you around the gym, show you how to use the equipment correctly and safely, and answer any questions

FIND A GYM THAT WORKS FOR YOU – all gyms are different and attract clients with all kinds of fitness goals. If you don’t like the atmosphere in a gym or don’t feel comfortable, you can always try another one! Most gyms offer free passes or day passes so you can try them out before you commit

FOCUS ON YOU – everyone at the gym is there for the same reasons – to work on their fitness goals. The likelihood is that everyone in the gym is busy focussing on their own session rather than what you are doing.

BE KIND - Remember, everyone was new to the gym once. We all have to start somewhere so don’t compare yourself to anyone else

HAVE FUN – enjoy your workout! You are more likely to go back to the gym again if you enjoy your session!

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