6 POSSIBLE Ways Overcome Gym Anxiety

  • Possible Pat
  • November 12, 2018

Do you get anxiety when you think about going to the gym?

You imagine everyone, already fit in their tight clothes wondering what you’re doing there and judging you as you walk in. You imagine people watching you as you try and figure out what it is you need to do, what machines to use (and how), and what people will think about you being there. 

This is how I used to think.

At 605 pounds I never went to the gym. Not only did I feel self-conscious, but there weren’t many machines I could use. In fact, I didn’t begin to go to the gym until I lost 100 pounds, but even then I had a lot of anxieties.

Once I started going and became more comfortable with what I was doing, I got over the anxieties, and it became something I really enjoyed. Plus, going to the gym really helped me reach my goals faster.

I realized that people weren’t sitting around waiting to judge me as I thought. In fact, most people were extremely nice and encouraging, and always ready to help me out if I needed it.

Gym anxiety is something that is very common, and something most people feel at one point or another, whether they are there to lose weight or just get into shape. It can make you feel uncertain, and you can’t help but compare yourself to others.

These are completely normal feelings but of the anxiety actually comes from the fact that is it new territory. This is something that we are not used to doing, and so we naturally feel anxious, like we don’t belong there.

If gym anxiety is holding you back, I want to share some tips with you to help you get over your anxiety, face your fears, and get to work accomplishing your goals.

1. Prepare before hitting the gym

Much of our anxiety about the gym comes from not knowing what to do. We aren’t sure what machines we will need, what exercises to do, or how to do them. Before you head into the gym, you need to create a game plan.

Write down, or put into your phone the routines you are going to do. Write down the exercise and any equipment needed to complete it. Include your sets, reps, and rest times. If you are uncertain of how to complete an exercise, a quick google search should bring up plenty of descriptions and videos so you can be sure that you are doing it right.

If you are part of Team Possible, this part is already taken care of for you with the daily workouts.

When you have a plan in place, you will feel more confident as you enter the gym. You will know what you are going to do. The more prepared you are before you go, the less anxiety you will have.

2. Hire a workout instructor

If you are uncertain about what you need to do once you are at the gym and are unsure about how to even put together an exercise routine, you may want to think about hiring an instructor. Some gyms even provide one for their members at no extra cost. Talk to your gym to find out what they provide or what it would take for you to get one.

An instructor will give you one on one time with someone who can you build workouts and exercises that work for you.

3. Go during non-peak hours

If your anxieties stem from what you assume other people may think of you while you are working out, find out what times are the slowest for your gym.

When you begin to build a workout routine for the first time, you may find it much more comfortable to go when there are the fewest people. It is also during these times when you have less “hardcore” gym members who can be intimidating to newcomers.

If you don’t know when your gym’s “downtime” is, simply as the person at the desk and they will be able to recommend the best times for you.

4. Bring a friend

One of the best pieces of advice for new gym-goers with anxiety is to bring a friend. When you are approaching something new with someone you know, things can be a lot less intimidating. You will feel more relaxed and when that anxiety rises – you have someone to laugh about it with.

For many people, going to the gym the first time can feel lonely. Grabbing a friend and having them join in can make it more fun by adding a social element to your visit.

5. Join a group class

Joining a group activity can ease some of your anxieties. The best part of joining a class instead of going to the gym on your own is that you don’t need to know any of the exercises. The beauty of a class is you will have an instructor who will be teaching you, along with several others, different types of workouts. Most people who join these classes are there to learn, so you don’t have to worry about being intimidated by “experts.” This is a great way to learn something new, get moving, and meet people with goals similar to yours.

6. Tell yourself you can do it… Because YOU CAN!

Gym anxiety is something that everyone experiences when they first join, but the reality is that it is all psychological and there is nothing to be afraid of. Sometimes we psyche ourselves out and overthink all of the different negative scenarios that can happen if we step foot in the gym.

We imagine what others will think, and we compare ourselves to them. But remember, everyone starts somewhere, and you are there to better yourself, just like everyone else. Everyone that goes to the gym is there to better themselves in one way or another, and everyone there has goals; just like you.

Having anxiety is normal, but remember, you can do it. Remember what your “Why” is and what you are working towards.

And, if you are part of Team Possible, remember to share your progress and your workouts inside of the Private Facebook group so we can be part of your journey and support you.


conquer gym anxiety with pat

About Possible Pat

Hi, I'm Pasquale Brocco and I've lost A LOT of weight. When I started my journey to lose weight, I weighed 605 pounds. After visiting the doctor, I realized I had to make a change. I started with a simple plan and within 60 days, I lost 100 lbs. So far, I've lost over 307 pounds. Now, I'm sharing a simple message with you, "Anything is possible." If you can put on the weight, you can lose the weight.

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