Back in college I was skinny fat even before the term even existed. To me exercise meant doing cardio because I didn’t know how else to exercise. I found myself running laps around the outdoor track and swimming laps in the pool several times a week. Was it a good workout? You bet! Did I love it? No way!
One day my sister and I were looking at summer pictures at the house. She made a comment on my body that I will never forget that turned on a lightbulb in my head. She said I looked gangly and skinny. That really struck a nerve in me. I wasn’t toned, lean, or defined. I was simply gangly and skinny, a description that sounded so middle school.
That week I did a ton of research and switched my workout routine to experimenting with weights. In theory, it sounded easy to do until I walked into the college weight room completely intimidated by what I saw. This was a time where I was super self-conscious about my body and I really did not want to make a fool of myself. I was new to weights, full of anxiety , and self-conscious about my body.
Years later I found that by applying these tips it helped me over the gymtimidation to completely transform my body and mindset.
Have a plan
One of the most anxiety-ridden things you can do in the gym is not knowing what to do! You feel like people are staring so hard at you that it feels like they are burning a hole through your activewear.
It feels like you’re walking around with a sign that says ‘I don’t know what the hell I’m doing!’ And frankly, you really don’t but in all honesty, no one knows. Believe me I was there!
Bringing a plan with you before you go the weight section helps to alleviate those feelings. Outline what you plan to do including the sets and reps. If you need to figure out how to do the exercises try to Youtube them and practice the movements at home.
This little bit of preparation will boost your confidence!
Whip out your playlist
The last thing I want to hear in the gym is the conversation between someone or another man’s grunting while I’m trying to focus. Instead I always have my music with me and a playlist that gets me in the zone.
Finding music that makes you feel awesome, confident, and pumped to is the key to overcoming gymtimidation. This makes a huge difference because music is a mood changer. The right music will put you into you confident workout groove. It helps to relieve the anxiety and self-consciousness you feel when you’re doing something new.
Next time you’re attempting to make your way into the weight section, create that playlist that gets you movin’ and groovin’ and pop in those earbuds for a great lifting workout!
Become the person you admire
We get pumped when we’re scrolling through our social media feeds and see our favorite fitness models working out. They look so cool, so together, and confident. We would love that image for ourselves!
In reality when we hit the gym floor we become self-conscious and lack the confidence we visualized we would have. A great tip is to pretend you’re them. No joke!
Who is that person for you? Whose confidence and body would you love to borrow for a day?
Embody their posture, their attitude, and their mindset. How are they holding themselves, what kind of thoughts are going through their mind during their workouts, and how are they acting?
By pretending you’re them you start shifting your anxiety and self-consciousness into someone who is more confident and self-assured. When you change your behavior, identity, and attitude of who you are will start to shift.
Applying these three tips helped me overcome the beginnings of gymtimidation that now lifting weights is part of my lifestyle. Hope these tips help make lifting a part of yours too!