Strategies for Overcoming Gym Anxiety

For many of us, finding the motivation to work out is a challenge. Making a plan to go the gym is easy, but often the fear of criticism deters some from actually following through on that plan. Will other gym goers secretly judge your form, your choice of workout wear, or worse, your weight? Gym anxiety is a genuine concern for plenty of people, and is often cited as the reason that some choose to avoid working out altogether. If you’ve ever felt the fear of failing at the gym, you’re not alone. Just about everyone experiences gym anxiety at some time or another, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your goals. In this article, we’re offering some strategies for overcoming your fear of the gym, so you can finally prioritize your fitness and feel like an expert the next time you exercise!

Common Causes of Gym Anxiety

To address gym anxiety, it’s important to know what’s causing you to feel hesitant in the first place. Though each individual is different, the following are the most common causes of gym anxiety:

  • Fear of incorrectly using equipment
  • Feeling like people are watching you work out
  • Anxiety over being sweaty or out of breath
  • Feeling intimidated by those who are in better shape

Believe it or not, even the most experienced fitness buffs have felt these same fears before. Everyone has to start somewhere, even if that means training your mind to overcome anxiety before you can begin training your body. If gym anxiety is holding you back from achieving the body you desire, consider these strategies to help dispel your doubts, and get you on track towards your goals.

Tips for Conquering Your Fear of the Gym

Develop a Routine

They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Therefore, to make the gym a part of your daily routine, try committing to attending for 21 days straight. Don’t let anything get in the way of your workout, even when you’re feeling extra tired or a little under the weather. Consistency is key, so try scheduling your workouts at the same time and place each day.

Ease into It

The biggest mistake people make when starting out at the gym is believing they have to push themselves to prove something to their peers. This is absolutely not necessary, and can actually harm your body. If the most you can manage is a 30-minute jog on the treadmill, that’s perfectly fine. Start with that, and soon you’ll discover that your body can handle a more demanding routine.

Focus on Your Own Workout

When working out, it’s easy to look around and compare yourself to others. Are you using the proper technique and form? Is your outfit appropriate for the type of exercise? You could spend hours second-guessing yourself, or you can choose to make the most of your workout instead. Focus on yourself and nobody else, and keep reminding yourself of your objective. Bring a pair of headphones and blast your favorite tunes or catch up on a podcast to prevent your eyes from wandering. The more distractions you have, the more likely you are to feel uncertain and insecure.

Talk to an Instructor

Fitness classes like cycling or Pilates can be extremely fun and beneficial for your health. However, this is often the most intimidating setting for beginners. As tempting as it may be to hide in the back row and keep to yourself, this won’t help you make any improvements. Instead, try making a friend in the class, or speaking to the instructor beforehand. They’re always excited to welcome newcomers, and are happy to help you perfect your form or master any moves that you’re struggling with.

Bring a Buddy

One of the simplest ways to build some confidence at the gym is to bring a close friend or family member along for support. Having a gym buddy can help you feel more relaxed so that you can actually enjoy your workout, and even have some fun. And in the event that you make a misstep, you and your friend will likely laugh it off together and keep moving. The best part about having a companion is that you’re more inclined to keep up with your routine when you have someone holding you accountable. Gym anxiety or not, bringing a buddy is always a good idea!

Create a Custom Workout at Leo’s Fitness Lab

Wondering where you can work out without the fear and intimidation you might feel at a traditional gym? At Leo’s Fitness Lab in San Diego, each workout is tailored to you and your abilities and can be completed in just 20 minutes. We also offer convenient scheduling, so your customized training sessions can be private and personal. Our equipment offers the most sophisticated technology while also being incredibly simple and easy to use. It’s appropriate for people of any age or fitness level. Visit our state-of-the-art fitness lab today to discover your ideal workout!


[gravityform id="10" title="false" description="false"]
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper free-workout-homepage_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_10' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_10' class='free-workout-homepage' action='/strategies-for-overcoming-gym-anxiety/'> <input type='hidden' class='gforms-pum' value='{"closepopup":false,"closedelay":0,"openpopup":false,"openpopup_id":0}' /> <div class='gform_body'><ul id='gform_fields_10' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id='field_10_1' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label gfield_label_before_complex' >Name<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_complex ginput_container no_prefix has_first_name no_middle_name has_last_name no_suffix gf_name_has_2 ginput_container_name' id='input_10_1'> <span id='input_10_1_3_container' class='name_first' > <input type='text' name='input_1.3' id='input_10_1_3' value='' aria-label='First name' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" placeholder='First Name'/> <label for='input_10_1_3' >First</label> </span> <span id='input_10_1_6_container' class='name_last' > <input type='text' name='input_1.6' id='input_10_1_6' value='' aria-label='Last name' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" placeholder='Last Name'/> <label for='input_10_1_6' >Last</label> </span> </div></li><li id='field_10_2' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_2' >Email<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_2' id='input_10_2' type='text' value='' class='large' placeholder='Email Address' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id='field_10_3' class='gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_3' >Phone</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_phone'><input name='input_3' id='input_10_3' type='text' value='' class='large' placeholder='Phone Number' aria-invalid="false" /></div></li><li id='field_10_4' class='gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_4' >Comments</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_4' id='input_10_4' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_10_4'>This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.</div></li> </ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_10' class='gform_button button' value='Submit' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_10"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_10"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_10"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_10"]=true; jQuery("#gform_10").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_10' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='10' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_10' value='WyJbXSIsIjUwMTA5YWZhNzkzYzVjZGRjM2Q3Y2JhYTE3YjBiMDA5Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_10' id='gform_target_page_number_10' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_10' id='gform_source_page_number_10' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 10) {if(typeof Placeholders != 'undefined'){ Placeholders.enable(); }jQuery('#input_10_3').mask('(999) 999-9999').bind('keypress', function(e){if(e.which == 13){jQuery(this).blur();} } );} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [10, 1]) } ); </script>