The Struggle is Real: How to Deal with Group Fitness Gymtimidation

August 6, 2015 by Colton Maher

Like anything new, group fitness can be daunting. In an ocean of people who seem to know what they’re doing, it’s easy to feel like a buoy bobbing back and forth trying to keep from going under. Nothing causes gymtimidation quite like a yogi twisted into a pose out of Cirque du Soleil, the 20-something blondie who looks like she should be on the runway, or the ripped stud with biceps bigger than your head.
Sure, you could skip. But don’t kid yourself about that means. Skipping the gym will only keep you further from your goals and prolong any insecurities you have. Whatever your worries may be, I guarantee they will all be eased with time so long as the culture is healthy, the program thoughtful and the coaching is high caliber (if any of these things are out of place, don’t bother trying to force it – find a better gym). In the meantime, here are a few tips you can use to overcome any fears and help you reach your fitness goals.
Start with what you know. If you are comfortable just walking on the treadmill, do that, and work up from there. Test out new machinery, equipment, and classes at your own pace. There is no right or wrong.
Ask questions. Trainers and instructors are there for a reason and a good group of instructors owe you the time and attention you need to feel comfortable. Do not be afraid to ask how to execute a movement, maximize your training, eat cleaner or stay safe. Good instructors don’t work to collect a paycheck, they love fitness and that should come through loud and clear.
Your workout is your time. The time you spend exercising is all about you. It is a time to forget about other responsibilities and worries. Wrap your head around the idea that the hour you spend in the gym is not about the people around you and you’ll be surprised at how quickly they fade from view. Focusing on yourself will help you enjoy the time you spend at the gym and this enjoyment might be just the thing to keep you coming back.
One degree of fitness separation. Do you have a friend that works out? Perfect, join them. It’s true what they say – there’s strength in numbers. You don’t need to be the center of a pack of ten to feel more comfortable. Having one good friend to help guide you through the process is going to really bring down the level of gymtimidation.
Lastly, just do it. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishing a great workout. Can you say Swoled up? Runner’s high? Savasana bliss? Happy training.

 

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