Gym anxiety is real. Let me tell you about it.

Being judged is awful. Being judged in work out clothes is even worse. Even if it’s just in your head.

About over a year ago I canceled my gym membership because I couldn’t take it. I think I have always had it and also overcome it in the past, but it came back. It got so bad that I at one point for a few months I stopped working out completely.

Obviously it was my own insecurities but I just felt so highly uncomfortable that al I did was going on the treadmill. I stopped doing weights, and exercises like lunges, squats etc I constantly not even thought people are looking it was more like a deep insecurity from body issues, from doing exercises right to just feeeling bad. 

The feeling was suffocating, even when I went with friends.

I just couldn’t bring myself to do squats, lunges, jump squats, etc. in front of people or my friends. I felt so out of place that I limited my gym experience to the minimum. I felt bad, I didn’t know enjoy it or got the 100% out of it. Not sure why I felt intimidated but I did and sometimes I still do. My motto usually is Don’t hide, but I still did which makes it even worse. 

What would be the best secret or tip to overcome it? Honestly probably only to force yourself, but I didn’t feel fit enough and highly embarrassed to carry out exercises in front of strangers. I was so disconnected from the whole workout and going to the gym.In hindsight I hate the fact that I limited myself over a period of time where you felt you had no control over your self confidence.

There is apparently four major reasons why we feel anxious and I’ve rounded up a few tips that might help you if you a currently experiencing gym anxiety:

1. Not knowing what do to exactly
I experienced like that this is or was true for me. No one likes to be uncertain of things and that’s why we feel discomfort. Easiest solution, go ask a trainer at the gym to tailor make a plan for you and your needs, your abilities and your goals. Then stick to the plan, with routine, confidence comes and you will turn into a gym bunny in no time.

2. Comparing yourself
This one is toxic and as much as we remind ourselves not to compare, maybe we still do from time to time. There is always a „better this and that“ person somewhere around. And of course we look and compare. 

3. Feeling judged by other people
Even if you tell yourself, people at the gym are here to get their work out done and concentrate on themselves, or no one cares or looks at you, of course - eventually there will be people who judge you. You can’t avoid that but it shouldn’t break up your peace, or your flow because, if they do, it’s on them. They show their true colors. Plus, they are strangers. Let them judge away. Maybe easier said then done but try it. Instead focus on what you do.

4. Felling like you don’t belong
This might be the most ridiculous point but it has crossed my mind before. No one does not not belong in the gym. Why would we think this? Because we feel intimidated by fitter people around us? Because they have cuter work out clothes or they look better in it. They do more squats than you? So what? Learn or force yourself to show up, ask your friends to come with you. Or ask a colleague who knows a thing or two about work outs. But keep going, keep going until you feel like at home at your gym.

If you are that scared that you haven’t even signed up to a gym but secretly really want to, get ready with some YouTube videos of work outs. Why? Why not. I have done it bevor and it was at least a little relief in terms of keeping me calm bevor joining a class with other people.

Maybe you are not the classic gym lifting lover, maybe you feel more like attending a class with many people to blend it first, bevor you go to the bench press. Maybe the indoor gym is not your thing and you rather run in nature, as long as you do it. It’s most important to know and figure yourself out but also to be brutally honest, do you have gym anxiety or are you using this as an excuse because deep down you possibly are - and here I am quite frank with you – lazy? 


by Teresa