Are you suffering from gymtimidation? Boost your confidence and get your mojo back with these top tips!
We’ve all been there – you’re just getting ready to try the latest Spin class or finally get to grips with the TRX only to lose your nerve when a group of super-cool fitbies hits the gym floor. You’re not alone. Latest statistics show that, despite the progress made by campaigns such as This Girl Can to boost women’s participation in sport and activity, many women are skipping exercise or preferring to workout at home because they feel intimidated or underconfident at the gym. There’s even a new name for the phenomenon, ‘gymtimidation’. One survey recently reported that a fear of being judged on their performance is deterring women from getting active. And, according to gym chain 24/7 Fitness, more than 50 per cent of its gyms have seen a reduction in the number of female memberships in the past year. Here are the tips you need to beat those confidence demons.
People who plan feel in control. More than 80 per cent of workers claim that being organised improves their performance. The same goes for the gym. Ask an instructor for a workout plan and watch your gym confidence soar. Before you walk in the door of the gym, make sure you know which exercises and weights you’re going to use. You’ll feel far more comfortable when you know exactly what you’re doing.
KEEP IT REAL
While Instagram may up the pressure to embody #fitnessgoals, remember it’s ok to be a newbie! Those superfit gymbunnies were beginners once. Don’t let the #gymselfies on Instagram kid you into thinking you’re not fit enough to go to the gym. There are many different types of people, of all fitness levels, in every gym. And nobody will mind if you don’t smash a PB on the bike or touch your toes in yoga. Most people are too busy grappling with their own workouts to notice what you’re doing or wearing.
Feeling really out of your comfort zone? Go to the gym with a friend. Research shows that finding a fitness buddy is the fastest way to boost your gym confidence and enjoyment, and help you stick to your workout sessions. It’s also proven to be the quickest way to reach your goals, as people train harder when they have someone to encourage them and engage in friendly competition. It’s time to phone a friend!
PUMP UP YOUR PLAYLIST
Music makes people feel powerful. And it can also bring confidence to your workouts. Research in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science shows that heavy bass tracks empower athletes. So pick a playlist that helps you focus on your workout and make exercise your meditation time – an hour just for you. Tune in, zone out and you’ll lose your inhibitions and stop worrying what anyone else is thinking.
BEAT THE CROWD
Do you feel self conscious training when the gym’s packed with people? Plan to go during quieter off-peak times. PTs often train gym-shy clients very early in the morning or last thing at night. This helps them build confidence in their abilities and start feeling more at ease in the gym without any pressure. Off-peak memberships are cheaper, too, so it’s a win win!