Beat Gymtimidation

What is keeping you from getting to the gym?

Some common reasons for not going to the gym include: being short on time, not wanting to spend money on a membership, and/or lacking motivation.

What if your reason for not going to the gym is fear?

Have you heard of the word gymtimidation? Gymtimidation is a fear of going to the gym. This fear usually stems from worrying about not knowing how to properly use equipment or being judged negatively by others for not being in “perfect shape”.

Tips for Overcoming Gymtimidation:

Learn about the different types of fitness centers.

Choosing a fitness center that meets your personal needs and interests will be helpful in making you feel more at ease.

  • Traditional Gym/Fitness Center
    • Traditional Gym/Fitness Centers offer cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights all in one location; along with group fitness class and personal training.
  • Family/Wellness Center
    • Family/Wellness Centers offer many of the same options as a traditional gym/fitness center in addition to numerous youth activities and programs.
  • Medical Fitness/Wellness Center
    • Medical Fitness/Wellness Centers are typically associated with a hospital system. Exercise physiologists and physical therapists are on staff to work (usually by appointment) with individuals who have medical conditions and/or injuries.
    • Similar to traditional gyms/fitness centers, medical fitness/wellness centers offer cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights all in one location; along with group fitness classes and personal training.
  • Women’s Only Gym
    • A Women’s Only Gym is typically a smaller gym. Such gyms offer an environment that is less intimidating than a traditional gym/fitness center.
  • Open 24 hours
    • Gyms that are open 24 hours typically have all the equipment (cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights) without the group classes.
  • Specialty Studio
    • Specialty Studios focus on certain types of classes or activities, such as: yoga, Pilates, high-intensity interval training, cycling, and kick-boxing. Classes are typically led by an instructor/coach.

Ask a personal trainer to show you how to properly use the equipment.

  • Many gyms offer this as complimentary service to new members

Go to gym during off hours

  • The busiest times at the gym are mid-morning and early evening.
  • If you are able, try going gym early in the morning. This is a great way to get your workout out-of-way and avoid high traffic times.

Put on headphones and listen to your favorite tunes.

  • Music can be a great distraction from what others are doing; not to mention a great motivator.

Consistency helps

  • The more you go the gym, the more comfortable you will become.

Find a gym buddy

  • Gym buddies can offer support and encouragement. A gym buddy can also help keep you accountable and be a great motivator.

Try a group fitness class

  • Arrive to class a few minutes early. This will give you an opportunity to meet the class instructor. He/she can give you information about the class format and help you set up any needed equipment.

Have you experienced gymtimidation? Please share your story and how you beat gymtimidation with the community

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.