The gym can be a truly petrifying place. Even yours truly, who has spent so much time in gyms I can’t even smell the stench of them anymore, is frequently intimidated. Here are 4 ways you can navigate the gym when you are intimidated as fuck:
Go to the gym at quieter times
The gym floor can be absolute chaos at certain times of the day with almost every square inch crowded by strewn weight plates, wayward dumbbells and shrunken testicles. To downgrade the intimidation factor – try going at non-peak times when less people are typically on the gym floor. Peak times are early morning, lunchtime, late afternoon/early evening, so avoid those times at all costs.
Find the biggest group fitness class
While you want to head to the gym floor at the quieter times, for group fitness it’s the complete opposite. Find the most packed group fitness class you can find. Hear me out: the more busy a group fitness class is, the less likely you will be noticed by anyone – the sheer volume of people makes you invisible (sorry). Think about it: 1 instructor teaching to 10 people – that time you turned the wrong way and used the wrong leg? Ya. We all saw that. On the flip side: 1 instructor teaching to 80 people – you’ll be lucky if your corpse is found by the end of the class.
One of the reasons we feel intimidated on the gym floor is that we lack confidence on how to use equipment or how to perform an exercise (allow a quick search of #gymfails to reassure you: you aren’t actually that bad). To slowly gain confidence, identify a single piece of equipment or exercise on the gym floor that you are comfortable with (both emotionally and physically). As you get more comfortable being on the gym floor with these exercises, add another exercise to your repertoire. And another. And another. Over time you will realise a) there is no reason to be intimidated as everyone is in their own private hell/taking selfies b) no one else really knows what they are doing either.
Get a personal trainer
This is the pricey, yet fast tracked method of alleviating intimidation. Essentially a personal trainer in this instance serves as your gym bodyguard as they muscle in on equipment, show you how to use it properly and protect you from douchebags.