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Gym Anxiety: What is it and How to Overcome it

While conquering that 30-minute Booty Burn workout should be the most challenging part of a gym day, for many of us it’s actually getting to the gym that’s the hardest.

Whether it’s the walk from the car or the paranoia that everyone will judge you, gym anxiety, also commonly referred to as, “gymtimidation” can be incredibly debilitating and even prevent people from starting a fitness journey at all.

So, if you’re looking to understand your gym anxiety better or learn a few, helpful tips on how to cope, you’ve come to the right place!

What is Gym Anxiety?

Let’s start with explaining the meaning behind gym anxiety,=.

If you find yourself becoming uneasy, embarrassed, or intimidated while at the gym or even at the thought of going to the gym, then it is probably gym anxiety.

Before we delve further, we want to state the obvious: if you have anxiety, you’re not alone.  According to the Canadian Public Health Services, an estimated 3 million Canadians reported feeling anxious when walking into the gym.

But, what causes gym anxiety?

What Causes Gym Anxiety?

Gym anxiety can manifest itself in many forms and arise for a variety of different reasons.

To answer the question, “Where does my anxiety come from?” we’ve put together a list of the most common causes behind gym anxiety and tips on how to overcome it!

Being a Beginner

If you’re new to working out or are starting up again after a long break, you may feel more intimidated or think, “does everyone know I’m new?” “am I doing this wrong?” “how do I work this machine?” Experiencing feelings of gym anxiety is completely normal for beginners and is often triggered simply due to unfamiliarity!
FW TIP! – Work with a Personal Trainer
We believe the best way to overcome the “beginner’s fear” is to work directly with a personal trainer who can build you an individualized plan, introduce you to the machines, and show you exactly how to do it. Not only that – you’ll also get a customized nutrition plan, as well!

New Gym, Who Dis?

Joining a new gym can cause a lot of anxiety – especially if you’re a beginner. The machines might be different, the set-up might have a different arrangement – even the parking might cause stress! These are also very common triggers that can easily be managed with a gym tour!

Before joining a gym, a team member will normally give you a tour, but if they don’t, make sure to ask for one. This is such an easy way to calm your nerves and get an idea of where you’ll be getting those feel-good endorphins!

Social Anxiety At the Gym

Oftentimes, you may say ‘I want to go to the gym, but I have social anxiety”. Crowded areas can often be a big trigger for people who prefer to either be alone or be with people they know. As gyms can get crowded during peak hours (before and after work or during lunchtime), we recommend asking your gym when the slowest hours are then scheduling your workouts at this time. This way you can take full advantage of this time to get totally comfortable with a new atmosphere!
FW TIP!Bring a Friend!

If you’re unfamiliar with your new gym or get nervous around new people, bring a friend! For the entire month of April, FW is having Happy Hour! You’ll get free guest access for all clubs, every day, between 4pm-8pm. Grab your emotional support bestie and let’s get sweaty!

The Weight Room

*Gulp* the weight room…

The weight room can be a serious source of anxiety for women (and men) who don’t feel included, worry they’ll be judged, or are intimidated by the typical “bro mentality.” Much of this stress also comes down to feeling unsure of what you’re doing when it comes to strength workouts.
FW TIP!Opt for Strength Classes!

Now this gym anxiety tip does NOT mean avoid the weight room. Absolutely not. The weight room is for everyone!

Our goal is to help you build confidence in your fitness game – no matter what level or type of training. By introducing strength training in class-form before the weight room, you can slowly increase your knowledge of strength training techniques and take those skills over to the *room that must not be named*

What to Do When Anxiety Hits

Now, there will be times that the gym anxiety is high, but you still want to get in an amazing workout! Well, we have the ultimate gym anxiety workout option for those I-want-to-be-fit-but-I-also-want-to-stay-home days!

Home Workouts!

With Fitness World Online, your favourite classes are right at your fingertips!

Choose from over 500+ classes and get in a great workout without worrying about what you look like, your technique, or the locker room! It’s all done in the comfort of your own home.

Join Fitness World Today – No Anxiety Included!

If you’re ready to join a gym that is free from stress, judgment, or anxiety, come join Fitness World today!

With over 15 locations and unbelievable amenities including free HydroMassages and tanning benefits, you’ll feel right at home.

Try Completely Free!