Why Do You Fear the Gym?

I try to understand my clients more and more. At the moment I’m delving deep into understanding their fears and motivations.

The most common obstacle many of you guys are experiencing is gym fear. This is taking the form of fearing that you don’t know what to do and people will laugh or just the general fear of people judging you.

Fear of Not Knowing What to Do

This is a fear I totally underestimated until recently. I don’t know why I played down its importance, because it seems to be the major fear people have of the gym.

It makes sense, I can understand it. No one wants to look silly or to do things a**eways. I’m sure I’ve done some questionable things in the gym down through the years.

The general fear comes from being worried about what other gym users will think of you. Let me tell you one thing; the majority of gym users don’t give a c**p about what you’re doing. See that as a positive thing.

Gym users are pretty vain and really only care about their own progress. When you think about it do you care what they’re doing? If you’ve been in the gym before have you even noticed?

Big Buff Dudes?

What about those big body builders I hear you ask?

My guess is that the vast majority of people in your gym are JUST like you. They’re not huge monsters or competitive athletes. They’re average Joe gym users that have just as much knowledge as you.

And if there’s anyone that doesn’t care what you’re doing it’s a big buff guy; he’s too busy posing in the mirrors to notice you.

You have to remove yourself from this fear if you’re to progress. One way to do this is to educate yourself on proper lifting.

Watch YouTube videos, get gym inductions, ask your friends, hire a PT (hint, hint), do an online PT program (even bigger hint, hint). All joking aside these things will give you the confidence to go to the gym and workout.

We fear the unknown and the unknown in this case is how to train safely and correctly. Once you learn these things you will find it easier to work out.

Fear That People Are Judging You

This is an interesting one. I used to think that this was the number one reason for people being fearful of the gym.

Perhaps in a way it is. Although people fear not knowing what to do, ultimately they’re afraid people will judge the fact they don’t know.

Or there is the idea that people will judge how you look, or dress, or run etc. You might be lacking in confidence from the way that you look, or your fitness levels.

And yes when you see buff dudes in the weights section it can be intimidating. You think that they might be staring at you in the mirror and viewing you as weak or unfit.

What Story Are You Making Up?

I remember attending a talk one time by renowned sport psychologist Gerry Hussey. It was fascinating. He explained how the stories we tell in our heads lead to the actions we take.

We make up a story in our head, we think a thought and then we take an action.

The people in the gym didn’t ACTUALLY think those things about you, at least you don’t know they did. You made a story up in your own head that they did. You don’t know it to be true.

Well this story leads to you feeling anxious, upset or embarrassed which in turn leads to you not going to the gym.

All from a story you’ve completely made up.

What if we could rewrite that story? What if were to tell ourselves that those guys and gals aren’t thinking those things about us? Because they’re probably not.

Form a new opinion of these folks and their thoughts. These people want you to progress, they want to see you do well.

We’re all in the gym to be better than we were the last time. Whether that’s to lose weight, get fit, and build muscle or all of the above.

Only when you form this new thought can you stop yourself from feeling anxious and intimidated by the gym.

You’re Being Held Back

These feelings are holding you back, which is creating unhappiness with your body or fitness. All from a fictional story in YOUR head.

I get that starting at the gym can be daunting, even I feel it if going to a new gym. However, the only way you get over this fear is by actually going.

The benefit you get from starting will far exceed the momentary anxiety you feel when starting. It will challenge you socially, but you’ll make some of your best social connections at the gym.

I’m doing my utmost to help ladies like yourself to push through that anxiety, but it’s not easy. I’m working hard to promote lifting through my personal training and online programs.

Part of this involves understanding why women aren’t going to the gym. I’m finally starting to get it.

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If you’re interested in taking part in a program with me why not send me an email to jamesmcdowellhealth@gmail.com

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