Beating gym anxiety

Mental health, muscle gain, Sports, weight loss -

Beating gym anxiety

Although the gym is a great place to spend your time and there are many health benefits associated with it, one thing that is a problem to many is gym anxiety. It may be that you are new to the gym or you have changed your environment and are around unfamiliar faces. Whatever the reason this feeling can make you feel uncomfortable and can get in the way of training. In this article we are going to be sharing the steps you can take to beat gym anxiety and have you feeling more confident in the gym.


What is gym anxiety?

Firstly, we need to go over what gym anxiety actually is. Have you ever had that feeling in the gym where all your confidence is blown away? Well that self-conscious feeling is gym anxiety and can be enough to deter some people from the gym. This is something that is experienced by many gym goes and it usually occurs when in an embarrassing or awkward situation in the gym. You may also feel that others are judging you on your looks and fitness level. This may also be more prominent in gyms that are quite busy as there is a higher number of people surrounding you.


Focus on yourself

One way you can beat gym anxiety is to focus on your own exercise. This could include paying more attention to reps and getting in the “zone” when training.  This will allow you to block out any external contact and will improve your movement. This will also lead to an overall better attention span and improve other cognitive functions. Paying more attention will also lead to a reduced risk of injury as you can watch form carefully and focus on each rep.

Paying more attention to form and making each movement is done correctly will also increase the amount of muscle mass you will put on. This is due to you doing the better range of motion and stretching your muscles to their full potential to get the most micro tears as possible. The increased muscle mass put on will give you a better look and is sure to relieve some of that gym anxiety. This will also allow you to reach goals quicker which can also relive anxiety for those who are self – conscious about their fitness/strength levels.


Go to the gym off – peak times

To reduce the amount of anxiety you experience, one thing that can be done is training at off – peak hours. This mean avoiding the people that will trigger your anxiety and there are also many other benefits of training in an emptier gym. This includes time saved as you will not need to wait for any equipment to be free and you do not need to worry about spending too much time on a machine. This can be another source of anxiety as you may have the feeling that you are being watched if you are on a machine someone else wants.

Although there are many benefits to training on off peak hours there can also be a few disadvantages. These can include not getting any inspiration for workouts from anyone else. This is good for adding variety to your workouts and learning about new moves and exercises. So, by going on off – peak hours we are potentially missing out on some great exercise ideas. We also may not be able to get a spot or any assistance by going to the gym at times it is empty. This may lead to injury or missing out on heavy sets as there is no one to provide assistance.


Have a gym buddy

To boost your confidence and beat anxiety, training with a partner is something that can help. They will help you keep your mind away from anyone else judging you and will give you extra security when doing your exercises. There was also a study done by the university of Southern California that involved 117 adults, this concluded that the people enjoyed exercising more with someone they knew rather then going at it alone. If you do not have a gym buddy, then try finding one. Building positive relationships with others and making friends is also something that has been proven to boost self-esteem.

As well as boosting confidence there are also a range of other benefits to working out with a gym partner. One of these includes a reduced risk of injury as there is someone there to spot you and look over you as you are doing your sets just in case something did go wrong.  Another benefit of working out with a partner is that you are likely to reach your fitness goals quicker as there is likely to be some healthy competition between you both. Reaching your goals quicker will boost your self – esteem as you will look better, be fitter and stronger which will eliminate the anxiety of you not being “healthy” enough or not “lifting enough weight”. Although these can cause anxiety its important you don’t let these factors get the better of you, everyone had to stars somewhere and you can only lift that heavy weight or run that long distance through practice and training for it.


Everyone in the gym is the same as you

One major cause of gym anxiety is caused when you compare yourself to others or you may feel like you are being judged by others. This can also be a form of psychosis as you can be imagining others judging you when in reality, they are there to do the exact same thing than you. At then end of the day everyone goes to the gym to work out and no one should be judging others for being there. The best thing for you to do is to focus of your own workouts and try and block out all the other people around you.

Although blocking out others can be good for concentration and anxiety, there are also some downsides to being a lone ranger. This can include no new workouts learned from others in your gym. This may also effect form as surrounding people are good spotters of correct form and blocking these people out can make you less approachable meaning they are less likely to comment on anything you may be doing wrong.

 In conclusion, gym anxiety is something that effects everyone, especially beginners. You may feel like you are out of place and people are judging every move you make. Although you may feel like this it is not true and everyone is in the gym for the same reason as you, to workout.  By following the steps shared you can reduce your anxiety levels in the gym and make it a more comfortable environment for you. Being comfortable while training will also lead to better performance and results which will have mental and physical benefits in the long run.