It’s a thing.  You may be new to the gym or even if you’ve made exercise a part of your life, sometimes you’re going to feel overwhelmed opening that door and walking into the gym.  I get it.  That self-conscious, awkward feeling that creeps over us, and it doesn’t discriminate between how fit you are or what gender or size you are.

You May Feel

FEAR OF JUDGEMENT –  “They’re all in better shape than I am.”  People are in the gym working to meet their own fitness goals.  Instead of feeling like you’re being judged, remind yourself that the people around you are focused on the same thing as you – trying to improve their health, appearance, activity level.  Hey, it’s like being part of a group all with the same goals.

FEAR OF DISAPPOINTING YOURSELF–  “I keep doing this exercise, but my form is still not right.”  It may be hard to see someone who can lift more than you or see someone who has perfect form.  Keep the focus on YOU, on YOUR progress.  It’s not a competition, it’s a path.  Stick to your path.

FEAR OF FAILURE – “I’m not making any progress.”  Just making the commitment to be in the gym is a HUGE step,  and one that not everyone can take.   If you feel like your progress is too slow, speak with a trainer or a fitness expert.  Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently.  Find the routine that suits YOU.


Here are a few suggestions that can help you to stop feeling anxious, and start to feel positive and productive every time you workout.

Tips & Tricks

MAKE  A PLAN – Being organized and prepared goes a long way to reducing anxiety.  Even if it’s a short term plan to accomplish something for your current workout, do it.  Write it down.  Hold yourself accountable to accomplish your plan – no matter if you have to move slow compared to others.  Make the plan – do the work – you have SUCCESS!

SET A ROUTINE – Maybe it’s working out the same time every week.  Studies show that building a routine helps to ease anxiety.  It removes doubt and provides a clear path.

TIMING – You may want to avoid peak hours at the gym.  Fewer people and more access to equipment may help your comfort level until you get in a groove.  Although for some, a higher activity level makes them feel less nervous and motivates them to work harder.  It depends on what works for you.

CONSULT A PRO – Speak with a professional at the fitness center about your personal goals and the best way to achieve them. They can point you in the right direction and help you to feel like you have the proper foundation to start.  Think about booking a personal trainer session to quickly get in the groove.  Confidence will take over from there!

FOCUS ON YOU – If you’re really sweating out a session, your mind needs to be on YOU, not the person across from you.  Think about your form, connect your mind with your body.  Listening to music can be helpful to maintain the focus so make a slammin playlist.

GET SUPPORT – Take a group class.  After spending some time in the gym, you’ll meet like-minded people who are feeling the same as you.  Maybe they’re just beginning a fitness journey, or maybe they’ve switched to a new fitness regimen.   Share, motivate, support someone else.  It’s a great way to get rid of your anxiety and feel comfortable.


If you’re in the gym, you’ve already taken the toughest step.  Now, believe in yourself.  Keep your focus on why you’re there.  You’ve made the decision to improve your health and wellness.  That’s huge . . . now we can all break a sweat together!