A Letter To Those Nervous At The Gym

1Dear Nervous Nelly,


For whatever reason (better health, fitness, weight loss etc.), you have decided to come to the gym for a work out.  You know that daily physical activity is the key to a longer and healthier life and between siting in classes and pounding out assignments all day, you could use the mental break. You walk in determined to give your body the ultimate sweat session it needs, only to be intimidated by the six-foot 250 pound football player squatting double your body weight. Not to mention the super fit girl walking around through the weight machines like she owns the place. What seemed to be a stress-free time has suddenly turned into immense intimidation at place you feel anything but comfortable.

I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. Many gym go-ers (female and male), feel the exact same way you do. But the good news is, just because you may not know exactly what every machine does or how to work every muscle in your body, doesn’t mean the gym isn’t a place for you.


Let’s face it, there is always going to be someone who is lifting more or working out longer than you in the gym and that’s ok.  Everyone has their own reason and motive for going to the gym and working out. For some, it’s to help gain strength, keep the freshmen fifteen off, or simply a way to relieve stress. It’s important that you determine the reason that you’re choosing to go to the gym and channel that throughout your workout. Fitness isn’t a one size fits all type of mold and is highly personalized through every individual. All the time you waste worrying about what the person next to you is doing, is time wasted that you can use to better your own physical fitness.


Yes, there are a lot of different machines that cover the gym that can make anyone feel lost. There is no need to overwhelm yourself and try to learn what each one does in a day. If you find yourself wanting to know how a machine works, it’s important to let go of your fears and ask. Asking a fitness supervisor or frequent gym-goer is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of intelligence. There is a lot of ways that you could seriously injury yourself by just hopping on a machine with little knowledge on how to use it. Lets face it, it would be a lot more embarrassing to injury yourself in the middle of the gym because you didn’t know how to use the machine then simply asking.  Asking when you aren’t sure is the only way you are going to learn and prevent serious injuries. If you find yourself feeling silly for asking, remember that every expert was once a beginner.


Sure there are a lot of people that walk through the gym extremely confident with an exact plan of what they are going to do, but that doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re new to the gym or working out, do some research online or on Pinterest to find some new moves that you can incorporate into your next workout. Start by doing some basic dumbbell moves (think squats, shoulder press and fly’s) or jogging on the treadmill and add more as time goes on and you get more comfortable. Attending group fitness classes is another great way to learn new exercises for your workout while also learning proper form. Don’t be afraid to try new exercises and classes, after all it’s important to switch up how you workout for maximum results.


At the end of the day, the only person that you should focus on when you go to the gym is yourself.  Going to the gym to workout is a time where it is acceptable to be selfish. It doesn’t matter what others are doing or how much they can squat, it matters what you’re doing. Worrying about what others think of you in the gym is a waste of time because those who are truly working out are focusing on their own workout, form, and technique and have little time to look at what everyone else is doing. So the next time you find you find yourself feeling intimidated or nervous in the gym, take a moment to remember why your there and focus on your own bodies needs and movement.





~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.~


-Hannah Anderson

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