Getting rid of first timer gym anxiety

So I heard you’re thinking of starting to hit the gym?

Yea. Going to the gym for the first time isn’t exactly the most enjoyable thing for most people I could imagine. Not because they lack motivation, but rather, the fear of being judged. Being judged for not knowing some gym ethics; being judged for dressing or walking a certain way; and most of all, being judged for not having the perfect body, yet being in the very place where seemingly everyone has.

If you experience any of the scenarios mentioned above, then please, please do understand that it is 100% normal to feel that way because the truth is, regardless of the field we’re in, or how good we are in certain aspects of our lives, all of us have our very own weak spots. And when we’re surrounded by people that highlight those weak spots that we have, obviously, the fear and anxiety that follows peer judgment arises.

Hence, the number one advice in dealing with this anxiety is just to simply acknowledge its presence because

  1. Everyone is dealing with it. Right now. At this very moment, every moment.
  2. At the very least, you’ve accepted its probable existence and are prepared to deal with any situation resulting from it.

“..number one advice in dealing with this anxiety is just to simply acknowledge its presence..”

On the flip-side, if this isn’t true and you realise over time that you’re all frightened up for nothing, you’ll slowly calm your nerves down over time as you witness this repeated pattern over-and-over again.

Now, what I’ve just said so far is just regarding your shift of mindset. Tho it might calm you down, I’m pretty sure you’re expecting more “meat” out of this article since you’ve came so far down, which is what Imma be spilling out right now.

  1. Do something you can to improve yourself without putting yourself much in the hell fire of judgemental land

Do some online research to equip yourself with some swole-ledge, i.e. what muscle groups are there, how each exercise works, what’re sets and reps, intensity, volume, etc. You know, familiarise yourself with some of the terminologies being thrown around so you could hopefully one day say something like “So we’ll be hitting deadlifts for 4 sets of 5 for our leg day today?” to your fellow gym mates and watch them be in awe and give you the fist-bump of acknowledgement and acceptance into the clan.

Watch and follow anyone of the thousand fitness vloggers whom you like and can relate to the most, may it be on Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat etc. I wouldn’t recommend you following 100% of whatever they have to say blindly, but nor can I deny that most of them could give you a pretty good idea what the gym is all about. In fact, once you’ve seen them hitting the gym frequently enough, you’ll realize no, not everyone in the gym is a douche. No, not everyone in the gym is trying to impress everyone else. As a matter of fact, due to the very fact that these stereotypes are inflicted upon gym members so commonly by non-gym goers, that most of them actually strive to be the very opposite of what they’re normally perceived as, to clear off the bad impression they’re being imposed upon.

  1. Get a friend to join with you

It’s always easier to do something hard with someone else you know, because both of you know you guys could rely on each other for social fall back support. This applies to both the gym, and life outside it. If you’re lucky, you might even know someone who’s more experienced than you are when it comes to lifting metal bars and plates for fun. Get in touch with them, ask the questions you’ve always been too afraid to ask, or, ask them directly if you guys could hit the gym together next time. I can guarantee you, that no one would be as honoured and grateful as them when you do so, because to them, it’s a living proof that their efforts and hardwork is being acknowledged and recognized by someone else. Show them sincere passion and a willingness to learn, and they’ll repay you with twice the amount of what you’ve asked for.

  1. Get some work done before hand

Do some exercise at home. Try doing some bodyweight workouts a couple times a week to get your body used to the load you’re putting it under. Aside from building the foundation strength that you’ll be needing at hit the most minimum of weights in the gym, perhaps it’ll give you a confident boost the moment you notice your performance growing, alongside your muscles.

In a nutshell, hitting the gym isn’t very much different from doing anything else in life (e.g. putting on a diaper, driving a car, purchasing a house, disarming nuclear weapons etc) – there will ALWAYS be a first time. Yes, there’ll be a certain amount of humility in doing so, but looking past it, and sooner or later, you’ll find yourself on the other side doing JUST FINE. Hopefully, these advice would resonate well with you, making your path to eternal swole-ness be just a little bit less bumpy.

 

– Just another dude

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