How To Overcome The Paranoia We All Feel At The Gym



Are you one of those people who walks into the gym and visualizes it as a jungle full of testosterone-fuelled, muscle headed men; or a room crammed with ominous machinery and prying eyes. If the answer is yes then the gym can be quite a daunting place, especially for newcomers.

I’m here to debunk your deepest, darkest gym fears and pointless paranoias.

#1 The fear of being judged

This is probably the biggest paranoia most people experience during their workout, giving it a well-deserved spot on the top of my list.

So you’ve done the hardest part – which surprisingly is to actually get your butt to the gym itself – you’ve made it to the treadmills, then Mrs. Irrational Fear decides to make an appearance. Whether you’re on the treadmill or doing a spot of weight training, you may think you look a bit silly or that your technique is being scrutinized by others around you.

So what if you look silly when you’re running? The chances are, everyone is too busy focusing on themselves anyway; plus you will feel great afterwards, even if you did look a little laughable! When it comes to weight training I have learned that people do sometimes watch your technique, especially personal trainers – but it’s only because they care and don’t want you to hurt yourself, not to just put you down. Take the opportunity to pick up some pointers and improve.

#2 The fear of wardrobe malfunctions

Surely I’m not the only one with a niggling fear of well, ahem, camel toe or a tear in the wrong place. I find myself casually checking out ‘down there’ just to make sure my tight leggings haven’t caused a slightly embarrassing or unsightly issue.

Well, I guess the way to deal with this one is to just think to yourself that if anyone else saw it then why were they looking in the first place? Same goes for up-top, if you’re worried about too much movement, opt for a higher necked sports top when doing a class which involves a bit of jumping!

#3 The fear of hurting yourself

With all the strange and baffling machinery around it is easy to get frightened by the thought of hurting yourself, or killing yourself in some horror movie style freak accident. Take a deep breath and stop bugging out, you will be fine.

Always make sure you warm up before you do anything strenuous and know your limits – I’ve pushed myself too much recently and hurt my knee! Make sure you have a recovery day in between for your muscles to recover. Take advantage of the personal trainers in the gym – when they’re not busy they’re bored and jump at the chance to quickly show you how to use a piece of machinery that you’re unfamiliar with. Some gyms may even offer a free personal trainer sesh here and there – say yes!

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  • Camille Beygui

    Awesome post

  • Al Landis

    Yes, yes 1000x yes!

  • Hillary Flinn

    I definitely struggle with the first and third myths. I’m nowhere near a regular to the gym, and I usually have no clue what to do when I get there – but then I freak out that people are judging me for sticking to the very few things I know how to do! At least I made it there in the first place…baby steps ;)

    Hillary |

  • Healthy Mind Happy Body

    its so true that no one actually cares what anyone else is doing at the gym

  • Zoë Elizabeth Blogg.

    For me it is running outside! I really want to and would tell anyone in the same position to me to just do it, but cannot get over the irrational fear of people watching me or shouting out in the street. I can do the gym because people are there with the same mindset – would love some tips on getting yourself outside to work out! :)

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