It’s a new year, you’ve joined a gym and you’re excited to start smashing fitness goals. But when you step into the gym for the first time, it doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Anxious thoughts start racing through your head -
Everyone’s looking at me
I’m not sure I’m doing this right
They’re lifting heavier than me
I don’t want to squat in front of all these people
I wish this was a female only gym…
A feeling of intimidation, or lack of confidence, in the gym is something many women struggle with. I know I did.
10+ years ago I had never stepped into a gym. I barely did any exercise. But after suffering from gestational diabetes, anaemia and weight gain (and having 2 babies in 12 months!), I knew things had to change. I was unhealthy and the doctors said I had to do something, so I started walking the boys in a double pram as a way to get out of the house and have some time on my own to focus on me. Then I joined a gym. Small changes led to huge transformations.
I lost 30kg in six months and fell in love with the gym, fitness and the way my body started to feel. From there I competed in my first ever fitness competition, became a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist, launched THE BOD, and helped women all over the world change their life through health and fitness.
Walking into the gym with confidence sounds so much easier than it is. It took me time and patience. That feeling of dread and lack of confidence in myself stemmed from other areas in my life. I had to push through and continually reassure myself that I did belong there.
I never would have believed you all those years ago if you told me where I would be now and how much I love weight training. But I do, I LOVE working out and I feel confident in myself.
Here are some of my tips to help you develop your confidence in the gym, too.
Whether it’s a personal trainer or a training program, professional knowledge is worth the investment. Someone to teach you correct form, cheer you on, and show you equipment and exercises is a huge step in helping to boost your self-esteem.
Focus on more than weight loss
Shift your mindset from wanting to ‘get skinny’ and instead focus on how exercise makes you feel - the endorphins, the stress relief, the pride when you achieve a PB, the new strength, the time alone, the motivation surging through you. If you enjoy the exercises and the feelings that come with it, then you’ll put in the work and your confidence will begin to shine through you. If you’re working out purely to ‘look skinny’ then you won’t enjoy it and you won’t feel confident - I know I didn’t.
Get yourself in the zone
It can be pretty intimidating being at the gym surrounded by big, muscley blokes lifting heavy. Even I have moments when I want to leave. But you know what I do? I put my headphones in, volume up, get in the zone and focus on what I’m doing. You soon forget other people are there. And I’m so focused that I end up lifting heavier weights than the guys next to me haha! Your mindset is paramount - keep your focus. Blast your favourite tunes and focus on what’s ahead of you.
Do it for yourself
Remember why you’re doing this. You set yourself a goal - this is for you. If you find you’re punishing yourself with negative thoughts, try repeating some positive affirmations to yourself -
I AM worthy
I AM confident
This is where I’m meant to be
Bring along a friend
Having your bestie by your side to cheer you on is a great confidence booster when you’re starting out and will help you build up the confidence to workout on your own. You'll notice right away how much more at ease you are by seeing a friendly face. Plus, it makes training so much more fun!
Don’t compare yourself to others
We are all on our own journey and we each have different fitness goals that we are putting time and hard work into. Remember, everyone starts out as a beginner. It took time for each and every person at the gym to get to where they are now, to have the confidence they have, and to achieve their current physique.
Plan your workouts
Plan your workout in advance and visualise yourself doing it in the gym. By visualising you are conditioning your brain for successful outcomes.
Turn up and do the work. No one is going to do it for you. Give up the excuses - no one has time, we have to make time. Keep showing up, keep focusing on you, and you will begin to see results.
Remember, small changes lead to huge transformations. You got this, honey.
If you’re looking for gym workouts, training plans, and your very own cheer squad, then THE BOD app is packed with heaps of advice to help you on your fitness journey and you can always reach out to us for support.