Overcome Gym-timidation in 3 Steps

by Nicole Stenberg

I have worked in the Fitness Industry for almost 10 years and walking into a gym for the first time still causes my self-confidence to plummet and sky rockets my anxiety. If you suffer from “gym-timidation” like many of us do, follow these 3 steps to build confidence and conquer the hardest part of any workout: Showing Up.

1.      Social Media Stalk- Google, Instagram and Facebook the facility to familiarize yourself with pictures of the gym layout and staff members. You can also check out prices, what is included and not included, and get an idea of the culture the business is building. Understanding what you’re stepping into will give you a sense of control and ease your anxiety.

2.      Be Assertive- If you walk in and you aren’t sure where the locker rooms are or where to fill up your water bottle, approach a staff member and ask for assistance. Most people in the fitness and wellness industry are there because they enjoy helping people. Asking for a quick orientation will help you get familiar with the facility fast, therefore enhancing your experience and allowing you to fit your workout into your busy day.  Plus, you’ll meet a staff member who will learn your name and can help you hold you accountable.

3.      Comfort is Key- If you’re just getting into or back to working out, wear clothes and shoes that you can move comfortably in and actually enjoy wearing. If needed, consider investing in an outfit that you look forward to sweating in. The worst thing you can do is wear and outfit that may not fit right now and therefore is a barrier to doing certain exercises. (Tip: Wal-Mart, Target and Academy all have sweat-tested, fashion forward and financially sound options!)

If you follow these steps and still don’t feel comfortable, consider bringing a friend or partner with you and notice how that changes your perspective. If you still don’t feel at home, consider trying out another gym or looking for online classes you can do at home or outside. Whatever you do… Keep Moving!


Nicole Stenberg is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and Yoga Instructor. As an avid fitness and wellness junkie, Nicole is constantly striving to create programs and tools that help people feel their best.