Gym Anxiety: How Stop Thinking and Start Thriving


The gym may be my second home now, but before I really started working out consistently (and even for a while after I did) the gym was a terrifying place. I was convinced that everyone else would be in perfect shape, would know I was a fraud with no idea what I was doing, and would laugh me out the door. None of this turned out to be true, but this is a very common fear among first time gym goers so I want to take a moment to share some practical tips that helped me when I was first starting out.

1. Make a Killer Playlist
I am a firm believe in the power of a good playlist. We all have that song that makes us feel like a bad ass, so why not harness that feeling when you’re at the gym? Put on those headphones, crank up the volume, and you’ll be so focused on your own workout that soon you’ll find that you aren’t worrying about other people or what they are thinking about you, you’re just in the zone and getting your sweat on. Honestly, the better the playlist, the better my workout is most of the time so have fun with all those guilty pleasure songs (I swear I listen to ‘NSYNC more now than when they were actually a thing…no shame, right?) and get to work!
2. Look Good, Feel Good
We’ve all heard of the concept of “fake it till you make it” so why not apply that to they gym? There is certainly no shame in working out in an old t-shirt from your high school’s homecoming, but when I’m lacking motivation or feeling out of place, feeling good about my appearance is one thing that can help pull me out of that funk. Put on a cute outfit, look the part, and soon you’ll be living that part! I always hear different opinions about wearing makeup at the gym, but here’s my thought–there have been several days that I’ve had makeup, a manicure, you name it, and I’ve still out-lifted some of the beefy dudes standing next to me at the weight rack. Makeup and nail polish wont hurt your workout so if it makes you feel confident and beautiful while breaking a sweat then go for it! Reaching fitness goals is HARD, so if there is anything you can do to make yourself feel better about yourself while at the gym you shouldn’t feel bad about doing it.
3. Grab a Buddy
People who workout with a friend are statistically proven to stick to their fitness routine more than those who train alone. It makes sense, right? I mean, if you know someone is going to be waiting for you at the gym then you better show up! So why not take that benefit and run with it? Exercising with a friend means you have a built in support system to help lessen anxiety about what to do or how you look. Without those worries, you have more time to focus on having fun and getting sweaty!
4. Find an Alternative
The gym is a great place to get fit and make friends, but if the thought of going there makes you too nervous then find an alternative! There are so many options for body weight workouts at home, you could buy some dumbbells online, go for a run in your neighborhood, do yoga in the park–there are really so many other places to get a sweat going and to work on your health that don’t have that intimidation factor. Don’t let the fear of going to an actual gym keep you from reaching your goals, you can do that from your living room! In fact, I have several personal training clients who I work with both in their homes and online and none of them feel that their are missing out on some level of fitness by skipping their local fitness center.
Ultimately, whether you want to push yourself to finally get to that gym that has been pulling a monthly membership fee from your bank account or if you want to lose weight/build strength at home, there are ways to make your workout more enjoyable. The more you enjoy a workout, the more likely you are to stay motivated, build up consistency, and see true results! If you are interested in having the support of a personal trainer to help alleviate those fears that you are doing exercises wrong or not getting the most out of your time working out, email me at, I’d love to talk to with you and help with your goals!