Monday, 16 January 2017

How to Conquer your fear of the gym

Recently, I put a survey on my Talk Healthy To Me group on Facebook asking what everyone would like to read about on my blog.  One of the options I put was "How to Conquer your fear of the gym" and over 90% of respondents said they wanted to read about this topic. So here goes!

Start outside of the gym to build up your confidence


When I first started working out again I had absolutely no confidence and the last place I wanted to be was in the gym feeling like everyone was judging me (even though, I promise you they weren't and they won't judge you either).
I started at home first, going for walks, runs, using my kettle bell and just making up little circuits to do at home. I then transitioned in to a PT studio which was client only based and not an open gym so at any given time, the only other people in the studio, were other personal clients so the people were minimum and everyone was in the same position as me.

Find a gym that fits with you and you feel comfortable with

Most gyms these days will offer a 3-7 day trial. Take advantage of this! You don't want to waste your money joining a gym only to find out you hate it a few days later.
When I moved from the suburbs closer to the city, I had a trial at over 10 gyms before I found one that I was comfortable with and had everything I needed and wanted.

There are so many gyms out there these days, there is bound to be one that makes you feel comfortable but don't be afraid to ask questions. In the end, you are the customer and you are paying for a service and you want to make sure you're paying for something that is going to help you achieve your goals and not a place you never want to go.

Avoid peak times

To start off with, if avoiding peak times works for you, then I highly suggest doing so. For quite a while I would go to the gym super late at night knowing no one, if anyone would be there. Sometimes, due to other life commitments, avoiding peak times isn't always an option but you can choose the quieter areas of the gym to complete your workout.

Headphones and LOUD music

This was and still is a HUGE help for me. It honestly makes me feel like I am the only one in the gym even if it's full of people. When my headphones are in and my favourite music is playing, its just me and the weights (or machines). I feel like I can take on the world and everything else is blocked out. It just helps me zone out and concentrate on the reason I am there: FOR ME.. not for anyone else...which leads me to the next point...

DON'T compare yourself to anyone else at the gym

You don't know where their journey started, you don't know how long they worked to look the way they do. They could have started at a place much worse than you but have worked extremely hard to achieve their goals. You don't know what chapter they're up to in their journey so don't compare them to your chapter one. You're starting out. It's ok to not be in shape or not be confident with the equipment, you will get there. You will be the person you want to be soon. You're there, working hard. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you are trying to leave behind.

Take a friend

 I felt really anxious  returning to the gym after having Achilles. Going from being in the gym for 2 hours a day for over two years to nothing for five months, it was a shock. I had no confidence. When I went alone, I would walk around the gym aimlessly like I had no idea what I was doing. Any time I've organised a gym session or workout session with a friend, I feel like my self again, like I am the Queen of the gym (haha whatever I have to tell myself :P). But you get what I am saying. Either take a friend who is in the same boat as you or take a friend who may have a little bit more experience in the gym who can show you around.

Get a PT at the gym to take you through how to use the equipment

It is actually the responsibility of the gym to ensure their members know how to use the equipment. Don't be afraid to ask the staff how to use something if you're unsure. Anything that helps build your confidence is always advantageous to what we're trying to achieve here!

I hope these tips are actually helpful (please let me know in the comments). My confidence is still no where near what it used to be but with the help of some of these handy tips, I am getting better every time.

Another requested post was "How to use gym equipment" so I am considering doing some videos for you guys and embedding them in the blog posts.

Please let me know in the comments if there is anything in particular you would like demonstrated!

Keep smiling!

Tahana xo 


  1. I always go when it's quiet - at my gym it's after lunch so 1-3 because I hate not being about to do my work out properly because people are there. It was great at the start too because I could do trial and error without feeling super worried about other people around me.

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  2. Great post. I joined a certain gym in Brisbane & then when I moved locations it was like a totally different vibe! I couldn't stand the place at peak times!!

    Shannon x.

  3. I love your tips and will have to start working on them but I'm totally not there yet! I've never been to a gym, and to be honest I'm completely terrified! Slowly building up a collection of at home equipment so that I can keep avoiding it, haha!

    Kez |

  4. Such great tips! I've found going at about 6.30pm works for me and my particular gym. people start heading home for dinner time and my workout begins! I just had a week off from being sick and I am so keen to get started again, hopefully Monday, when I feel well again!

    Kate |

  5. Getting into excerise can definitely be bumpy in the beginning. Not only is it physically exhausting and you feel constantly sore but it does feel very intimidating. I know when I joined boot camp everyone looked so fit around me and they all knew what they were doing and they knew how to do the exercises. But it definitely gets better and I've been training for over two years and I love it.

  6. Sorry it has taken me so long to read this post! I loved your insta vid. HPS represent! We should do a session one day in our matching singlets hehe. These tips are all so good! I definitely find working out with someone else and having good music help me a lot! Great post T!!!

    I can't believe you are planning for Achilles' first birthday party! That has flown by! It looks like you had an amazing month. I know moving house can be so stressful! So very stressful, but it sounds like all the hard work was worth it. I will have to come visit you at the new place soon!!!

    Sarah | Bows & Pleats

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