Gain Confidence To Enter A Gym & Boss It!

Gain confidence to enter a gym & boss it!

Maybe you have a local gym, you’re curious and want to give it a go. However, something is putting you off?

THAT SOMETHING MIGHT BE YOUR CONFIDENCE!

Could it be your pre-conceived ideas of what the gym is and stands for, that is holding you back?

In this article, I’m going to provide you with some simple tips, on how to deal with negative thoughts and gain that gym confidence.

Once you step onto the gym’s floor and get a few sessions under belt, you will feel like a superhero and wonder what all the fuss was about!

NEGATIVE AFFIRMATIONS

What are negative affirmations?

And what has it got to do with going to the gym?

Negative affirmations are a troubling selection of words or statements, that you may repeat frequently in your head or even say them out loud. If listened to enough, they will become dominant, you will end up believing they’re true, which will have a negative effect on your mental and even physical health. 

So what has this got to do with the gym? Well, quite often negative thoughts are related to low self-esteem. Low self-esteem will trick you and make you believe that you are not worthy or not ready for a new challenge.

It’s lies! YOU ARE WORTHY, so let’s address three common thoughts that run through our heads and knock our gym confidence.

1. " I don’t look fit enough to go to the gym yet "

When I ask people “What is it that stops you from entering a gym?”

“I don’t look fit enough to go to the gym yet“ Is up there with the most common reason I’ve heard!

It’s strange that we have arrived at this place, where people genuinely think they need to look a certain way, to be seen exercising in public. A gym is the home of fitness, what exactly do you have to look like to enter one? The fact is that anyone and everyone is welcome to train in the gym.

A steady walk on an incline treadmill, is not the same as the runway at London Fashion Week.

  • There’s no spotlight on you
  • There is no expectation required from you
  • You don’t have to contribute to your surroundings
  • You are not there to put on a show for anyone

Fashion is an image. Getting fit isn’t a look, it’s a lifestyle. Your lack of gym confidence normally stems from fear of being judged. 

Indicators of good health and fitness

✔️Normal blood pressure ✔️Heart rate within the normal range ✔️Normal breathing rate ✔️Good aerobic fitness ✔️Strong joints, bones and ligaments ✔️Strong muscle fibres ✔️Good flexibility and mobility.

YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO GAUGE ANY OF THESE INDICATORS, JUST BY LOOKING AT SOMEONE.

So, remember that health and fitness does not have a look and in order to achieve any of the above indicators, you must start somewhere. A gym is a great place to begin!

2. " I don’t know what I’m doing and I’ll look stupid "

We have all seen a video or meme on social media, that likes to mock the misguided gym folk. You know, the type that have gone viral of a gym-goer who is incorrectly using a piece of gym equipment or falls off and hurts themselves.

These videos are normally intended for humour and a bit of harmless fun, but they definitely speak to the crowd that thinks: “that could be me – I don’t know what I’m doing either and I’ll look stupid or hurt myself”

Well, don’t worry. I have a solution and it’s very simple. Just ask!

All gyms will have staff, use them and book an induction or a simple tour. The staff at the gym do not judge based on abilities, trust me on that! Inductions are a perfect opportunity for us fitness instructors and personal trainers to make you feel comfortable. 

Remember that, even pros need a refresher, everyone had to start somewhere!

An induction is generally done once a member is signed up, however, you can just ask for a tour to get a feel of the environment. If you’re not keen on walking into the unknown of the gym to talk about an induction, you can book a tour or induction over the phone. This is your perfect opportunity to ask all the questions you want without having to step foot inside the gym.

What questions should you ask when booking an induction or tour?

No question is stupid, you’re only making it more difficult for yourself by NOT asking. Good questions are:

  • Where can I find you and is there parking?
  • Where’s the entrance and what will I see at the reception area?
  • How many instructors do you have?
  • Are they visible on the gym floor?
  • How long will the induction take and will you show me around at the same time?

Also, be clear on things that might make you feel uncomfortable:

  • If you don’t want to be weighed, then say so. This is not a requirement during an induction or a tour and most of us fitness instructors and personal trainers will not require this from you.
  • Similarly, you don’t have to get your body measurements taken either. You are going to the gym on your terms, so keep it that way.

There are things that are generally part of an induction, that you should do:

  • ✅ Blood pressure reading. 
  • ✅ Health and safety disclosure (before starting your fitness journey, you may be asked to disclose any medical conditions. This helps to identify any specific needs). 
  • ✅ Agreeing to adhere to the rules of the gym (gym etiquette).

So, the secret is to ask, ask and ask again! Questions boost gym confidence.

3. “ Everyone is going to look at me whilst I’m exercising ”

This is a simple one to tackle, I will hit you with the home truths:

  • Nobody knows what they are doing to begin with and are super-focussed on their own goals.
  • Any level of gym-goer, will be pushed out of their comfort zone if the surroundings are unfamiliar. For example, stepping into a new gym with different style machines, it’s a learning experience all over again. This is normal and perfectly fine. Everyone experiences this and no-one judges!
  • Experienced gym members will be too busy concentrating on themselves to worry about anyone else. So just enjoy yourself.

PRACTICAL THINGS YOU CAN DO NOW!

  • Treat your first gym trip or induction, like you are visiting a showroom and you’re about to buy a new car

What would you need to know about that car? And what do you need it to do for you? You would be specific:

  • Do you need air con?
  • What colour and shape would you like?
  • Do you need heated seats?
  • Need a fuel efficient car, because you travel on long journeys?

You get the idea…

Be this specific during your first time at the gym. The more you know, the more comfortable you will feel.


  • Try on the clothes you will wear to the gym at home (start that gym confidence at home)

Clothing is important, why? You must feel comfortable when moving about and using the equipment. Wear any type of activewear that makes you feel great. It can be baggy, fitted, all black or bright purple, it doesn’t matter, just as long as it’s not denim – you can’t move around very well in that 😉 Get yourself some solid, comfy shoes too!


  • Pack a gym bag (like you are going on holiday)

I don’t need to expand much on this one. Just do it. Trust me, it brings feelings of excitement and new beginnings.

If you wait for the magical unicorn moment that is:

I’LL GO WHEN I’M READY

You will still be waiting in a few months time! That moment rarely comes, you just have to make it happen and push yourself outside your comfort zone. You won’t feel ready for change, so take a deep breath and (as the famous swoosh tickers say)…

JUST DO IT! – Go and get your gym confidence.

Please let me know if you found any of my tips useful and if it’s encouraged you to book a slot at the gym, then even better – go you! Check out my HOW TO PREPARE & STRUCTURE YOUR WORKOUTS article to get started with a solid gym plan.

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