Having worked with hundreds of women in college the past almost five years, I know that one of the biggest challenges you face is fear of being in the gym.
You walk into the gym and it's FILLED with people, mostly men, and you feel intimidated--so intimidated that it's easier to just hop on the treadmill and do abs because that seems like the easiest way to move past the struggle of navigating the equipment and possibly embarrassing yourself.
People will ask you: what's the worst that could happen?
You will think to yourself:
- Uh I could fart in a squat
- I don't know how to use this machine and I'll look like an idiot trying to make it work
- They are judging me
On and on goes your mind. So when people tell you, "just do it". I understand why you don't.
Here are 3 REALISTIC ways to gain more confidence in your campus gym:
- Get one workout program and STICK WITH IT. When you're constantly googling new workouts for the latest and greatest, you're going to stress yourself out more and more because each time you'll have a new move to learn. With being a beginner, means taking the time to get familiar with each move. That's why you complete the same 6 workouts 4x each month. So you get familiar with each move, more confident each time you do it!
- Stick to the basics. You will for sure feel a huge lack of confidence if you're going into the gym trying to mimic something you see on Instagram. Sure, Betty Big Butt from IG is doing single leg alternating bicep curls while standing on a bosu ball and it looks really cool...it's not really that beneficial to you though. There is a reason Olympians are Olympians, they started from square one and got better. That's what you need to do to gain confidence as well. Begin with the basics and master those. Once you have the strength and stability to move on, THEN you can do the cooler looking things. Walking in with the mindset that you're going to attempt all of these crazy things though and then not being able to or understanding how to do them will surely knock your confidence down a bit. Basics first, babe!
- Honor your body AND your pace. I know, this is boring. It's important to know though, that you don't have to do what your friend or boyfriend is doing. I promise, and trust me when I say this because I use to feel the exact opposite---NO ONE CARES what you're doing in the gym. So trying to keep up with anyone else isn't in your best interest. Learning to truly focus your attention on YOU and not on trying to impress anyone will release so much worry and fear from you.
I know that you still may have some fear as you walk into the gym, one day at a time though. I promise if you show up, it gets better.
Laughing and being causal in the gym was something I NEVER thought I would achieve. Yet here I am, chilling with my barbell---not scared. Soon you'll be setting up your barbell hip thrust like you own the place. With kindness and gratitude of course ;)