Overcoming Gym Intimidation

I was NOT compensated for the content of this post. All opinions are my own.

I’m sure all of us can relate to the feeling of walking into the gym for the first time, whether that be for the very first time, after a long break, or when joining a new (to you) gym; it’s intimidating. And understandably so.

A few weeks ago, I won a giveaway on Instagram for a free month-long membership to a barre studio in Grand Rapids. I had never tried barre before so I was definitely excited to give it a try but as I sat in the car outside of the studio waiting to go inside, I started getting knots in my stomach. I was so nervous. I wouldn’t know anyone, I had no idea what to expect, and I was afraid I would make a complete fool of myself.

And you know what happened? I walked in and was greeted by the girl behind the desk, one of the instructors gave me a tour and helped me get set up, and while the other ladies in class didn’t really talk to me, they weren’t mean either (and honestly didn’t really talk to anyone unless they came with a friend).

But the point being is that I get it.

My friends at Aaptiv created this infographic on overcoming gym intimidating and I loved it because I think it’s something we can ALL relate to, whether you’re heading to your local “normal” gym, trying out a yoga, barre, or CrossFit class, or even just walking into the tiny fitness center in your apartment complex (like I do).

Can you relate to gym intimidation? What has helped you overcome it?

10 thoughts on “Overcoming Gym Intimidation”

  1. Oh yeah, definitely. I think doing anything new – especially when you’re by yourself – can make people anxious. I know it does for me, but sometimes just sticking with it works out well or bringing along a friend if you can. I know before I started taking dance classes, I met the instructor before my first class and that made me less nervous.


  2. I think this is definitely true, in any new situation, it is hard to be the new person in the room. I think there are some good tips in that info graphic, especially to focus on yourself, I think that can help, especially at the gym!

  3. So was the class fun??? I heard they’re tough. One of my daughter’s dance teachers said she went to a barre class thinking it would be easy because she dances regularly….but was sore for days afterward!
    I think getting the tour & help setting up would erase a lot of my fears. Just walking in and not knowing what to do would be terrifying!

  4. Oh, man… YES! I can totally relate to this. I have been a member of my gym for nearly two years, and though I have my routine, there are times when I definitely feel intimated. This could probably be alleviated if I took a tour with a fitness instructor or had a buddy go with me, but I’m so shy when I’m there! Anyway, thanks for sharing this — definitely useful tips 🙂

  5. I’ve been in this situation and these are great tips! I was always self conscious because I’m thin, but I wanted to use the gym to gain muscle mass, not lose weight. That, staying motivated to keep going, and finding some form of exercise that I actually enjoyed were always my struggles. I found that trying different classes (to find one I liked) and joining were the best solutions for me.

  6. Definitely can relate to gym intimidation. I still get it every time I want to try a new class or try a new piece of equipment, because I fear that people know that I am a newbie.
    The thing is: nobody knows and nobody can tell…. it’s all in our heads! 😉

  7. I have not been to the gym since 2003 — OMG! I’m not even lying. I know. I actually get my workouts when I go to physical therapy and I think we all can’t be judgy pants there 😛
    I think though that I would feel really intimidated going to an actual gym considering my physical limitations and the stories I’ve heard. I’d have to go with a friend who knew how to use the equipment and could kick someone’s rear end if they ever made a comment!

  8. Yeh I can totally relate to this. Being really inflexible I was super anxious for my first yoga class. I put off going for so long. But as soon as I went in everyone was so chilled, I had no idea what I was worried about.

  9. I can relate. I have figured out that I like to take dance classes with a small group, but I work out harder and I’m more focused when I can workout alone on my lanai. It has become my “me” time. I hoped you liked the class!

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