Tips for Building Confidence at the Gym

A beginner’s guide to starting a fitness routine

Lily O'neill, Contributor

Nothing is more intimidating than walking into a packed free weight section and your mind goes blank – where do you start? Any avid gym goer can agree that we have all experienced the crushing anxiety of being a beginner at the gym. Here are some helpful tips on how to find your own confidence when starting your fitness journey. 

 

Make A Plan

 

In order to avoid that awkward moment of standing aimlessly in a crowded gym, it’s important to become familiar with different workouts and equipment to ease the nerves. Before you head to the gym, try looking up workout videos on YouTube for helpful techniques. Eventually, you can create your own workouts, but it’s a good idea to become familiar with set workouts to gain inspiration and confidence in your abilities. 

 

To start a consistent habit, set aside a specific time of day for the gym. Try to avoid peak times, such as 6 p.m., to help ease the anxiety that comes with crowds. Maybe hit up a friend you plan on sharing a workout schedule with, to help keep you motivated. Planning the small details will make you feel that extra boost of confidence when entering the gym.

 

Get In Zone

 

It’s important to feel good when you workout, especially when you are first starting out. Elements such as your outfit, what you have eaten, and what songs are queued up on your playlist, all have an influence on your overall mood and motivation at the gym. 

 

Maybe treat yourself to an online shopping spree of your favorite athleisure apparel items, because when you look good, you feel good. Even if you are more of a laid-back dresser and just want to go in a shirt and shorts, it’s most important to feel confident and comfortable in what you are wearing, so your mind can be in the right headspace. 

 

Fueling your body with nutritious foods are essential in boosting your mood and energy to have the best workout session.  I also recommend putting together your favorite “hype” songs, all those songs that make you feel like you own the place. These small elements can help put your mind into the right headspace for a killer workout. 

 

Start With the Basics

 

While it can be tempting to run straight to the squat rack to see how much you can lift, that can be a calling for injury. First, warming up is essential for performance and healthy bodily function. I suggest a 10 minute incline walk on the treadmill, followed by dynamic stretching. 

 

When getting into the main workout, less is more. Make sure to focus on your form and that your body feels the muscle group being worked. These skills will come with time, and it’s important to embrace mistakes in order to learn from them. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are getting your body to move, and that in itself is amazing for your health and overall fitness journey. The gym can be overwhelming, but building a strong foundation will give you the confidence to push yourself and try new workouts in the future. 

 

Reshape Your Mindset 

 

Arguably the hardest part about working out is the mental aspect. Factors such as self-esteem, anxiety, and motivation all play an important role into how well your gym session plays out. When starting at the gym, it’s important to understand that everyone, from the person squatting 400 pounds to the person walking on their hands, all started off as beginners. Try to catch yourself if you begin comparing yourself to others who have started their fitness journey years before; your biggest competition is yourself. 

 

Mindset is everything, especially when facing the anxiety of starting something new, like the gym. Focusing on how you feel, instead of how you look, will help you appreciate your progress while simultaneously helping you to avoid societal pressures of body image. Noticing changes in your physique can be exciting, but focusing on feeling stronger raises satisfaction to a whole new level. Focus on building health and strength, then the physique will follow. Slowly, after disciplining your mind to focus on the positives of the journey, confidence will soon follow and blossom. 

 

Confidence is built through venturing outside your comfort zone and facing your fears head on. It is a muscle that needs to be worked, just like any other muscle in the body, to maintain strength. Starting out at the gym is bound to be a little uncomfortable, but by implementing these tips, you will be able to have that extra boost of confidence as you dive into your fitness journey. 

 

Email Lily at [email protected]

Facebook Comments