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Sunday, July 26, 2015

6 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of the Weight Room

6 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of the Weight Room
When I say that I understand what it's like being afraid of the weight room, I am NOT kidding. I am very shy and introverted. I didn't walk into a restaurant by myself until I was in my 20's. The thought of walking into a gym, mostly dominated by men, terrified me. I wouldn't even go into the gym to do cardio...I was terrified of the whole gym! So, I get it BUT I bet your fear is probably not even as extreme as mine was! I know I seem to be talking to you ladies here but some men are shy as well. Men typically don't like the weight area because of the "meathead" type. Although I do believe you can get an amazing workout at home (some of our best She Sweats transformations were made using our at-home plan!), having access to all of the equipment a gym offers is a great benefit! If you have access to a gym, make the most of it! Use these tips to slowly build your confidence to go into the weight room (or even gym for that matter!).

Below are the strategies I used (along with "fake it until you make it") to conquer my extreme fear of the gym. However, I still get anxious if we have to go to a new gym or go at a different time. Although I know what I'm doing, I like the familiarity of the same group of people and going at the same time!

6 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of the Weight Room

1. Join a Small{er} Gym

We live about 20 minutes away from a large gym, which is a good thing because I would probably STILL (to this day) never set foot in a large gym. Luckily, since I started my transformation we've been members at a small local gym (Anytime Fitness franchise). In some aspects this can be a negative thing, we do not have all of the fancy machines and equipment that a larger gym has and the gym doesn't offer very many classes or have any add-on options such as a pool. But for someone who is shy, I've found that this is actually a good thing. There isn't as much space to "learn my way around" and I pretty much know where everything is and how to use it. Just knowing where the equipment is that you need will be a huge confidence booster for you! If you can't join a smaller gym...don't worry...I still have some tips for you!

2. Go When It Is Not As Crowded

Although this may be hard for some people, getting to the gym while it's not very busy will definitely help because you won't feel like everyone is watching you (they aren't anyway!). When we first started working out we went later in the evening (around 9 PM) but then started going right after work. I think going late to begin with was good for me though because it wasn't as crowded. Peak times for gyms are usually before work, during lunch, and right after work. If your schedule allows, go late morning or early afternoon to beat the crowds.

3. Go at the Same Time Each Day

When someone asks "What time should I workout?" my answer is always ANY TIME! Any time that you can workout is the best time to workout. If this means that some days you go in the mornings and other days you go in the evenings that is fine as long as you get it done! However, for someone who has a fear of the weight room going at the same time each day is the best option. When you go at the same time you get to know the people who also workout at that time. Getting to know others around you will make you feel more comfortable and be even more open to asking questions, if needed.

4. Find an Empty Room

Even though our gym is small we do have one classroom. If it isn't being used I will get what I need (don't take all the weights though!) and go into that room to do my workout. When I first stared working out, our gym was in a different location and we actually didn't even have a classroom! There was a tiny area that had a wall that was probably 4 ft high where the trainer's desk, bands and exercise balls were located. Even though it wasn't an enclosed room this space provided me with the privacy that I needed in order to familiarize myself with the equipment and workouts in general. Take advantage of an empty room or space so that you can concentrate on your workout instead of worrying about other people (again, they aren't paying attention to you like you think they are!).

5. Take a Friend

I hesitated to include this one because sometimes a partner is not a good thing. I actually prefer to workout alone but having a friend with you might take some of the pressure off of you. You can navigate the machines and not feel like you are alone. If you do want a workout buddy, try to find one that has your same intensity, schedule, etc.

6. Take a Few Sessions with a Personal Trainer

I am a Certified Personal Trainer and I still do not believe that everyone needs a personal trainer. I honestly think that most people can do this on their own but understand that a personal trainer is necessary in some situations. A situation that comes to mind is someone who is shy in the gym! Even if you don't want to workout with a trainer all the time, see if you can purchase a few sessions so that they can show you around and explain how to use all of the equipment. This will help prevent frustration and possibly injury down the road. After your sessions with the trainer, having a plan in place is the best option so you don't wander around the gym wasting time trying to figure out what to do next. Try one of our She Sweats Workout Plans that lays out exactly what you need to do each day!

Are you scared of the weight room or gym in general? What have you done to overcome your fears?

Let us be your personal trainers with our detailed 4, 6 and 12 week She Sweats Workout plans! We guide your workout each day, telling you exactly what to do and what intensity to work at. We have everything you need! Find out more!


  1. Thanks for all your tipps. The thing that works best for me is listening to music together with some type of tunnel vision. When I am in the changing room I already plug in my headphones and get myself into a mood where I don’t look left or right anymore. I just headed from machine to machine without even noticing who was there. Now, six weeks later, I do feel a lot more comfortable. And as you said: all the others are there for their training as well and they don’t even pay half as much attention to others as you might think. I am glad that I have found my studios. In others I couldn’t overcome the unpleasant feeling. Maybe you have to try a few (if possible) before you take a final choice.

    Take care and start training: it’s definitely worth it.


  2. Great tips!! Especially going when it's not busy or with a friend. Best way to avoid the crowds or deal with them!

  3. What a fabulous post! I had a huge fear of using the weights at the gym. I have learned with fear comes accomplishment. If you can push past that fear just once the accomplishment you feel afterwards completely outweighs the fact that you still don't know how to use the smith machine. Chances are, no one is paying attention to you. Everyone else is worried about looking stupid, or letting one rip while they squat, or they are just focused on getting in a good workout. When I told my husband I was scared to use the weight section he said "don't be so full of yourself, those people don't care about you, unless you fart so don't fart." YouTube is a fabulous resource, if you don't know what a machine is or how to use it there is probably a video of it on youtube. Not to mention, there is always the option of just asking. Most gym personnel will be happy to tell you where a machine is and how to use it. The bottom line is 1) Don't be so full of yourself, no one cares what you are doing 2) If you can get past the fear just once, you can get past it again, and again, and again, until it is no longer a fear! Good luck to every one!

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