Whether you’re the newest member of a gym or going to the gym for the first time, it can be daunting walking into a new place where you will be surrounded by men and women bigger, stronger, and fitter than you. You may see people doing exercises and movements you can’t, or pushing themselves harder than you believe possible. Of course you’re going to feel a bit insecure and unsure of yourself. But don’t sweat it! Here are a few tips on how to increase your confidence at the gym:
Find “Your Thing”
Maybe you’re not a marathon runner, but you love hitting the free weights. Or maybe you’re not big on heavy lifts but you can master those bodyweight exercises easily. It doesn’t matter what you find as “your thing”—all that matters is that you have something. Be it swimming, running, lifting, or other types of training, find the thing that helps you feel comfortable and confident.
It’s Not a Competition
Unless you’re signing up for an actual bodybuilding competition, you need to stop thinking about your training as one. You will never be the fittest person in the room, so don’t try to be. Take Ernest Hemingway’s advice: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” All that matters is that you are fitter and stronger than you were yesterday, last week, and last month.
Hire a Trainer
You may think that working with a trainer makes you look like a newbie. So what? What’s more important: getting a good workout or making people think you’re a gym expert? You need to focus on getting a quality training session in every time. The more you learn from the trainer, the more you’ll be able to do on your own. It’s better to be the newbie for a while and walk away from your training session with real results than to try to play the expert and see nothing for your efforts.
Dress the Part
If you want to feel confident at the gym, wear clothes that help to sell the role. Don’t wear baggy, worn, and torn clothing. Instead, wear stylish brand name gym clothes. Quality gym clothes will help you to look better as you train, and the you you see in the mirror will be a more attractive person than you’d be in “any old clothes”. That will help you build a lot of confidence and make you feel like you belong.
Focus on Yourself
People are at the gym to work out, not to see what everyone else around them looks like. Sure, it’s always nice to see what your fellow trainees are doing for exercise, but not to analyze their looks or their body. Focus on yourself and what you’re doing. Keep your eyes on your form, posture, and performance. Stop worrying about what others think of you and pay attention to make sure you’re training right.
Celebrate Your Successes
So you may not have tightened up those glutes or developed those six-pack abs you’ve been dreaming about. But you HAVE increased the amount of weight you’ve lifted or spent more time on the treadmill. Celebrate those victories, and don’t worry about the results you haven’t yet gotten. Getting into shape takes a lot of time and hard work. You have to be prepared for a marathon of getting fit, and it will take months or even years until you see the results you want. Be happy with your small victories; that’s how to increase your confidence at the gym!