Being scared to go to the gym for the first time is a perfectly reasonable thought. You are afraid of the judgement. You are afraid that you won’t even be able to lift a weight. All of these thoughts are going through your head about the possible negative circumstances that could happen in a gym.
I am here to tell you that all of those negative thoughts are probably unfounded.
In fact, I have been going to the gym for the past 16 years. I have never been made fun of, called out, or even looked at weird. Also, I have never seen anyone bullied or made fun of in the gym.
Let’s just say that on average, I worked out 3 days per week over the past 16 years, with each session averaging an hour. That means that for nearly 2,500 hours in the gym, I didn’t experience any negativity.
And for years, I was expecting at any moment someone was going to make fun of me or call me out. Why? Because being ridiculously skinny, I thought I was an easy target.
It turns out, everyone is in the gym for the same reason. They want to improve themselves.
Why are you scared of going to the gym for the first time?
First, we must get to the bottom of why you are scared of going to the gym for the first time. Is it because of your weight? Are you overweight and afraid that people will judge you?
Maybe you are underweight like I was. And you are afraid that you might not be able to lift weights properly.
It doesn’t matter what your reason is, it is most likely a valid reason for being afraid of going to the gym.
Unfortunately, our media and our culture sets us up to believe that since we don’t look perfect, that people will call us out at some point. This couldn’t be further from the truth. And although these are valid concerns, it might not ever happen to you.
I saw a YouTube video the other day of a guy freaking out on a gym goer because he accidentally dropped a weight. It turns out, the crazy freak out guy got banned from the gym.
That type of behavior is not acceptable at any gym, and can have obvious consequences.
My point here is that it doesn’t matter what hobby you have or culture you are in, you are always going to have the outliers that are aggressive. That is just life though.
Ask yourself why you are afraid of going to the gym for the first time. Then ask yourself if your thoughts are going to dictate your future.
Have a plan and stick to it
I always thought that the majority of my hesitation for going to the gym for the first time was invoked by my fear of judgement. After going to the gym for the first time, the fear switched to being afraid of not knowing what I am doing.
It is normal for our fear of the gym to evolve as we realize that our preconceived notions about the gym were false.
I would go to the gym and just kind of wander around, lifting weights here and there, hoping that I would automatically turn into a beast. It turns out that I just had no idea what I was doing.
All I really needed was a plan to get myself going. Once I started a plan, my results came soon after, and my confidence skyrocketed. Then of course going to the gym was no longer a fear for me.
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The whole point here is that when you have a plan, you can focus on executing that plan instead of worrying about what other people think. It is amazing to see the results that you can produce just by sticking to a plan and blocking out the negativity.
This isn’t just for the gym though. Dial in your nutrition plan, and make sure that you are eating towards your goals. For example, if you are trying to build muscle, eat at a caloric surplus. If you are trying to lose fat, eat at a caloric deficit.
If you combine proper diet with the gym, you are going to see massive changes, and it will increase your confidence in the gym.
We are all in the same boat
There is always going to be someone that you perceive as better looking or in better shape than you. And guess what. They are always going to find someone that they perceive as better looking and in better shape than them.
This is just the way that life is. If you choose to compare yourself to others, you are going to find that there is always someone “better” to compare ourselves to if we let it get that far.
When you go to the gym and eventually start meeting people there, you are going to realize that they all started from a place where they weren’t confident to step into the gym.
A lot of people do not give off that vibe, but when you get to know people, you are going to realize that we are all in the gym for the same reason. To improve our body, health, and confidence.
Also, it is OK to want to do that. I know that there are a lot of subcultures around the world that even go so far as to make fun of people that want to better themselves. If you are stuck in one of those situations, just know that there is more for you.
Main Point: Scared of going to the gym for the first time?
If you read this far, you now can probably realize that there is no need to be scared of going to the gym for the first time.
We all have our reasons for why we might be afraid to step foot in the gym. Maybe it is because we don’t want anyone to see our body in its current state. Maybe it is because we have no idea what we are doing in the gym.
Whatever the reason, just know that these are all valid concerns. The way that our culture is set up, it’s as if we are constantly being bombarded with the idea that we need to look absolutely perfect.
What you will find is that the act of you yourself getting better is what is going to motivate you. Not the idea that you can look like a celebrity. I always recommend taking measurements and weight before you get started at the gym. It is going to push you through to down times when you see how much progress you have made.
Don’t forget to have a plan. A workout plan is going to help you immensely with your confidence. All you have to do is go to the gym, show up, and follow the plan.
Soon, you will be enjoying the process. And once you are to the point where you are confident enough to be there, you are going to realize that everyone is there for the same reason. They just want to improve themselves.