Does going to the gym put pressure on you?

Sneha Desu

Certified Personal Trainer & Health Coach

3 min read

Many people may feel intimidated to walk into a gym that’s in full swing. The numerous mystery machines and super fit members who confidently walk around and seem to know exactly what they’re doing only add to the anxiety! Newcomers or beginners may feel overwhelmed and stressed in such an environment and may even battle feelings of inadequacy.  This is one of the reasons many people shy away from joining a gym – they tend to feel that they may be too out of shape!

In my experience of working with clients, I’ve seen that a lot of them don’t like stepping into a gym at all. They are too conscious that people will judge their form. There are feelings of insecurity as well. Beginners especially tend to feel a lot more insecure – not just about their bodies but the fear of being judged about their technique or form or where they stand. Beginners feel all of these emotions when walking into a gym for the first time.

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This is quite natural – it pertains to any field. If you walk into an environment and see someone with a lot of experience, you as a beginner are bound to feel intimidated.  The same applies to a gym. Gyms offer varied services and classes for which large space is needed. The crowd in these spaces may sometimes make beginners feel uncomfortable.  Gyms don’t always offer a relaxed atmosphere and people can sometimes be unfriendly too. For this reason, a lot of my clients prefer being trained at home – they feel too much goes on in a gym and home offers a more secure atmosphere to work out.

Some regular gym members can be quite intimidating and not all gym goers are patient with newcomers and this is sometimes quite a problem for newcomers

There is a little bit of stigma attached to women training and this is quite evident. I’ve noticed that when women train or work out in a gym, they may feel like a lot of eyes are on them. This is because a lot less women do physical activities and there are always more male gym goers and trainers. I’ve experience this too – not only when I’m doing my own workouts but when I’m training my clients as well. I’m literally the only female trainer around!

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It’s only natural for people just starting out in their fitness journey to feel a little conscious around more experienced gym members. Some of the regular gym members can be quite intimidating, especially if a beginner takes time on a machine or doesn’t put the weights back in the correct place. Not all gym goes are patient with newcomers and this is sometimes quite a problem for newcomers.  The members who are quite experienced with their training can be quite loud at times and throw around the weights, making it clear to the entire gym how fit and strong they are! This can be scary for newcomers.

Being a bit afraid may be a natural tendency for beginners but it’s easy to come out of it. Once UR there doing UR own thing you will realize that it’s UR personal journey with fitness and not really how you compare yourself with others. Newbies need to remember that comparing themselves to others isn’t fair – everyone is a beginner at some point or another.