The gym may seem like a daunting place, especially if your workout buddy is taking a rest day. If you do feel insecure, unsure, or a little apprehensive about showing up to the gym by yourself you are NOT alone and these five tips will help you gain the confidence you need to tune other people out and remember why you showed up in the first place.
Recognize a clear headspace is essential to any good workout, why go if you are going to psych yourself out?
Gym time is YOU time. A time to put your life on pause and focus on your individual goals. You may view going to the gym as a way to release stress from your day, a time to solely burn calories and build muscle, or a time to better yourself and fuel your passions. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to note that you went because of YOU. You need to be selfish at the gym and utilize this time to benefit your mind and body. Do not let this time be for you to be hard on yourself and make judgements. You came there and should be proud of that, so make the most out of it. If you use your gym time to think negative thoughts you are only hindering your own goals which WILL eventually degrade your physical progress. Your mind is your most powerful tool and can either build you up or break you down.
Dress the part, whether that means rocking those new Nike sneakers or splurging on that new apparel
Ever wear an outfit and feel the need to get outside and show the world? This is nothing to be ashamed of. You should embrace your good days. This confidence is essential in the gym for a great workout. If buying new workout clothes fosters a better relationship between you and burpees, why not splurge? When you actually spend money on gym apparel that excites you, you will be more motivated to show up and get the work done. This boost of self-assurance will go far and may make the difference between a sub-par and a killer workout.
Use this time to focus on yourself-not other people
There is nothing worse than showing up to the gym without a game plan. It can affect your ability to concentrate on your workout if you have to struggle with planning it out as you go along. Before you step foot in the gym, you should have a clear idea of what your workout will include. Personally, I find it helpful to visualize my workouts beforehand by saving Instagram fitness videos on my phone that I want to try out or even writing down my exercise plan in the notes section on my phone. I seek inspiration from fitness influencers on Youtube and make sure that I know what I will be focusing on before I arrive. Having an idea of your workout beforehand will make it easier to stick to your goals without being distracted by other people.
Look for a group fitness class
Group classes help ease tension. You know that one kickboxing move you have been dying to try at the gym but been to insecure to give it a chance? Group classes are the perfect time and place to give that roundhouse kick a try. Everyone is doing the same moves and feels just as awkward as you might feel. Now you can truly embrace your curiosity and try new things that you might not have done if you were alone. Group classes also provide an amazing outlet to meet like minded people who are interested in the same activities as you are. Making a new gym buddy is just another person who can help keep you accountable and motivate you to show up to class again.
Create a playlist so fire you will want to go to the gym just to listen to the songs
We all know those songs which ignite a spark within us that could fuel a half marathon. Whether it be the loud bass or beat drop- when played, we instantly feel motivated to put the work in. If these songs are not on your gym playlist, you have some work to do. Music has the power to be a catalyst for sweat, meaning the words and beats being echoed in your ears are just as important as the running shoes you wear. If you don’t know what I am talking about, think back to the last time you crushed your workout- I assume you weren’t listening to Ed Sheeran. Listening to songs with an upbeat rhythm has the ability to increase your heart rate and reduce your amount of physical and mental stress.
So next time “gymtimidation” comes creeping in, don’t let it get the best of you by remembering these five tips. The only reason to sweat in the gym should be because of your superset workout or sprints, not on the small stuff.