When someone feels intimidated by the thought of going to the gym, or a feeling they experience whilst at the gym. Also known as Gymtimidation.
Let me explain (Ben :))…
Ever since I hit the age of 15 going to the gym is something that I wanted to do, but I have always felt intimidated by the prospect of going to the gym. You turn up to the gym and most of the time the people there have been to the gym A LOT and you can tell… You compare yourself to these people in the mirror, subtly, while you retreat to the safety of the cardio section… 30 minute run or walk on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the cross trainer, am I right?
That WAS me. I would put off going to the gym, and definitely avoid heading over to the weights to do some lifting because of the other guys there. The ones way bigger then me, and lifting tons in comparison to my measly 7kg bicep curl weights, which would always be free… I would just think to myself, ahh imma be the subject of comedy over here…
That WAS my Gymidation, not being able to lift what other people could do in their sleep and being judged…
In fact, there was this one time when I first started going to the gym, I was alone and it was very late. 24 hour gym as at 12 o’clock it wasn’t particularly busy. I started talking to this fella about the gym and he was a big dude trying to lose weight. He was telling me how he only came at night to avoid the crowds and to not be ‘laughed at’, and at the time I could relate with this – which really upset me.
We continued talking, and I said to him; ‘Try not to worry about other people, like you they are here to just do their own thing not look/laugh at or worry about other people’ – I said this in the least amount of confidence and hated that.
This really got to me. A tiny interaction with someone whom seemed to be a lovely guy really affected me. Why should people feel like that!? Having to wait until stupid o’clock just to go to the gym to not be ‘laughed’ at. It isn’t right.
I didn’t get put off by the gym though. I continued going, most days at about 5:30pm when busiest, and d’ya know what? I looked around, several times on several occasions. Just out of curiosity, to see if any one was actually looking at me. Every time, nothing.
This made me realise something…. It is all in our heads. No one actually does care. Everyone is there working out for themselves, all for different reasons, but no one was stood laughing at me lifting 7KG dumbbells for bicep curls.
Now if I got the chance to talk to this guy again I would say to him ‘DO NOT worry about other people, they like you, are there at the gym to do their own thing, They DO NOT think about YOU or other people.’
Such a contrast from how I began. I was Gymidated and now I’m not. Just from going to the gym, cracking on and not caring if any one else was looking, but also realising no one actually was looking! Saying all this, it wasn’t easy. Anxiety could hit an all time high at times – but powering through is what makes us strong.
Even if you can’t power through, find someone who can help you power through a partner or a friend – especially if they have the confidence you don’t right now.
I use my goal to motivate me to push myself. No matter how red faced I am, I am not the only one, and no one is laughing at me.
My advice to you is to try it out, go to the gym. Plan out a routine and head into the weights area. 1 hour later, or even more if you get so into it, you will walk out feeling freakin’ awesome. So much so you will go back the next day and do it again, and repeat. A month down the line, 2 months, 6 months, a year later you will look back and realise how crazy you were to have Gymidation. The more times you go to the gym the more you will become settled and even find yourself talking to people, sharing goals, smashing targets and helping each other out.
You can do it.