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When it Comes to Gym Anxiety

When a new year or summer begins, everyone feels the need to get in shape, but many feel anxious at the very thought of walking into a gym. I too shared this struggle, but I eventually overcame my fears and started my fitness journey.

Growing up, I tried every sport under the sun from cheerleading to cross country. In the eighth grade, there was a semiformal dance.

My friends and I wanted to look our best, so we decided to hit the gym; many of us for the first time. After traveling an hour by bus and train; we went to that gym once and never worked out again.

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Once I reached high school, students were mandated to take gym for four years. I signed up for one day a week after-school gym. There were so many people in the class, that once attendance was taken I would sneak out and go home; without being noticed.

The summer before college I went to see my primary care doctor and she determined that I was overweight. Once classes began, I decided to sign up for a gym membership. Upon entering the gym, the environment seemed intimidating.

The patrons appeared very serious, and most looked like pro body builders. I felt like I didn’t belong.

There were a lot of people in the gym and that made me feel instantly anxious. I had no gym routine and I just tried everything I felt comfortable using.

I ran on the treadmill for about thirty minutes and then I tried using the Pec Dec machine. As I was using it, a man came up to me and told me that my hands were positioned incorrectly.

I felt so embarrassed that I decided to leave right away. After leaving the gym, I did not want to return but I decided to push forward and take steps to overcome my anxieties.  

I Gained Confidence

While I was at the gym, I would constantly compare myself to others and I didn’t feel confident enough to be there. When I got ready for the gym, I would just throw on any random T-shirt that wasn’t flattering at all.

I decided to buy fitness attire that would complement my body shape. It may seem superficial, but it strengthened my confidence. When I looked better I felt better.  

By wearing gym clothes that accentuated my developing physique it pushed me to become more consistent. Once I started to see my body transform, it motivated me to keep going so I could maintain my new level of fitness.

I Learned How To Workout

What intimated me the most about the gym was probably that I had no idea how to utilize the gym or operate any of the machinery.

When I first started going to the gym, I was just run on the treadmill for a half an hour and go home. After, a couple of weeks I was looking very scrawny and I was not happy with my body’s results.

Therefore, I did constant research to find a workout routine that would reach my fitness goals. I researched fitness sites to find information on workouts that help lose weight and build muscle. It was enlightening to learn the actual science behind workouts.

I learned the needed heart rate to achieve my target weight and that building muscles will increase the number of calories burned.

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One of the primary reasons I hated going to the gym was because I found it monotonous and repetitive. I didn’t want to have to spend several hours at the gym. From all my research, I found a workout that was perfect me.

I discovered high-intensity interval training workouts, which burn fat but in shorter durations. HIIT workouts burn calories even after the workout.

Instead of doing cardio for 30 minutes, HIIT workouts allowed me to burn fat in half the time.

I was able to use my newfound knowledge to create a routine using free weights to strengthen different parts of my body. As I became more familiar with strength training, I didn’t feel like such a newbie.   

I Made Gym Friends

At the gym I was attending I knew no one there, which made working out very isolating. The gym was offering yoga classes for women which I thought would be a perfect place to meet people. I met a girl named Christina.

She was around my age and was also just starting her fitness journey, we decided to work out together. We served as motivation for each other, if one day I didn’t want to go the gym she would motivate me, and vice versa.

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We also learned from each other. Christina would teach me different techniques and pushed me to work harder.

When I had a friend at the gym it was easier to meet other people. I felt like there was camaraderie among the members at the gym. Meeting people at the gym was essential to my success because I was able to ask questions and members were able to correct me when necessary.

In conclusion, take steps to boost your self-confidence, learn workout routines that work for your body, make gym friends, this will help you feel comfortable, and it will aid in your fitness success.

–  This is a guest post written by Shaylynne

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