You may have struggled or still continue to struggle with your confidence in the gym. I have been there and I am here to help! Here are some of the things I would be thinking when I was trying to workout: “I hope no one is watching me do these since I have no idea what I am doing." “Too many people in here. Think it’s bad if I just walk right back out since I am waaaay too intimidated?” “I wonder if my butt looks jiggly while I am running?” “Do I look badass?” “Am I breathing too heavy?” The truth is... no one gives a damn. Most of us are too worried about what we look like to even care about the other people in the gym. Sure, there are a few uber-confident gym-goers that try hard to stick out by wearing tight, leopard print, neon jumpsuits or scream profanities as loud as humanly possible while they are lifting, but most of us are just trying to fly under the radar, get in there, work out, and leave feeling better about ourselves. Seriously! It may be scary in the beginning to ignore your inner critic; but trust me, you have to just do it. Try these three simple steps and you will be able to walk into any gym and rock your workout with confidence.
1) Have a “Go to” exercise
Master an exercise that you can do anywhere using your own body weight. By doing this, you can walk in and get right to you're exercise. You can then scope out the equipment while your getting your bad-assness on! By using body weight, you will be taking the equipment factor out of the equation. This way, you won’t be taken off-guard if the equipment you were going to grab is being used.
2) Fake your Courage
People in the gym may look like they are confident, but you never truly know if they are in the same boat with you! Even if you are feeling self-conscious, walk through the door and don’t hesitate to get right to it. Amy Cuddy wrote a whole book on body language entitled Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges. It’s all about how posture can actually affect your belief. If you stand tall with your chest proud, it actually triggers a psycho-physical response in the brain and you start to feel more confident. So stand tall and walk right into that gym like you own the place. You will train yourself to be confident in that environment, even if you are faking it in the beginning.
3) Ask for help
If you are standing at a piece of equipment you would like to use but not sure how to use it, don’t make yourself more nervous, just ask for help. If there is no trainer available, you can ask a fellow member. Try something like, “Excuse me, are you familiar with the setup of this machine and would you mind helping me quick?” Most members would be glad to help. Plus, it builds their confidence, too! Then guess what? The next time you will know how to use that piece of equipment and you can help someone else that seems lost. It goes full circle and helps you build your confidence by trying new things.