Everyone has a different experience when they go to a group fitness class. Some people feel relaxed when they cross the threshold. These are the people who view fitness as self-care and the gym as a place to grow (both mentally and physically). Others feel excited as they enter the gym, fuelled by adrenaline and possibly a pre-workout. They are ready to take on the challenge of breaking a personal record.
These positive associations with a group fitness class are wonderful, but they aren’t universal. Many people feel anxious, self-conscious, and embarrassed when they enter a group fitness class. This is called gym anxiety. Today we will discuss what causes it and how you can help it.
What Causes Anxiety in the Gym or a Group Fitness Class?
Gym anxiety is similar to social anxiety. We feel anxious when we don’t feel at home in a social setting. Hollywood has ingrained a culture that is intimidatingly masculine and filled with adrenaline-pumped guys in the fitness zeitgeist. Anyone outside this image (which is to be fair, most of us) might feel uncomfortable in the gym.
We at Apex Performance believe everyone can be healthy, regardless of their size, gender identity, or body. It is not easy to get that belief in our heads. It might take some effort to find the confidence to be you and feel comfortable in your own skin at the fitness center, but it is possible.
These tips can help you overcome your anxiety so that you can reach a large part of your physical health.
Have a plan. A gym visit without a plan can be stressful. Knowledge is power and confidence comes with it. A gym plan can help you move quickly through your workout by eliminating uncertainty. A plan can help you keep on track and achieve your fitness goals quicker. A plan allows you to know exactly where you need to go and what equipment you will need before you arrive at the gym. Feeling a sense of purpose can make the difference between gym anxiety or ease. A plan could be the key to unlocking your potential.
Plan to claim your own space while in group fitness classes or alone and do a quick deep breathing exercise before you get out of your car and walk to the gym. Next, take a look in the mirror and say “you belong here.” Yes. It really does help. The gym’s space concept is a key component. We are hyper-aware of the amount of space we have, how many people are using it, and who has access to it at any given moment. This idea of space occupies all our thoughts when we are waiting to be seated on a machine, or when we wait for someone else to take a seat on a bench we have stepped away from. The gym belongs to everyone, that’s the truth.
Your space is not more important if you are stronger, fitter, or thinner than another person. Your space is not more important if you are a “gym rat”, someone who spends hours at the gym every day, or someone who just enters the gym for the first time. Respect others at the gym, be polite and be respectful.
We have a fitness secret world tip for you. Are you ready? Most people are not paying attention to what you do in the gym. Most people are not hyper-aware of themselves, just like you. We’ll reiterate that: 99 percent of the time, no one cares what you do at the gym.
Going to the gym can be a very personal experience. Lifting weights and walking up a stairway takes all our attention and energy. When you feel nervous about trying something new or are unsure if you should, remind yourself that no one is watching you. Stop comparing yourself with others. Getting into your own zone and finding your groove and proper breathing is a great way of doing that. Turn on your favorite music and listen to the rest of the world while you do the things that you came to the gym for.
This rule applies to almost everyone, we’ll say. The only people who aren’t welcome in the gym or a group fitness class are those who just want to judge and stare at others. For any reason you feel harassed or uncomfortable in the gym, contact a member of our team for assistance. Our job is to make sure that you have a pleasant and safe experience in your group class.
A lack of confidence when working out is another common reason for gym anxiety. A group fitness class is for you if you are completely new to the gym or don’t know where to start. Being in a group fitness class is better than just printing a workout online to do at home. It teaches proper form and helps you build a solid foundation for your fitness. This is a great first step, as it reduces the risk of injury and gets you out of your shell! Contact Apex Performance for more information on classes today and check out what others are saying about Apex and its trainers!