Imagine walking into a gym filled with complex equipment and a community of gym snobs wearing “resting gym face.” You may walk into the gym and find yourself sweating harder from fear than fitness.

There’s a name for that. It’s called gym-timidation–and like the struggle–it is REAL. Thankfully, I am going to share a few tips to help you combat gym-timidation so you can make it through your workout like a boss.

Have a plan. Don’t walk into the gym like a deer in the headlights. Going into your workout with a plan and purpose alleviates the extra intimidation of not knowing what to do or where to go in the gym. Your plan could be as simple as dedicating your workout to target a particular muscle group, such as upper body, lower body, core, etc.

Pinpointing a target area and writing out particular exercises specifies which machines or equipment you will want to use and avoids the agony and embarrassment of an unplanned, all-over-the-place workout.

Learn the gym. Did you know that most gyms organize their machines by difficulty? Isolate machines are usually placed together and are ideal for beginners because they target one muscle at a time, require no extra skills, have a fixed range of motion, and are limited to no settings or adjustments besides the amount of weight. These machines are great for beginners because there is not much that has to be done besides getting on the machine and exercising.

Compound machines will be grouped together and are great for intermediate exercisers because they use multiple joints and muscles, focus on functional exercises, and require slightly more skills and adjustments.

Lastly, equipment that requires even more skill (such as balance and coordination) will also be found in the same clique, which includes free weights. Each machine also usually has a basic diagram or brief synopsis on how the equipment works. Learning the type of machinery and basics of operation will make you feel more comfortable with the machinery and scenery.

Be prepared. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, right? Pack your gym bag the night before and make sure that you are well equipped for your workout. Ensuring that you have all the essentials to be successful during your workout gives you more confidence that it will go well.

Be confident. Let’s face it, those super-setting gym junkies can be quite intimidating. Don’t feel intimidated by Steroid Scott, Too-toned Tina or Brody the Bodybuilder. Remember, just like you, everyone is a beginner at some point and you just should strive to be the best version of yourself.

Walk into your workout with confidence in your skills and abilities–and if you don’t know what they are–walk in with the confidence that you will gain some. While you may not be as advanced as others in the gym, you have an infinite platform of fitness knowledge to expand.

Gym-timidation happens to everyone, so don’t sweat it. (Pun intended.) So next time you are feeling a little less than confident at the gym, remember these helpful tips to help combat your gym-timidation.

About The Author

Fitness Editor

Lola George is an AFAA certified personal trainer. In addition to training, Lola studies journalism and kinesiology at the University of North Texas. Lola is also Fitness Editor for Wavelength Weekly Magazine, and aspires to write for a large health publication. In her free time, she enjoys writing, using social media, being active and taking selfies. She considers herself the girl who puts it "IT" in fitness.

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