Gym anxiety is real. It can feel different for everyone. It can be expressed in a wide range of emotions, such as feeling anxious, intimidated, overwhelmed or embarrassed (to name a few!).  

You may be concerned with what other people think of your appearance or exercise abilities. Maybe you have felt anxious if the gym is too busy or what to do if other people take up the machines you want to use. Or perhaps you have been worried about appearing ‘weak’ and overloaded with the weights?

If you’ve ever felt this way, you are not alone. It is important to normalise this. Feeling anxious in a gym is very normal, especially if you’re new to or returning to exercise.

There are a few triggers that can cause gym anxiety, and at Namix, we pride ourselves on helping members to overcome gym anxiety. Here are the key triggers and how we enable members to overcome them:

You're A Beginner

The initial visit can feel overwhelming when you’re a beginner or returning to the gym environment after a long period of time. It is common to think, “Will people look at me?”, “Will they judge me if I do something wrong?”, “What workout do I do?”, “What equipment do I start with?”. If all these questions fly around your mind before you start, it is easy to see why people delay starting. The reality of these questions is that there is always someone in the gym to help (such as staff members), and people won’t judge as everyone started somewhere! To avoid becoming overwhelmed with these thoughts, focus on positive thinking before the session, and consider what success looks and feels like to you. It is also important to regulate your breathing and take deep breaths to calm your mind and body.

Our top tip - put your favourite music on in the car or on your earphones to hype yourself up before your session!

At Namix, we take the guesswork out of what can be a daunting first workout. We give all members a full gym induction with a workout programme to follow based on their goals. They have a session to focus on settling into the gym provided by a Namix team member. We also check in with new members to ensure they are settling into the gym and offer a follow-up programme 4-6 weeks after joining to ensure you are keeping on track.

If You Have Changed Gyms

Have you changed your gym recently? Maybe due to your location or change of working hours?

Whatever the case is, sometimes it is challenging to change your gym environment as people get settled in the one they’re used to - no one likes change, right? They get to know the staff, the members, the busier times, and what kit is used the most. You won’t know all this by joining a new gym, and the unknown can cause anxiety. Our top tip to overcome this is to get to know your new gym quickly! To do this, we recommend getting involved with the gym community; chatting with the staff so you know a friendly face, taking part in any gym challenges or events they have to engage with other members, and even booking a PT session to increase your confidence with the equipment. 

At Namix, the community is a big part of why people love the gym and stay with us. We offer regular gym challenges and social events to encourage members to get to know each other. Our team is always on hand to help too, so if you’re new to our gym, we make sure we chat with you on the gym floor to get to know you - you will always have a friendly face at Namix!

Having Trouble Using the Gym Equipment

Maybe you want to use the Cable Pulley or Leg Press machine but can’t remember how to use it or adjust the equipment, or perhaps the equipment is different to your previous gym. Gyms offer inductions to show you how to use the kit, but it is common to forget, especially in the first few weeks of being in a new gym. This is normal, so don’t worry if this happens; there will always be someone to help. Most gyms have guides on how to use the equipment on the machines, but if you’re still unsure, our top tip is to ASK. Ask a member of staff or even another gym-goer to help you out, and you’ll be surprised how friendly other members can be; who knows, you may make a new gym friend!

At Namix, we keep a careful eye on the gym floor; if we see you are struggling with a piece of equipment, we’ll step in and help. We also check in with members. If we’re not on the gym floor, the gym is always manned, so alert a team member, and we’ll happily help. Our members are brilliant, too; the community within Namix is terrific, so they would be very happy to assist you, and you’d meet another member, too!

Hitting a Training Plateau, and Feeling Weaker in front of People

Are you going to the gym and not achieving what you’d like? Are you afraid of failing in front of others? This can give you gym anxiety and the fear of failure. If you feel that you will fail, it can make you anxious about going to the gym or the outcome of your workout. But we can guarantee you one thing; people aren’t looking at you! Most gym goers are more preoccupied with their own workouts than looking at what others are doing. Our top tip to overcome this, build confidence, and push through a training plateau is to ask for a trainer's help to structure something new for you to enjoy and focus on. 

At Namix, we offer 1-2-1 training with our S&C trainers, who will soon have you achieving your PBs again. We also have brilliant group training sessions, which are weights based and coached throughout. These sessions are fantastic for inspiring you to try something new in the gym or relight that spark with your workouts.

If The Gym is Really Crowded

Too many people in one room can be overwhelming for some, especially after the COVID pandemic. This is normal to feel like this. If you attend the gym and it’s bustling, causing you to be overwhelmed, we highly recommend finding a smaller, quieter space to begin your session. This could be in the studio room or in the corner of the gym floor, which is quieter. Beginning your warm-up or your session in a quieter section can allow you time to adjust to the environment and build your confidence to go into a busier gym area. 

At Namix, we go that extra mile; knowing that clients can be anxious about busy gyms, we offer recommendations on what times are typically quieter to train. We also have two smaller areas where members prefer to begin their session if they need to build up confidence. This is the upstairs area and the TRX area. These are two great spaces to start your session if you want a quieter gym section. Secondly, our independent gym is typically quieter than larger commercial gyms, so you’ll always get space without queuing for equipment. 

If You Are A Woman Wanting to Use A Male-Dominated Weights Room

Utilising the weights room as a woman can be difficult, particularly if you’re new to the gym. Usually, these ‘weights rooms’ can be hogged, and it can be intimidating to step into one if you’ve never been by a squat rack before. 

How do we help members overcome this? Simple. We don’t have a weight room! Instead, we have a whole gym full of free weights. At Namix, we have one-open space to avoid this awkward room divide in gyms. We set out our gym like most professional sports gyms; spacious with no barriers to where anyone can go. Our open-plan gym area ensures everyone has access to free weights, squat racks and barbells whenever they would like them! After all, who wants to be permanently stuck on the cardio or fixed machines? That’s just boring!

The takeaway tip from this blog is that the saying “get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable” is true. Keep going to the gym, and it’ll soon feel normal. Don’t forget to use our tips above to help you overcome those anxious feelings. If you need more help. Contact Us Below!