Tips for Feeling Less Intimidated at the Gym

Tips for Feeling Less Intimidated at the Gym


Tips For Feeling Less Intimidated At The Gym

It’s safe to say that most gym-goers have encountered the dreaded feeling of gym intimidation at some point in their life. For some people, overcoming anxiety about the gym may be harder than the workout itself!

Gym environments are often perceived as exclusive and unwelcoming, steering many people away from fitness, and ultimately their goals. The most common group affected by gym intimidation is women, who often report feeling self-conscious in the gym, let alone the weights section which can be heavily dominated by men. This leads many women to avoid the gym altogether and miss out on the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

A study by VicHealth showed that a shocking 65% of Victorian women (and likely Australian women more broadly) report avoiding the gym due to feelings of intimidation.

At Totem Fitness, we aim to challenge this issue and ensure everyone feels comfortable and welcome. We offer a small team training environment, which helps to decrease feelings of gym intimidation. We take pride in being a safe and judgment-free space for everyone, so goals can be achieved without the added mental pressure of a big gym.

Here are a few of our favourite tips for beating gym intimidation

1.    Remember that everyone had to start somewhere

No one is born with muscle and tone. To achieve a high level of fitness, it often takes years of hard work and sweat. If you’re in the early stages of your fitness journey, don’t compare yourself to those who are further along.

2.    Remember that no-one is judging you as much as you think

At the gym, everyone is there for one mutual reason – to work out! It’s likely that everyone is in their own bubble, focussing on getting the most out of their workout. This means that they’re too busy to even think about anything that you’re doing, so rest assured knowing that nobody is really judging you. After all, when was the last time you spent your gym session judging others?

3.   Gear Up

If you’re not feeling motivated by an old uni t-shirt and some tattered shorts, it might be time to upgrade your workout gear. Putting on apparel that makes you feel great will translate to your workout, and moisture-wicking clothing helps you stay fresh and cool. Even something as simple as upgrading your water bottle (from a single-use plastic one) to an eco-friendly one can motivate you to get to the gym.

4.    Choose the right gym

If you suffer from gym intimidation, large chain gyms may not be the best option. You might benefit from a quieter and more personal environment.

5.    Consider organising a personal training session

Trying new things in the gym can be intimidating, particularly the weights section. Luckily, personal trainers are there to help. A few sessions with a PT will help establish the best exercises for you and how to do them.


At the end of the day, the only person you need to impress is you. Next time you enter the gym, be sure to keep these tips in mind and enjoy a confident and carefree workout. Share your workouts with us by tagging us on Instagram! We’d love to see your progress. @TotemFitnessAU


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