Why is this grunting-incredible-hulk-of-a-man glaring at you and what did you do to tick him off? Let’s face it, it can be a jungle in there. But who’s to say that you can’t be king?
The weightroom can be intimidating, especially to a newcomer, especially to a FEMALE newcomer. Your fear is more universal than you may believe. We are women- both mentally and physically strong, this fear can be conquered. Piece of cake.
Fear #1: I don’t fit in.
Why fit in when you were born to stand out, darling? I know that quote won’t end your fear, I just think it’s cute. Back to reality. Many females believe that weightlifting is too complex. The machines are too complicated, you don’t know what to do, you’ll look funny, etc.
I suggest you do some online research. Read about free weight exercises and decide which ones you want to add to your workout routine. Practice the movements at home to gain confidence. If you still have questions about how certain machines work, ask your gym representative. That is what they’re there for! Most gyms will do this anyways after you sign-up. If the rep decides not to take you into the free weight area because you are a girl, or whatever other reason he/she has for it, tell them that you would like to see that area as well. Closed mouths don’t get fed, darling. There. Is that one better?
Fear #2: Everyone is staring at me.
A majority of people feel as though they are being watched and mentally critiqued by others in the weightroom, so they feel self-conscious about their appearance and technique. Well just think, if a majority of people feel this way… then the person that you think is judging you is probably just as worried that you are judging them.
Wear clothes you feel comfortable in. You’re not there to impress anyone. The last thing you want to be worried about is whether or not you can see my polka-dot panties through my leggings when I squat. Practice the movements that you researched (in the above step) in front of a mirror in your attire. This will give you confidence with not only the exercise, but your appearance doing the exercise as well.
I used to be the shy girl.
I used to never want to walk into the gym without a workout partner that I was comfortable with. Now, I feel perfectly comfortable having the only real rack in a weightroom full of big, bulked-up, beastly men. I’m not concerned. I’m too busy thinking how bad-ass I am. It’s a beautiful thing how much lifting weights has boosted my confidence and self-esteem. I am not only physically strong, I am mentally strong as well.
And so are you.
End your weightroom anxiety by simply jumping in. Take that step forward. I promise that you won’t regret it!
Don’t let your fear decide your fate. (3rd times a charm, right?)