Building Gym Confidence

Let’s be clear, you do NOT need a gym in order to get physical activity. However, we all know that for many of us, a gym is more convenient and seems to provide us motivation, if for no other reason because we’re paying for it.

But one common reason I hear about why people, particularly women and/or those considerably overweight, are anti-gym is because of feeling uncomfortable as a newbie. From being unsure about using gym equipment, to despising those “judgmental eyes” that seem to follow you, many feel the gym is more torture than it is a place for relieving stress.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, er, this is all you. No seriously. Self confidence has to do with...wait for it...SELF. Yes I know you're probably thinking, yea whatever, easy for you to say but in regard to becoming confident in the gym it will all come down to you developing the way you see yourself. 

Most people in the gym aren't rooting against you or thinking negatively about what you're doing. It's just that when you lack confidence in doing a thing you begin to project your inner thoughts onto others. 

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Think about when you first started a new job. Where you nervous the first day/weeks? Did you notice the "eyes" of others? Did you just "know" what they were thinking about you? Then what happened? You became familiar with the environment. You got the knowledge and became trained in your position. Simply put, you knew your ish so you could bounce in and out of the office with confidence because you knew what you were doing. No questions asked. No opinions needed. BOOM. #message

Same thang, same thang! You just need to apply the same concepts and principles to the gym.

It will take a little practice at first but as Eric Thomas puts it, practice makes permanent!


​Journaling can be very important in your journey because it helps to reinforce the goals you set for yourself. Decide what you will do in the gym, and when you’ll do it and then write it down! I’d also suggest writing down why is it that you’re doing this?

When you lock into your why, it won’t matter what anyone else is doing or how daunting of a task that it seems to be,
you will press forward regardless.

Here’s another thing, you have to change your mind set. Everyone in the gym is not looking and judging you so stop telling yourself that. Yes you may have some jerks here and there but I’d bet you if you asked around in the gym for help, majority of those there would freely do so while rooting you on.


I have found that in every area in life, whenever I’m nervous or not feeling fully confident about something it’s because I’m not well versed in that area. Knowledge is power.

You are on a computer and a phone everyday, I’m sure. Use it! Google different exercise machines, or even better use YouTube and get an actual demonstration. Have an idea of what it is you want to do when you get to the gym and look around and take notes of machines and exercises others may be doing because you can use this later to research for yourself.


This is honestly the most important part of not only building gym confidence but self confidence in general. Sometimes you have to be your own coach.

Keep your journal close and tell yourself that under no circumstance will you be defeated. Pump yourself up throughout the day so that you are ready and hype to handle business. Music helps too.

I mean really, are you going to allow a man-made machine to punk you out of going to the gym?

Develop some affirmations for yourself and focus on that when you begin to feel nervous in the gym. E.g. I can do anything. I am a gym pro. I’m going to make these machines my b* today. I love myself. Everyday I’m getting better. I’m taking control of my health. It’s only __minutes, let’s get it done.

  1. Write down your gym/fitness goals in one place (notebook, app, etc)
  2. ​Google or YouTube different exercises or machines you’re interested in trying and write down the day and time you will dedicate at least 10mins to give at least one of those things a try.
  3. Focus on no one but you in the gym. Think positive and speak your affirmations over and over again. (remember it is ok to ask for help:)

About the Author Rook

It took life turning me upside down before I figured out how to live it right side up. Hopefully I can save you some of the trouble.

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