What To Do When You Feel Intimidated at the Gym


One of the biggest things stopping many people from going to the gym and starting their fitness journey is the anxiety and intimidation they feel when they walk in the gym.

We're afraid of being judged by the macho body builder who grunts loudly and slams weights. We’re concerned that we’re going to be judged. Or maybe we simply feel uncomfortable.

Whatever the case may be, there are many people are feeling that same anxiety and intimidation that you feel when you walk into the gym.

For me, it was the fear of not doing the workout correctly and being judged for it. So I’ve been there before, and I came up with these tips to help you feel confident and excited about your workouts.


I believe the most important step to feeling confident and excited about working out comes from within. Think about why you are working out and what you want to achieve with your fitness. Let that motivate you to just do it. Working out is hard at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Also remember, that everyone at the gym started at a different place than where they are now, and many people have felt the same way you do, even some of those intimidating bodybuilders. So feel inspired to know that one day you will find your confidence in the gym. You’ll never gain confidence if you stop going, so be consistent and stay positive!

Choose the right gym

Every gym is different and has it’s own vibe, culture, and atmosphere. Some people like the intense CrossFit branded workout, while others prefer a very non-intimidating atmosphere. Thus, find a gym that fits your individual style. Take advantage of the free trials most gyms offer, and DO NOT sign any contracts unless you are very satisfied and comfortable with the gym location. Many gyms try to pressure you into signing up. Don’t fall for it.

Ask an employee to show you around

Even when I had been working out for 3 years, I would feel very uncomfortable trying a new gym out when I was unfamiliar with where everything was or using new equipment that was different from what I was used to.

So, ask an employee to show you where everything is located. And if there is a piece of equipment you don’t know how to use, ask an employee to show you the proper way to use it so you feel confident and safe.

Bring a Friend

Bringing a friend a great way to help you overcome your fear of going to the gym, and here are 5 reasons why bringing a friend to the gym is great.

  1. They’ll keep you accountable and dedicated to working out.

  2. You can support and motivate each other.

  3. You’ll have more fun!

  4. They can help you if they’re experienced with working out.

  5. You can correct each other’s form


It is true that it takes time to learn the proper form and technique for most workouts, especially weightlifting. Many people are afraid to go to the gym because they fear doing the exercises incorrectly and being ridiculed and judged.

To combat that fear and build confidence in your form and techniques, I recommend researching your workouts before you go to the gym. Create a gameplay of what exercises you are going to do and how you are supposed to do it. That way you feel more prepared and confident when you step into the gym.

Video tutorials are the best for seeing what form you should have while performing certain exercises. I’ll soon be offering Personal Training videos once I' have completed my Personal Training Certification, but in the meantime find many great workout tutorials on Youtube and Bodybuilding.com.

avoid peak hours at the gym

If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed at the gym, consider going during the less busy time periods of the day. On week days, gyms are typically crowded around 7am to 9am and 5pm to 8pm.

Every gym is different, so try out different times. You may find the gym to be a very calming place outside of the peak business hours. When I first began working out I would go to the gym around 10PM, and I loved it. But that’s definitely not the most recommend time (lol).