I remember, when I first started going to the gym I would strictly go on the treadmill because that was the only thing I really knew how to use. The weight room terrified me. I had no idea how to use most of the machines and I was always paranoid I would end up doing something wrong. Eventually I migrated to using free weights in the upstairs area of my school gym, since there were less people there. It took me a while to finally migrate my way into the weight room, but eventually I did. I had a friend go with me a few times to begin with and then I got used to it. Now, I’ve desensitized myself to it and walk into the weight room without hesitation.
I’ve started helping people with training plans and I’ve discovered that a lot of people have that same fear of the gym/weight room that I originally had. So, I figured that a post about how I really just learned not to care what other people think at the gym would probably be helpful for some people.
Basically, you really just have to focus on you. Literally: YOU DO YOU. Everyone looks at everyone at the gym, let’s be honest. That doesn’t mean they’re judging you though: maybe they’re admiring you, maybe they’re just looking around, maybe they like that shirt you’re wearing… who knows! Furthermore, even if they are judging you – that’s their problem. If they’re judging you negatively than that just shows what type of person they are and reflects their own insecurities. It really has nothing to do with you, so who cares what they think.
The best thing about the gym is that it’s a different experience for everyone. Some people enjoy doing just cardio, some people love lifting heavy, some people love taking classes, and so on. Your experience at the gym shouldn’t be dictated by anyone but you! It’s your time to better yourself, to work on you, and to destress. Honestly, chances are the people who you think might be staring at you, are probably just as worried that you’re staring at them.
Obviously, I look around the gym at other people as much as the next person, but it’s to admire them and to find workout inspiration. So try not to always think the worst if you notice someone looking over while you’re working out.
It’s also a lot less stressful to go into the gym if you don’t always focus on how other people are going to see you. The next time you catch yourself worrying about what other people think about you at the gym, give yourself a compliment, stand tall and put your all into your workout. Focus on the workout. Focus on you, and hey, maybe even focus on that cutie over there working their quads.
I know it’s not easy to ignore those thoughts that are telling you: ‘that girl just looked you up and down because she thinks you look out of place,’ but it’s worth the effort. The more you disregard those thoughts, the easier it becomes to do your own thing. Confidence is key, and faking it ‘til you make it, is the way to go.
So, the next time you walk into the gym, smile at someone, walk into the weight room and give it your all. Get on a treadmill beside someone else instead of one that’s farther down the row, try something new. Make the gym work for you – don’t let anyone around you influence your workout. Kick some butt and make those gains! You do you boo.