Overcoming The Fear Of Walking Into The Gym - StrongLife

Overcoming The Fear Of Walking Into The Gym


So we’re rolling towards the end of January now, which means I’ve picked up a nice few new members for the gym. And a very common theme among all that have joined is the genuine FEAR of walking in the door for the first time.

Many people picture it like walking in late to the film in the cinema.

It’s dark, you’ve convinced yourself everyone is suddenly going to stare at you coming in and you’re absolutely going to trip and fall trying to find a seat (or accidentally sit on someone).

When in reality, I’m not paying any attention to people coming in for 2 reasons:

  • I’m arguing with my girlfriend because she told me she didn’t want popcorn at the shop but all of a sudden she thinks it’s okay to take some of mine
  • I’m now trying to help her fish out said popcorn from between her boobs because I’ve yet to meet a woman who hasn’t the ability to drop everything down her top in the cinema!

Or like when you go to mass for the first time in ages and land in late only to get a front row seat and you haven’t a notion what’s going on.

You stand up when they sit down, you sit down when they stand up.

There’s not a prayer in your head only when you start reciting the bible when the dog knocks the dinner plate off the table.

But anyways, back to the point.

All these fears only exist in your mind (I used to tell people it was all in their head until a woman kicked me in the shins for saying so)

Here’s the common fears:

  • You’ll be like a deer in headlights and everyone will be looking at you
  • You won’t have a clue what you’re at and you’ll make an absolute fool of yourself
  • So unfit that you might only survive 10 minutes
  • The girls will laugh at you or the guys will intimidate you and run you from the weights
  • You’ll even feel out of place because everyone knows what they’re at and you know no one in there

I honestly get why you have fears.

For a lot of people, the day they join a gym is the day they have decided that they’re no longer happy with how they look and feel.

So it could be fair to say that the day you join the gym you may not be looking your best.

It’s very easy then to go into a gym, look around and start comparing yourself to everyone who is “in shape”.

It’s very easy to become de-motivated and feel worse about yourself.

But never forget this:

Every person in that gym is there for their own reasons. Everyone is there to fight their own battles and demons. Never discount the fact that they walked through that same door, feeling the same way you do right now and have conquered their fears, they’ve worked on themselves and are benefiting from it.

Just because you don’t like the way you look and feel right now should never ever stop you from changing and becoming that happier, fitter and healthier person that you crave to be.

Build your mind so that it doesn’t allow external pressures or influences in and gives you time to really focus on yourself, your body, mind, health and well-being.

Because one thing I can guarantee you, is that no one else will do it for you.

So be selfish and put you first every now and again. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Anyone who tells you otherwise just doesn’t want to see you do well for yourself.

What your first day will be like in StrongLife with no fear:

  • Stroll in the door and meet me to get checked in
  • We’ll chat, I’ll attempt some terrible jokes and I’ll let you find your bearings
  • I’ll run through a health screening form and see what old injuries you have
  • Then we run through some foam rolling, stretching and I get a look at any obvious issues
  • Off we go down into the big scary place where all the weights are but sure it’s grand because everyone is busy training and chatting between sets.
  • I’ll run through some basic exercises and show you the ropes, get you settled and let your fears disappear.
  • Wrap up with more terrible jokes and some cardio/conditioning where I see fit.

Now that’s day one done.

Everyone that comes in on their second day always comments how friendly it is and how it was the complete opposite of what they expected.

Nobody in the gym noticed you being new, they didn’t exclude you nor do they not want you there.

You’ve done nothing silly or daft, you’ve left feeling great and it’s demolished your perception and fear of joining the gym.

After a few sessions, you’ll start making friends in no time and be able to join in on the craic we have in here too.

You see, I can bring you in, destroy you with a workout, leave you in bits and also not let you get used of the place but in the long run, it’s of no benefit to you or me.


Colm Duignan

Colm Duignan

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