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How to: Overcome Gym Anxiety | Octavia Activewear


In my short time as a personal trainer I have encountered so many people that have struggled with gym anxiety...


It's completely understandable if you have never have stepped foot in a gym before, it's a new environment and the fear of the unknown kicks in. You may find yourself building up the gym as a place only filled with super-fit people, with 'beach bodies' and rippling abs. That these hybrid humans will look you up and down, wonder what on earth you're doing there and judge you on the way you walk on the treadmill..

Of course anyone who has ventured into this fearsome land, will know that actually.. it's not so bad. Most members of the gym are there to do the same thing as you, lose weight, get fitter, stronger etc.

There are some gyms are geared up for more niche fitness avenues such as; body building, but they're usually advertised as such, so don't panic!


On the other hand you may have been a member for days, weeks, months, even years and you find yourself having a period of time away from the gym due to; illness, lack of motivation, having been on holiday, etc. and when you try to get yourself back to the gym, you find you can't bring yourself to simply come in that gym door.

The longer you put it off, making excuses; 'I'm tired.', 'I'll go tomorrow.', 'My back aches.', the more you allow your mind to build up your return so intensely, you can't even bring yourself to get inside the front door.

Now maybe you're reading this and you can resonate with that feeling?

Have you ever found yourself driving straight past the gym, instead of parking up and heading in? Or sitting in your house and doing anything you can to not leave?

What are you thinking about when this happens?


How many 'what if's' are filling your mind, fuelling the fire of anxiety that feels so overwhelming?

I've been there myself, physically being unable to leave my room to go to the gym, feeling like someone has sat a cement block on my lap and instead continuing to scroll through social media that leaves me with no tangible positive gain.

The truth is you aren't fearing the gym itself the gym is a building, an inanimate object and as for the people inside?

No-one is waiting for you at the other side of that gym door with judgement.

No one knows that you're not as fit as you were, or that you've gained a few extra kg's.

I can be certain of this because in reality, they're probably wondering the same thing about themselves.

The only person judging you and any weight you may have gained?

That's right, just you.

This is where positive tactics can be created and put in place for those times when you are really struggling.

1| Create a playlist of your favourite 'sing at the top of your lungs' songs, that get you feeling pumped and play them before or en route to the gym.

2| Listen to motivational speakers on Youtube.

No matter what my mood, I can search for a motivational video and it really changes the way I feel, I start to think more positively and become productive.


3| Find a gym buddy to keep you accountable, set a gym date and make sure they won't let you skip a session.

4| Chat to people, chat with the gym staff, make friends at the gym.

Believe it or not, most personal trainers. no matter what they look like have struggled at some point too, we can also give great advice on how to achieve your goals, we love what we do and helping people achieve goals is our passion!

5| Go to classes, if you aren't enjoying working out alone and you are yet to find a reliable workout buddy, get yourself into some of the classes at the gym. If they're free even better! Take full advantage and you will soon become familiar with the instructors and other members.

If none of the above methods work for you, take some time out, if going to the gym is making you feel more bad, than good maybe the gym isn't what you need right now.

Try getting outside in the fresh air, go for costal walks, or through the forest. Somewhere that your enjoy and leaves you feeling refreshed and positive!

Have you experienced gym anxiety before?

What do you think caused it, or made you feel that way?

How did you overcome it?

Let us know!

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