How to Overcome Gym Anxiety

The gym can be an intimidating and overwhelming place. This could lead to you experiencing gym anxiety, making it more challenging for you to reach your fitness goals. It helps to understand what exactly is causing gym anxiety, as well as how to get over it. Here are our tips on how to overcome gym anxiety and get the most out of training at the gym.

What Causes Gym Anxiety

Before we get into our tips, it's a good idea to understand what the most common triggers are that lead to anxiety in the gym. Here are the triggers that most people experience when they succumb to gym anxiety:

  • Feeling out of place

  • Not sure how to use gym equipment properly

  • Getting intimidated by people who are more fit than you

  • Feeling as if you are being judged by other gym-goers.

  • Unsure of which training workout to follow

  • Concern about your physical appearance and fitness

If you experience any of these when you go to a gym, that's perfectly alright! Everyone experiences at least one of these at some point in their fitness journey.

Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome gym anxiety and achieve your fitness goals:

Engage in Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk will help you boost your self-esteem and overcome gym anxiety. This strategy involves being compassionate for yourself and where you are on your fitness journey. Be nice to yourself and avoid putting yourself down, even if you are not able to follow a fitness routine down to the letter.

You can also hype yourself up and let yourself know that you can do this! Encourage yourself to keep going, no matter what. Putting on some music that pumps you up and lifts your mood can also help.

You can also tell yourself affirmations that will reinforce a state of mind that helps you overcome gym anxiety. Some affirmations that have helped others are:

  • “I have power over how I feel. I can respond to any situation in a positive way.”

  • “I have the courage to step outside of my comfort zone"

  • “I am constantly learning, improving, and growing.”

  • “It may take time to reach my goals but I am always making progress towards them.”

  • “I can’t control what others think of me but I can control what I think of myself.”

  • “I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”

  • “I will do my best and forget the rest.”

Repeat these affirmations to yourself, mentally or verbally, whenever you need to give yourself a little bit of a confidence boost.

Go to the Gym Frequently

The more often you go to train at the gym, the less uncomfortable you will feel there. In fact, you may begin to feel like it is your second home! Repeatedly placing yourself in an environment increases your feelings of comfort and familiarity while there.

Here are a few different ways you can increase your gym exposure:

  • Join repeating group fitness classes at your local gym every week.

  • Choose one single piece of gym equipment and solely use it to train for the first couple of weeks after you joined a gym.

  • Find a personal trainer at your gym with who you would want to repeatedly train with.

  • Identify one exercise and finish three or four sets during the first couple of days, increasing how many exercises you do every few days until you have your entire workout routine.

Plan Out Your Workouts

If you head into the gym without a clear plan of what you are going to do, that will raise your gym anxiety. Instead of trying to figure out what to do on the spot once at the gym, plan out your workouts at home. This will help you pick something out that will actually work for you towards your fitness goals.

Ideally, you will hire a personal trainer in Canary Wharf who can expertly guide you through a customized training routine that meets your fitness goals. This will reduce how much fatigue and anxiety you experience while providing you with a strong support system.

You can also divvy up your workouts between upper body days, lower body days, and full training days. There are plenty of fitness apps and online workout programs you can follow, whether you are a complete beginner or more advanced.

Make It Easier to Focus on Training

If you find yourself constantly worrying about what others think of you at the gym, you can increase your focus and concentration on what you are doing. To do this, you can try out the following:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that helps you exude confidence.

  • Set an intention before every training session for what you want to achieve.

  • Pick workouts that you will enjoy doing repeatedly.

  • Shy away from working out in front of mirrors if they make you feel uncomfortable.

  • Train in an area that has fewer people working out.

  • Go to the gym during the slow hours when there are fewer people around.

  • Bring your own music and earphones to help you focus and get hyped.

  • Keep your phone on Airplane Mode so nobody distracts you while you are training.

Hire a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer will perhaps help you more than anything to overcome gym anxiety. They understand what you are feeling and can help you feel as comfortable as possible at the gym. A good personal trainer in Canary Wharf will help you properly train and get you to go outside of your comfort zone. They will always encourage and uplift you and be someone you can talk to whenever you feel anxious.


Gym anxiety is something most people experience when they are first starting to train at a gym. If you have been feeling worried, nervous, and uneasy while at the gym, you can try out our tips to overcome gym anxiety. We are confident that you will overcome it as soon as you start applying these strategies!

←   Back to blog