Do you desire to start working but the thought of the gym intimidates  you?  Well then this might be the best article you read all day to help you get over that fear and start accomplishing your goals.


The gym can come off as an intimidating and uninviting place. 

 It’s already a huge step for you to make the decision that you are ready to make a change. But big weights, loud noises, and the feeling of people judging you can be quite overwhelming and cause extra anxiety. Planet Fitness has done a great job highlighting a lot of these fears in their ads.

You are not alone.  Whether it is joining a gym, starting a new job,or going on a first date we always experience that intimidation factor.

I had the same experience playing my first rugby season this fall.  

All I knew about the sport was it was rough like football and they threw the ball backwards. 

 Showing up to my first practice I had no idea what to expect.  Were we hitting today? What position will I be playing? Will I fit in with the guys? 

 I created all these stories and scenes in my head  that almost prevented me from making the decision to join the team. 

 Because I was so scared of something foreign to me I almost missed out on the fun I had hitting people, having a new purpose to fuel my training, and most importantly meeting an awesome group of guys.

fairfield yankees.jpg
The Boys

I am sure I looked a fool out there my first couple practices, being out of position and making god awful passes. But I learned and got better as I went.

My teammates and coaches understood I was new.  Instead of making fun of me for not knowing they, taught me, they became my mentor. 

 I went in with an open mind and listened to tips the vets and coaches gave me.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that these guys  wanted me to succeed. 

 They saw my potential, even if I couldn’t.  They let me know when they saw me make a great pass or was in the right position for a tackle.  It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, they also let me know where I messed up so I can correct it.

The big takeaways need to be this:

  1. You are your own prison guard.  You are only confined by the limits you place on yourself.  This includes creating false scenes and scenarios in your head.  At the end of the day no one really cares about the things we lose sleep over and it just creates extra stress we don’t need.
  2. We can only become stronger physically and mentally by getting out of our comfort zones.  Who knows you might find something new you enjoy/are good at by doing so.  That is why I started saying Yes to new experiences.  I don’t want to miss out on anything.
  3. Find a mentor to learn from.  This can be a coach, trainer, or the most jacked person in the gym. These people are experienced and have a wealth of knowledge.  Most people who have been in the game for years are more than happy to share their bag of tricks with you because they want to see you succeed.  Listen to them with an open mind and learn.
  4. Understand you are a beginner and mistakes are a part of the learning process.  You will make mistakes and that is OK.  You can’t be afraid to make the mistakes either.  That is how we learn.  The biggest failure is not learning from past failures.  I have made plenty of mistakes with training programs, but this is why we assess and reassess to make sure we headed in the right direction and tweak things as we go.
  5. Very rarely are people rooting for you to fail.  And if they are it’s nothing you can control, it says more about them than it does you.

Like this article?  Then subscribe to this blog to receive workout tips and motivation to help you reach your goals.  As always we want to hear from you.  Leave your thoughts, story or questions in the comments section below.

Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at with any questions or comments you might have.



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