Last week, I stated that this series Overcoming Social Anxiety will be back in full effect.
This week I want to talk about the “awkwardness” of working out at the gym. I’ve been stepping up my game each week from increasing my incline on the treadmill to incorporating strength training into my workout regime.
So, Monday I started doing strength training exclusively at LA Fitness. It has all the equipment I would need to do all of my training. When I enter the free weights area, I was anxious, I was scared, I was nervous. Here I am in front of all of these guys lifting 50, 70, even 110 pound weights. To make matters more complicated, a lot of them were making their “grunt” sounds and in the front of the mirrors near one of the benches I would need.
I immediately got my 5lb and 10lb weights and went to an area that was less populated by all of these strong and attractive men. It didn’t help because some of them ended up coming where I was. All I was thinking at the time was “Why are y’all over here? Go back around the mirrors.” Some of the gentlemen that were lifting when I first arrived realized that I was uncomfortable and even stated that she did move from where we were. I smiled as they workout and they did the same. So, it wasn’t as bad as I though it would have been.
Fast Forward to today: I went to the gym, to the same area. I found a spot in front of the mirrors and the free weights bar and I did my workout. I wasn’t as intimidated today. I already made the decision that I am not going to go in there in fear. I followed these steps to decrease my anxiety today:
- Started on the elliptical (so easing my way to the free weights area). Doing some cardio is good for warming-up before lifting
- I went over the free weights area, found a spot that I could do my exercises. I asked one of the guys if they were done with the bench ( I needed one for two of the exercises).
- I put on my fave Spotify playlist, cranked up the volume
- I set there, planned out which strength exercises I was doing
- I gave it my all, not worrying about what others might or might not say about me being over in the male-dominated area (it also helped that it was some ladies over there as well)
- I smiled and spoke to people as they went by me
It was the best workout I had in some weeks. I just let go. If you are feeling intimated, just remember why you are there in the first place.
Question (and this pertains to all of my male readers. Ladies, you can answer this as well): What is a way that a lady can feel comfortable when lifting weights around guys?