Since I train privately, I don’t have to deal with the hassle of working out in a busy gym and I’m thankful for that. I’ve worked out in gyms all over the place, from Maui to Montana and they are all pretty much the same. Men generally dominate the free weight area, while women are more apt to be found on the cardio equipment far away from a barbell. This is not only disappointing, but troubling considering the amazing benefits that strength training offers women.

I hear stories or talk to women who repeatedly admit that they would like to get started training with weights, but fear looking “lost” or “stupid” in front of others while finding their way around the gym and putting together an effective routine. They often don’t know what exercises to perform, they don’t have a basic understanding of anatomy and often they have been misguided by some ignorant naysayer steering them away from weight lifting for some unknown reason. 

Some women fear being stared at by men, or negatively judged by other women. I will be the first to admit that I don’t like being watched while working out, as I find it rude and distracting. If you’re too busy watching everyone else, then you clearly aren’t getting a good enough workout in my opinion. But, if you are working out in a large gym, then at some point you’ll have to get over being stared at because it’s going to happen. Keep in mind, you’re there to workout, so as long as you maintain focus on yourself, everyone else will fade into the background.

                   “Self-Trust is the first secret of success”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

 It’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown, but sometimes that fear can hold you back from accomplishing something great. Building a strong body that enables you to physically perform daily tasks more efficiently is extremely empowering, and honestly there’s no secret other than just doing it!

If you are afraid, ask yourself why?

Think about all of the things in your life that you feel 100% confident doing, such as your role as a parent, your career, successful relationship, etc. then write everything down. What are some of the reasons you feel so confident in these things? Think about what causes you to avoid facing your fears of the gym, and more specifically the weight room if in fact that is an issue. The next course of action would be to apply the confidence traits you already possess to everything that causes intimidation or fear.  You didn’t become an expert in your career overnight, it takes time to build that confidence. Read articles on the internet, invest in good books on basic anatomy and physiology, exercise science and nutrition. Bring a trusted friend or significant other to the gym with you, or hire an educated personal trainer to guide you.

               But we’re never gonna survive, unless…  We get a little crazy –Seal

Sometimes upon facing fear, you have to go nuts. You have to shut down all “logical” thinking and go for what you want- this may relay a message to your subconscious mind that you are approaching a stressful and unexplored situation, but ignore that negativity and push on.  As long as you are prepared for the fear you want to face down, those anxieties will subside as soon as you begin your pursuit. Sooner or later you’ll feel like you’ve always belonged in the weight room, and you’ll be ready to take on the next big thing.