Dealing with gym-timidation

Dealing with gym-timidation

The word ‘gym-timidation’ has been coined to describe one of the big barriers to joining a fitness club. It is the understandable fear of something new and the equally understandable fear of looking silly. What can we do about it?

Worries are best beaten by breaking them up. So let’s split up those gym concerns and see how to deal with each of them.


There’s a new campaign from Sport England called ‘This Girl Can’ which reminds us that being wobbly and sweaty really doesn’t matter (same goes for men too!)  

Getting dishevelled and bedraggled is all part of exercise. It shows you are doing yourself some good. Worried about what others are thinking? Take a friend and encourage each other!


Those ranks of gym machines can be really confusing for newcomers. What is a cross-trainer? What do I do with free weights? Everyone around seems so confident. Remember that they were new to the gym once and that no-one is born knowing how to use the kit.

What to do – ask for help! All gyms should offer an induction to new users - this is essential for safety and to preserve the kit.

Don’t hesitate to ask for explanations and recommendations about what to us. Gym staff are enthusiasts, that’s why they work in gyms!


There’s no doubt that this is a consideration. Budgets can be tight in winter, and sometimes we feel that fitness is a luxury. But what could be more of an essential than good health?

Solution? Start with day passes and try out all the classes and sessions that appeal to you. When you find something that suits, look at the best value pass that gives the lowest cost per session.

Don’t let gymtimidation keep you from getting fitter!

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Sarah L.
30 January 2015

Sarah L.

wise words indeed! Gym equipment IS very confusing and you can hurt yourself if you don't know what you are doing. It is so important to ask for help.

Emma C.
29 January 2015

Emma C.

I love the 'This Girl Can' campaign. It really reaches out to women who are lacking in confidence because of their size. It would have really encouraged me when I began too. Ignore anyone who judges you !!

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