How to Improve Your Confidence at the Gym + My Top Tips

Walking into a gym for the first time can be a very scary experience, especially if it’s your first time exercising in front of other people or trying to get fit.

However, once I started pushing myself to go to the gym, it got easier and easier- especially when I found a few ways to improve my confidence.

In fact, I now enjoy my trips to the gym, and it gives me an active way to spend my time when I don’t want to go swimming.

If you want to go to your local gym, but you’re nervous about going for the first time- it doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience!

In this blog post, I’ve put together a guide to improving your confidence at the gym + 5 top tips to help you feel a bit more comfortable exercising in a new environment!

Confidence at the gym

For me, using the gym is all about confidence!

It took a lot of time for me to build up enough confidence to go to the gym, and then even more confidence to use weights or machines (instead of just the exercise bike).

You might feel nervous because you struggle with body confidence, or you might just worry about not being able to use everything properly.

For me, it was a combination of both. I felt uncomfortable going to the gym as I often feel a bit self-conscious exercising in front of other people- I think everyone does!

gym equipment- staying confident at the gym

I also worried I wouldn’t be able to use the machines or weights properly. As a complete gym newbie, I didn’t want to feel silly if I didn’t do it right.

By understanding the root of my issues, I managed to find a few ways to build up my confidence.

I created a plan and I found a couple of ways to improve my body confidence and boost my self-esteem.

It took a little while, but I’m now confident enough to do a basic gym routine in front of other people- and I always look forward to my gym sessions!

My top tips to improve your confidence at the gym

As a self-conscious, first-time gym user, I’ve put together my simple top tips to improve your confidence at the gym.

1. Start small

If you’re worried about gymtimidation, one of my top tips is to start small!

I started using the exercise bike first to build up my energy and get active, and then I moved on to the machines.

I used each machine without any weight first, to make sure I understood exactly how to use it.

There are also instructions on each machine, to help you out.

Starting small will help you to build up a routine you like- and one that is sustainable.

You don’t have to try out everything at once!

Start with something that is more comfortable for you, such as using the treadmill, and then add in more exercises as and when you feel ready.

2. Get the right gear

If you want to improve your confidence at the gym, it’s a good idea to get the right gear so that you feel completely comfortable from day one.

This might just mean getting a pair of shorts and a crop top, or finding a good pair of trainers.

gym gear- going to the gym

If you’re not sure whether you’ll keep up with your fitness routine, don’t spend a lot of money- just a few basics to feel comfortable during your first gym session.

3. Go with a friend

If you’re feeling nervous about going to the gym, my top tip would be to go with someone else.

You might be nervous about physically walking into the gym, so having someone to chat to can put you at ease and help you feel less “watched”.

Trust me, no one is watching you- but if you’re worried about it, taking someone with you is the perfect solution.

You and your friend can boost each other’s confidence- and it’s even better if that person knows their way around, to make you feel a bit more comfortable.

4. Choose the right routine for you

It’s so important to choose the right routine for you when it comes to health and fitness– otherwise you’ll never stick to it.

If you want to lose weight or just be a bit more active, you could create a simple cardio routine.

Or if you want to work on individual areas, you could create a basic routine that covers each area in turn.

improving gym confidence- gym equipment

You could research an easy routine online or ask for help. My boyfriend put together a simple gym routine for me, which was super helpful.

If you choose the right routine for you, it’ll be much easier to stay consistent. At the end of the day, you need to enjoy yourself if you want to stick to healthy habits.

5. Remember- everyone is at a different level!

I know what it feels like to walk into the gym and feel like everyone else is much better than you- and much fitter, too.

But that’s just not true!

When you actually take a look around, there are lots of different body types, shapes, sizes and levels using the equipment.

I use my local University gym, as anyone is welcome to use it. There are young people, students, older people, beginners, personal trainers and people that look like they live at the gym.

If you want to improve your confidence at the gym, just try to remember that everyone is at a different level- and no one is judging you.

What are your top tips for a gym newbie? How do you improve your confidence at the gym? Do you have any tips for starting a new gym routine?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Happy reading x

53 thoughts

  1. Getting a gym introduction helps familiarise yourself with the machines, which can help settle anxieties about embarrassing yourself about using them wrong. Going during it’s quieter times can help you get used to the gym too

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to go to the gym when I was a teenager until I was about 21 and I had absolutely no fear – I didn’t care who was there, who was watching, anything! I think things would be different if I went now though. These are great tips 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got a small space to teach dance to kids in a gym. I noticed there are many people who are conscious regarding their bodies and unsure about how to start. You have written about a very important topic and your suggestions are on point.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have zero confidence in any gym setting as sometimes my anxiety just gets the better of me (which is why I workout at home). I appreciate these tips though as they have some really good practical applications; I may be able to give going to the gym another go (maybe, haha)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand! Sometimes working out at home is a great choice anyway 🙂 I hope you enjoy it if you give it a go. It’s all about building up your confidence over a period of time. If you want to go, you’ll get there 🙂 x


  5. These are such great tips! I normally work out at home because I never really felt confident at the gym, but these are great tips to implement for the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love those simple tips! I’ve always been super uncomfortable going to a gym, even being invited by friends, and instead opted to work at home. Now I’ve made the shift to go with my husband, but sometimes what I’ve had to deal with is people trying to impress me as they get close to where I am (which makes me super uncomfortable, distance right? haha) or talking on the cell phone instead of opting to go outside. Going to the gym is important for me and my sacred time to disconnect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I completely understand, I never thought I’d feel comfortable enough to work out at the gym. My boyfriend really helped me too 🙂 eurgh I hate that! Or when they sit on the machines playing on their phone when you’re waiting for a turn… it’s such an important time for me too, to switch off from the world. Thank you for commenting x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great Post Eleanor 😊 I know I felt intimidated when I first went to a ‘proper’ gym last year during my training for the Great North Run. But I just concentrated on getting my run done or going for a swim.. Although even doing that still made me feel like people were watching me! 😂🤗
    I’m not a gym goer, I much prefer just running outside by myself or with others! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post filled with excellent tips. I used to go to the gym until the lockdown happened. I haven’t been since. Using a good playlist, podcasts or audiobook have helped me when I go to the gym. Thank you for sharing your tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My top tip would be to remember that everyone is there focusing on themselves and not looking at others! most people are too busy thinking about their workout or on their phone to notice others!

    Corinne x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. WOW! This is hugely helpful for someone like me who is new to the gym. I’ve always wanted to exercise, and a friend suggested I try a gym. He also advised me to go with a friend because, as an introvert, I am uncomfortable being watched. Thanks so much for sharing this, Eleanor 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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