Sixty-five percent of women actually avoid the gym over a fear of being judged, according to a survey of 1,000 people across the U.S. by Fitrated, a platform for gym equipment reviews. By comparison, only 36 percent of men felt that way.
The list of gym fears goes on. Fifty-five percent of women feel they’re being judged for “not looking fit enough,” 49 percent fret about their clothing choice, and 25 percent fear being stereotyped…
Ashley Borden says, “Fear of judgment comes from exactly that: fear,” a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “I used to suffer from a debilitating gym-going ‘distorted ego.’ I had this idea that everyone was going to stop what they were doing and judge me every moment.
Reality check? After 35,000 hours working in a gym setting, I can tell you this the only one who really cares is you,” she says. “Everyone else is so focused on themselves they couldn’t care less or they’re thinking the exact same thing themselves.” how to increase your confidence at the gym and crush a fear…
Borden says, “I don’t suggest walking into a gym and winging it,” It’s the aimlessness that feels uncomfortable. You want to have a plan.” Before heading to the gym, read-up on a workout routine that will take the guesswork out of your sweat session or download an app that will take you through a circuit in real time.
Fifty-one percent of women reported fear of improperly doing an exercise—even with a plan, nailing a single leg deadlift can feel nerve-wracking. Borden suggests perfecting your form at home to help you feel more confident. “I always stress form first, then layer in intensity, weight load, etc.”
Remember that what makes you want to go to the gym in the first place: To make your body stronger, score a little mental health boost, prioritize taking care of yourself. “Taking care of yourself also means eliminating the self-sabotaging jury in your head, or at least starting to ignore it,” says Borden.
“Even if you don’t believe it yet, act as if you feel the confidence. If you arrive at a gym prepared, with a workout in hand, you won’t have time for anything else other than a good sweat.”