The fear of being judged is one of the biggest causes of “gym-phobia” in the South West, according to the British Heart Foundation.
Sure, we all have gripes that can cause us to dodge the gym – queuing for machines, the excessively loud treadmill talkers and kettlebell hoggers to name a few! However a recent poll reveals that many are skipping the sweat-fest for the fear of being judged.
In a survey of people in the South West, aside from the rising costs of membership, the main reason people in the avoid going to the gym is feeling intimidated by other fitter, more competitive people.
23% said they avoided the gym due to fear of what other people would think of them whilst they worked out.
17% said they didn’t feel fit enough to embark on a new gym regime in the first place.
17% also said that other people showing off discouraged them from going.
and 15% said they didn’t feel confident about using the array of exercise machines.
Other gym peeves included frequent fitness fanatics hogging the space, people’s choice of gym attire (i.e. lycra!) and grunting while exercising.
It’s understandable that gym newbies feel nervous about making a mistake or looking like they don’t know what they’re doing. Plus, who wants to be compared to others whilst wearing your comfies and pouring with sweat?
So what can we do to help these gym-dodgers escape the fear of failure?
It’s all about learning the ropes and boosting confidence. There is no one right way to workout, and no one way people should look (although the media would have us think otherwise!) This is where qualified personal trainers come in. Far from simply setting programmes and doling out diet plans, a successful personal trainer acts as a coach, a motivator and a personal cheerleader. Those who don’t feel as confident as their co-gymmers can benefit massively from a little equipment education and a lot of motivational support.
As a qualified personal trainer, you’ll have the tools, and the insight into where gym newcomers could use your professional guidance. And the next time you spot someone looking a little shy on the gym floor, you’ll be ready and waiting to show them the ropes!