Last week I signed up for a new gym membership and was really excited about it, but I kept coming up with a million excuses as to why I could not make it there. I was starting to think that I was suffering from some form of gym phobia, then wondered if I was the only one. After talking to one of my classmates today, I discovered that she too has a phobia of the gym as well. So that sparked my interest, and another web search, which came up with 843,000 results for “gym phobia”. Many of the articles covered how to overcome a fear of going to the gym. I was really surprised that there were so many, I though my fear of the gym was completely irrational, but its nice to know that I am not alone. Many people feel intimidated about going to the gym the first time (or first several times). We feel like we are going to stand out as different, that we won’t belong, that everyone else will be thin and in shape and we aren’t. Reading through some of the articles and websites, I read things from other people that I had been feeling myself.

Ironically, I read all of these entries AFTER getting myself in the gym doors tonight. I kept going back and forth with myself about whether or not to go, but I really could not come up with one good reason to not go tonight, and so many great reasons to go. The biggest reason is that I am not going to reach a lot of my goals if I’m afraid to go to the gym! So I went. I took a tour first with one of the membership people, he was awesome! He showed me where everything was, talked to me about personal training options, demonstrated some of the equipment, then let me go and asked that I check in with him before I left. The gym itself is also awesome with state of the art equipment, a lap pool, sauna, the works.

I thought a lot about the information he had given me about personal training while I was putting in my 30 minutes on the bike tonight. I kept my workout fairly short since I have been out of the fitness groove for a month or so, but still got one of the best workouts I’ve had in a long time. After the workout, I met back up with my “guide” and signed up for 3 personal training sessions. My first one will be on Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it.

Of course, I plan to hit the gym a few more times before then. I might still try to come up with excuses before I walk out the door, but I feel a lot better knowing that I have conquered the initial huddle. And I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb tonight either!

Have you ever experienced gym phobia?

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2 responses

  1. I definitely have some fears about going to a gym, and I’ve been several times. My biggest reason for not going is just that I’m a procrastinator. Spark people has a few articles that I’ve read about this. My thought based on what I’ve read is that a phobia may be present until you find an exercise that you enjoy and helps you enjoy working out. Those that seem to not have the phobia or worries haven’t found their exercise niche. Those who have a phobia or worries about the gym are either self-conscious about themselves or haven’t found that happy spot in exercising.

  2. Yes! I joined the gym in November and it completely derailed my commitment. Part of my anxiety was the turn off of the personal trainer’s salesmanship. It was obvious that his only interest was in getting me to sign a contract, which was over-priced in my opinion.
    I cancelled the membership, but I haven’t given up on gyms. I intend to try out a smaller gym that I suspect will be less intimidating and offers Zumba classes I really enjoy.

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