28 Jun Women in Fitness and Gym Intimidation
I’m sure you have all experienced it, you’re walking into your local gym and you go into the weights room and you feel instant intimidation.
I have experienced it myself, a little woman walking into a weights room stuffed with sweaty men can be extremely intimidating. However, you must overcome the fear, as soon as you stop focusing on what other people are thinking about you, you will realise that they are too busy worrying about their own performance.
Nowadays I have absolutely no issue stepping into a gym filled with men but this has taken time and I understand why people would feel intimidated. Let me share some of my coping mechanisms with you:-
PRACTICE AT HOME
I bet that one of the most common thoughts that goes through your head is that you are doing a movement wrong and you feel like people are judging you. If you have a home gym or even just a little bit of space at home I urge you to practice some of the movements in front of a mirror. You can then plan your gym session before you get to the gym and ensure that you are comfortable with all of the movements.
WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEOS
You may think that this sounds ridiculous but this helped me particularly with Olympic weightlifting movements such as snatch and clean and jerk and also gymnastics movements such as muscle ups and handstand push ups. Watch YouTube technique and tip videos. Once you have visualised the movement it becomes much easier for your body to move correctly. If you feel confident with a movement you will not feel so intimidated when practicing in the gym.
GO TO CLASSES OR GO TO THE GYM WITH A FRIEND
If you are really struggling with intimidation start by going to some fitness classes or CrossFit sessions or even just arrange to go to the gym with a friend. This helped me right at the beginning. I started around 6 years ago attending body pump, spinning and body combat classes, you are part of a group and no one is focusing on you as they are all trying to get the movements right themselves. I was also terrified about going to my first Crossfit session, thankfully I persuaded my sister to go with me and honestly there was nothing to worry about, everyone was so lovely and I never looked back.
START A TREND
You will be surprised how many people struggle with intimidation in the gym. I can guarantee as soon as you start to face your fears many more people will follow.
Become empowered don’t let intimidation hold you back. As soon as you stop caring what other people think you will open the door to becoming a stronger, healthier versions of yourself and you will inspire others to do the same.
Ellie has over 4 years Olympic Lifting experience and qualified for English Championships in 2018. She has a British Championships total 72kg Snatch and 95kg Clean & Jerk at 64kg body weight. She also trains powerlifting and has a 145kg back squat, 75kg bench, and 155kg deadlift. In addition to lifting weights, Ellie is a competitive CrossFit Athlete. She has competed at national and international events and taken podium positions at many of them. Ellie trains 9 times a week these sessions include 3 early morning home gym accessory sessions, 2 barbell sessions, and 4 functional fitness sessions. Ellie is currently recovering from a TFCC (wrist cartilage) tear. Training through injury is hard but it is a great opportunity to work on weaknesses and come back even stronger.