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Gaining Confidence at the Gym

gym workouts

Truth: No one is really paying attention to your workouts at the gym. Credit: justthismoment

I’ve always been self-conscious at the gym. I know, logically, that everyone is doing his or her own thing and no one is really paying attention to me, but I have a hard time getting over that nagging feeling that someone, somewhere is watching me, critiquing my form and thinking I should be using heavier weights. Or laughing to themselves at me fumbling with a weight machine. And maybe there is one person who doesn’t have enough to worry about who is, but why do I let it get in the way of my workouts?

As part of my new gym membership, I scored a few personal training sessions. My trainer is awesome, but what she’s really done for me is boost my confidence in my fitness knowledge and skills. I mean, I’m not an idiot when it comes to working out. I’ve taken a zillion classes. I’ve done a trillion workout DVDs. I’ve even had a personal trainer for several months. I know the basics; I just don’t give myself credit.

As Susan puts me through circuits of lunges, squats, deadlifts and push-ups, she has let me know that my form is impeccable. That I clearly know what I’m doing. So it’s gone a long way in helping me trust myself when I’m on my own playing with dumbbells, BOSUs and weight machines. But I feel like I still have a ways to go in the confidence department. I still sometimes go blank on what I should do next and feel silly doing lunges all by my lonesome in a corner. But my sweat and sore muscles assure me that I don’t necessarily need a trainer to get a great workout.

Anyone else feel awkward at the gym? How have you gotten over it? I’m going to continue my journey by following these tips. —Erin

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