The beginner's guide to feeling confident at the gym

POV: It's your first time going to the gym...hooray! But being a workout newbie, you can't help but feel nervous about the intimidating space and what to expect. Don't fret, we've all been there—and once you get through the initial visit, you'll soon realize that there is *nothing* to fear. For all our beginners out there, here is your foolproof guide to feeling confident and comfortable at the gym. 

Enter with a plan

To prepare for the gym, one of the best things you can do is create a set plan for your time. For a gym sesh that is as smooth and seamless as possible, outline the exercises and machines you plan to use (for example, hit the treadmill for 30 minutes, then head to the mat for a 10-minute core finisher). Or, queue up a YouTube playlist with some dumbbell exercises to follow.

Remember: It's okay to start out small and work your way up! 

Listen to music


Listening to music is the perf way to shut out distractions and background noise so that your attention is solely on *you*. Beforehand, develop a workout playlist with your fave upbeat songs to help get into the groove of your exercises. Peep our Spotify for all the hype-up tunes.

Acknowledge peak and off-hours

For gym newcomers, avoiding peak hours can also help alleviate some stress. You can check peak and off-hours by searching on Google (although we'll give you a hint: avoid 5-7 p.m.), and some gyms even provide crowd meters. By doing so, it'll give you more space to take your time, test out new equipment and avoid long wait times for popular machines.

Wear an outfit with confidence


We all know the saying, "look good, feel good." And this really goes hand in hand with the gym. By wearing something that you love and feel comfortable in, your motivation will totally be boosted.

Go with a friend

Not only does starting your gym journey with a friend make the whole process a lot less scary, but it can also make it way more fun! By enlisting a gym buddy, you can encourage one another, hold each other accountable and have someone by your side if any gym anxiety rises. 

Keep a positive mentality


Possibly the most important tip is to always keep a positive mindset! Everyone is welcome at the gym, and it is *so* important to know that it's an open space for you to focus on yourself. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others around you, remember that everyone was a beginner at some point—and you have to start somewhere in order to work your way up.

Don't worry, you got this!

Want some more fitness inspiration? Check these out:
💟 How to *really* tackle your summer fitness goals
💟 The perfect workout for every phase of your menstrual cycle
💟 How to stay motivated when starting your workout 

Share your gym tips with us on Twitter @girlslifemag!

Slider image: @samiclarke
Top image: @morganrosemoroney/@littletfitness


by Madison Yee | 8/22/2023