For many, the idea of going to a gym and embarking on a fitness journey conjures up major feelings of anxiety. What if I look stupid? What if I don't know what I’m doing? What if I hurt myself? What if I'm no good at it? It’s easy to let the what if’s run wild. Instead of letting these hypothetical fears take hold, conquer your gym anxiety with this practical tip.

You can't control the gym, and it certainly shouldn't control you. What you are in control of however, is your mindset. If you're sick of that fear of the unknown holding you back, it's time to stop wishing and start doing. 

Even an absolute beginner knows you would never start on the highest resistance. If you've never lifted weights, you're not going to jump straight into a 200kg bench press. Instead, you're going to start small and slowly build up strength. This is the same when it comes to mental strength. 

You want to set up a positive relationship with your gym. The gym needs to be a place you see in a positive light, somewhere you can go to see results and reward yourself. If you’ve started off on a negative foot here's how we're going to change that. 

Enter, the 6/10 rule. Anything in your day to day life should be able to be ranked on a scale from 1 - 10. 1 being where you feel completely at ease, and 10, so far out of your comfort zone that you’ve lost sight of it. 

Obviously, there's no reason to be hanging out on the lower end of the scale if you're trying to challenge yourself. On the same note, there’s no need to set yourself up for failure by going too hard too fast. View the 10’s as long term goals, something to work up to, and for now, I want you to focus on your 6/10.

6/10 is just the right mix. Just enough outside of your comfort zone to keep you on your toes but not so far out that you're running scared. Harness that little bit of anxiety you're getting and turn it into the fuel you need to overcome it.

Let’s say your 6 is just looking at a gym. Hop in your car, drive to your gym, and sit in the carpark. Your mission is to visualize yourself going into the gym as many times as you need to feel comfortable with the idea. The more you do this the more at ease you'll become with the environment. In no time your 6 will drop. Once that's out of the way, it’s time to find your new 6. 

Start going into the gym. Get there during a time you would intend to work out in the future. This means you can assess the crowd that will usually be there working out with you. Feel out the vibe of the gym and see if it’s right for you. Different gyms have different personalities. There's CrossFit gyms, bodybuilding gyms, boxing gyms, leisure gyms and more. Take the time to make sure the gym you choose will fit your needs. Be open to entering a new environment but if it really doesn't feel right, don't be ashamed to shop around and find the right fit. Smaller gyms can be a great place to start if you're feeling anxious about the crowds.

Next you can try speaking to staff. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or even book a personal training session. You don’t always have to go it alone. Break through your anxiety by having the experts break it down with you. 

The next best way to keep your anxiety from hitting the 10’s is to plan. Maximise your time by figuring out what works best for you. If the weight section has you at 10/10 steer clear for now. Spend your time mastering exercises you like. The easiest way to build your confidence is to tick off small goals. Stick to a routine that works for you in the beginning, mastering that will give you the confidence to explore new things down the track.

The more you work out the more it becomes a habit or routine. More endorphins are released, and the results start to show. So, start small and build yourself up. Before you know it, the gym will be your happy place. Book a personal training Melbourne session today.