Research shows that 75% of women want to go to the gym and exercise more often...but they just aren't going. Majority of women surveyed said the reason for this was all down to the fear of being judged.
Our Need to Compare
From photos of models on the covers of every magazine, to perfectly posed Instagram models and perfectly sculpted trainers, how can we not feel intimidated? It's hard not to compare yourself to these beautiful women, especially when they're in your face everywhere you go.
What you have to realize is that you have different circumstances and different abilities. Take a step back and look at who you're comparing yourself to, these models only look perfect because they've had a team of professionals get them that way, and those Instagram photos have probably been manipulated or taken a million times until they get the best angle.
You need to set goals and workout for yourself, and remember that no one in the world is better at being you, than you.
Not Being Good Enough
There's a lot of equipment at the gym and strange contraptions that resemble medieval torture devices! The last thing you want is to embarrass yourself, but we have a secret to tell you, no one actually cares or is judging is. The only person at the gym that is judging you, is you. Other gym-goers are focusing on what they're doing.
Have a goal - You have to have an agenda, a specific goal that you want to achieve. This will keep you motivated and keep going back for more. It doesn't have to be weight loss, maybe you want to move up from the 5kg weights to the 10, be able to do 50 push ups... it doesn't matter what your goal is but it has to be something sensible and something that you actually want to do.
Ask for help - If you're not sure how to use something, ask a member of staff that's what they're there for and they'll be eager to help you. If there's no one around, ask a fellow gym goer. They've probably been in the same situation as you at one point.
You have to sweat - If you're not wet with sweat and out of breath then you haven't worked hard enough. Don't be afraid to push yourself, you're stronger than you think.
Make a plan - It's important to do your research, and get a plan together. Getting to the gym and winging it will only make you feel more uncomfortable, so get yourself a workout routine or download an app to help you through it.
Practice at home - If you're afraid to do something wrong, like a deadlift, then practice at home. Do it in front of a mirror and perfect your form before you hit the gym. You'll feel a lot more confident and ready to pick up those weights.
Find a buddy - Find a friend to go to the gym with you, set goals together and cheer each other on.
Report harassment - 5% of women report being sexually harassed at the gym. Don't let this deter you from going, you are strong and deserve to be there just like everyone else! Just make sure you report it immediately.
Fake it til you make it!
It's possible to fake feelings of power until we truly feel more powerful, believes social psychologist Amy Cuddy
. How do you that? Walk into the gym nice and tall, don't shrink or hunch over or look down at the ground, walk through those doors like you own the place. Believe in yourself, and the people around you will follow suit. Lastly, be the change you want to be. You can boost your own confidence by simply acting self-confident, even if you don't feel that way within. Like amy says, "fake it, until you become it."
Check out our best sports bras for the gym here.
All research and key findings from Women in Sport, read more here.