Adulting, College Life, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Hobbies

Gym Anxiety Tips: How To Manage Being New To The Gym

gym anxiety tips

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s spring editorial intern Selma Dizdarevic. Find her on Instagram at @_s3lma. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

The New Year is well underway and so are new year’s resolutions! If you’re like me, you want to become the best version of yourself in 2023 and embrace growth of all kinds. The New Year is a perfectly clean state and a great opportunity to try new things, like going to the gym! But, let’s be real, the gym can be a terrifying place for beginners. There’s all this equipment that looks impossible to figure out and intimidatingly jacked people who just make you want to run in the other direction. If you’ve ever had these thoughts, you’re not alone! Even though I’ve been a college athlete for three years and have been a competitive tennis player my whole life, I still struggle with going to the gym for this very reason. But I’m determined not to let my fears hold me back this year! One of my goals for 2023 is to work out at the gym consistently and to do that, I’ll have to overcome my mean case of gym anxiety. If you’re looking to upgrade your fitness level and get more comfortable in a gym setting, welcome to the club! We’re here to help you grow this year, so here are five gym anxiety tips.

Go In With A Plan

Journaling Sharpie Markers GIF by Sharpie - Find & Share on GIPHY

Before you bravely set off into the gym world, it’s a good idea to know what you’ll be doing when you actually get there. Take a notepad or your phone and list a few exercises that you’d like to do (3-5 is good for beginners). And don’t worry, if you need help creating a workout plan, fitness influencers (yes, it’s a real thing) on Instagram and TikTok will be your best friends. Watching gym content on social media will not only give you a solid plan and teach you proper exercise form but will also be a big source of motivation. Get that inspo AND those gains!

Bring A Friend

Friends Hug GIF by MOODMAN - Find & Share on GIPHY

Taylor Swift was right when she said “it’s nice to have a friend.” Seriously though, bringing a friend (or two!) to the gym is a great way to ease your nerves. You can even follow the same workout plan as them and take turns using the same machines. With a gym buddy, you’ll be able to build your confidence level with different exercises and eventually feel comfortable enough to do them alone. And the best part is, if you mess up at any point (you won’t), you can just laugh it off with your friend(s) and keep going.

Put On A Cute Outfit You Feel Comfortable In

Looking Good Feeling Myself GIF by Music Choice - Find & Share on GIPHY

“Look good, feel good” has never been more true! Gyms can be overwhelming, especially during the peak times when there are a lot of people working out. If you’re like me and your brain likes to tell you that everyone is looking at you and judging you, then it’s a good idea to put on something you feel confident and comfortable in before going to the gym. It’s no runway, but there’s no denying that a nice outfit will help you have a better experience at the gym. Trust me, you’ll have one less thing to stress over if you know that you look good, so put on that cute workout set and go get it done!

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Sassy Hair Flip GIF by WE tv - Find & Share on GIPHY

Pretending you know what you’re doing goes a very long way… especially when it comes to the gym. It’s totally okay to feel lost and confused at the gym (almost everyone does at some point) but feigning confidence might help curb some of those anxieties in the long run. So, while you’re crushing your workout plan, try putting on your fiercest, bravest, most confident face. It’s foolproof; no one will know you are new to the gym and no one will question you. And remember that, while it might not look it, most people at the gym are faking it ‘til they make it, too.

Be Your Own Biggest Fan

You Got This Spider Man GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Finally, remind yourself that you belong at the gym just like anyone else. No one deserves the squat rack, the weights or the treadmill any more than you do. Go make 2023 your year, you got this!

Did you like these gym anxiety tips? Do you have any other advice for managing gym anxiety? Let us know in the comments!

More Health + Wellness Articles

Lifestyle Articles

Pop Culture Articles

Beauty Articles