8 Reasons NOT To Be Scared Of The Gym.

Hey Davey,

I’m absolutely petrified to go to the gym. I want to start losing weight now. I’m scared of getting judged and being  looked at. I have no friends (yes seriously) so I have no one to go with.


Not how the gym actually is...

Not how the gym actually is…

Hey Aimee,

From fear of judgment to locker room anxiety, I’ve answered many questions from people just like yourself that are scared of the gym. I call it gymtimidation.

Though we’ve all experienced gymtimidation at one time or another, it becomes an issue when this fear is used as an excuse to justify inaction. If you want to lose weight but let your fear prevent you from working toward that goal, it’s time for a reality check. While I’m not a big fan of fear, it seems to me that the real fear isn’t what happens to you if you go to a gym. The real fear is what happens to you if you don’t. Not exercising is a dangerous game to play.

Having said all of that, I’d like to share 7 reasons NOT to be scared of the gym. It’s my hope that these reasons will help re-frame the way you think of the gym.

  1. You don’t need a fit body to join a gym. Gym members come in all shapes and sizes. Some are athletes who have been training for years, but most are everyday people making progress toward their fitness goals. You’ll see people at various stages on their fitness journeys.
  2. You can avoid the locker room. Or you can change with a towel around you. Or you can change in a shower stall. Eventually, you may ready to step outside your comfort zone.
  3. You don’t need fancy gym clothes. Don’t let a lack of gym clothes be your reason for avoiding the gym. Any old t-shirt and sweat pants or shorts can do. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe to get started at the gym.
  4. Trainers will show you how to use equipment. Not knowing how to use the machines can be a real issue. More than just looking silly, improper use of the equipment can be dangerous. That’s why all gyms have staff and trainers that can show you how to use the equipment. It’s a great way to get acclimated to the gym.
  5. People are focused on themselves. In talking to people with gymtimidation, the number one fear is that others will judge them for being out of shape, overweight or weak. As I’ve said a million times, this simply isn’t the case. People at the gym are busy. They have their own schedules and commitments and are caught up in their own lives. The reality is, most people aren’t thinking about you at all. They’re thinking about themselves.
  6. You will get stronger. No one is strong on their first day of exercise. You get stronger and stronger over time, and people at the gym are at all stages of development. Even the buff guy curling huge weights started somewhere. The only way to get stronger is to start.
  7. No one is cute while exercising. Don’t be afraid of getting sweaty and gross. It’s the gym. Not a fashion show. Whenever I work out, I’m short of breath, sweaty and my hair flies everywhere; if you’re a gross mess when exercising, you’ll be in good company.
  8. You will gain confidence. Exercise is an effective way to build confidence. Not only will you transform the way your body looks, but you’ll also gain a sense of accomplishment as you shed excess weight and improve the quality of your life.

To make things easier, just break it all into small chunks. First, research the gyms in your area. Second, go in to a few of them to ask for member information. Third, join one. Fourth, schedule an information session to learn the equipment. Five, have a workout or exercise with a personal trainer. And so on.

You can do this.


P.S. If working out at home is more your scene, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. It includes three awesome at-home workouts to burn fat and preserve muscle.


About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Hi Aimee

    I feel (or rather felt) your pain too! In the beginning of the year I was petrified of going anywhere near the weights section, for the fear of being judged. I overcame the fear slowly (over the course of two weeks or so) by doing my weight training when it was quiet. That gave me time to get familiar with where everything was, and what I could handle as starting weights.

    And Davey is right (as usual). Most people don’t care about anyone but themselves (and the buddies they go with). They might greet one another, but then it’s back to doing what they went there to do.

    Be strong, and good luck!

  2. Go to the gym, work hard. People will respect you no matter what kind of shape you’re in. Learn some gym etiquette though. That’s important! Most importantly: you are doing it for you, enjoy the feeling of doing something good for you.

  3. What motivates others motivates me and sets off a challenge. So when I see Mr.T over there raging out’ it puts me into a challenge excepted mode. I think it genually goes both ways. I’m skinny and don’t lift a lot In weights but my hardwork doesn’t go unnoticed. A lot of time I get that good job nod from one of the trainers or someone training for a fitness competition. In a way it’s kind of a team effort everyone is more then willing to spot your or give you advice if you ask.

  4. If you can afford it Aimee buy some sessions with a trainer. It will help you get accustomed to the gym and you won’t feel alone.

  5. the initial letter pulls at the heart-strings , im assuming its a young guy who has taken the courage to write to you , and your advice is spot-on , You dont need fancy gym-gear or friends to go to the gym . I an feel the emotions he’s going through in just those few sentences , no-one will judge you or look at you for more than a split-second , regular gym users like me who went for the first time alone will knw what your feeling and beleive me after the initial first time im sure you will get on just fine . Dont let your fears and emotion stand in the way of your dream , go for it , i did and never looked back , and ofcoarse you wil make friends there too , good luck man 🙂

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