Social Anxiety And The Gym

Do you get anxious just thinking about stepping in a gym? So do 51% of people. I've got 3 ways to try and eliminate those feelings for good

From the word go I just want to make it really clear that although I've spent a lot of time around people with anxiety and coached a fair few clients who have suffered - I am by no means an expert on the topic

If you're really suffering with anxiety please seek professional help from your GP and talk to those close to you about it

These 3 tips are ways that I've helped clients cope / battle social anxiety

Tip 1. Learn Good Form

People seem to think that they're always being judged for their form

This was probably the biggest reason for anxiety

I coached so many clients whose heads were constantly on a swivel

Looking from person to person to see if others were looking or staring

I get it. If you're unconfident you are doing the exercises correctly, you think people are noticing, or worse, talking about you

That's a horrible feeling

When I first started training in the gym and the big guys walked in and started training, I'd pick up my things and walk straight out the front door

I remember completing a workout maybe 2/4 times a week at one point

Were they looking? Probably not

Was it in my head? Most likely

But I was sure they were looking, so I took the time to really grasp the most common exercises and which muscles they were working

It definitely worked

As soon as my form was better I was SO MUCH more confident in a gym surroundings

And I quickly learnt what to do if my machine was taken, so I wasn't standing around

unsure at any moments

My confidence grew massively (as did my progress)

You can become more confident too by finding a reliable source, having a good understanding of a few exercises and where you should be feeling them

10-15 should be enough for the fist 3-5 months

Tip 2: Train From Home

Avoid people. Sounds great huh?

I'm a mobile personal trainer and of course an online coach, and I train every single one of my clients from their homes

Why? Because it's;

  1. Convenient

  2. Cheaper (no memberships)

  3. More flexible

  4. Quicker

  5. Less stressful

After I finish writing this post I'll be driving to one of my amazing client's house to train her in her garden

My iphone tells me it's 14C and it's an absolutely stunning day

We'll be training in her garden in the beautiful sun (Vitamin D helps with anxiety by the way)

How amazing is that? No queuing, no people, no smelly gym, no commuting, no people, no faffing and no people

Did I mention there will be no people?

If you're worried about being in a gym I hugely urge you to exercise from home

Training from home is just better!

There are hundreds of quick-home workouts on Youtube (I'm bringing some out soon too!)

Or you can build your own workout using this guide

Tip 3: Get A Gym Buddy (Or Hire A PT)

Both options are fantastic for helping with anxiety in the gym

As I mentioned before most of my clients were anxious they were performing exercises incorrectly - by hiring me they quickly picked up good form and began to relax

But you can't hire a coach 3-5 sessions a week huh?

So find a like minded gym buddy! Preferably someones that's been training for a while and you know are hard working

I've been training for 9 years now and I've never worked harder than when I'm with a friend

Benefits of good gym buddy:

  1. You'll work much harder

  2. Competition is always good

  3. Better consistency and commitment

  4. You'll be way more relaxed and comfortable in the gym

In July 2018 I had a client who suffered really badly from anxiety - infact some times it was so crippling she couldn't work for months at a time

My goal was to keep her talking and try and make her workouts as sociable and fun as possible

Most of the time she walked in with her head sunk looking at the floor, and walked out 2 ft taller with a smile on her face

Having someone to chat to and keep things fun can do amazing things for your anxiety levels

So if you suffer, ask a friend for help! I'm sure they'd love the company!

Plus you'll both get far greater results training as a team!

And if you have a friend who you know suffers, offer to help them. Ask to train with them and watch their confidence double. Watching someone mentally and physically grow because of your efforts is one of the most rewarding things that you can do


I highly recommend you take the time to learn, ask a friend, or hire a coach to teach you the basic exercises. This will ensure you're training safer, more effectively and you won't feel as self-conscious when training around others

As well as that I'd suggest you start exercising from home. It's by far the best way to get into exercise

There are no spectators, you can watch / read the form as you're working out, it's quicker, cheaper and you can train wherever the hell you want

I'd much prefer to train in my back garden in the sun than a smelly gym.. Wouldn't you?

Anxiety is horrible and controlling. So take action and win back your freedom

It won't be easy but the tips I suggested will 100% help if you put them into practice

It will get easier and easier. Exercise has been proven to help anxiety so tackle it head on

and start implementing these tips today

Good luck! And if you need any support or advice about anxiety in the gym, feel free to reach out to me today - Message me