Whether you’re just starting out, are coming back from a hiatus, or are recovering from an injury, you may have experienced pre-gym anxiety.
Like it or not, anxiety is a big part of training - pushing your boundaries and testing your limits isn’t an easy process, and learning to overcome this anxiety is part and parcel with learning to train effectively.
Thankfully, managing pre-gym anxiety is just one of the areas that the team at Fitstop have a lot of experience in! As seasoned trainers and trainees, we’ve all encountered this difficulty, and have a couple of great tips that are guaranteed to get you back kicking goals and setting personal bests in no time. We’re here to make you feel comfortable, and want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Fitstop experience every time you step foot in the gym!
The number one cause of gym anxiety is feeling lost or confused. Without a training program, it's far too easy to feel overwhelmed or anxious due to the sheer amount of stuff going on. There are hundreds of great guides to tailoring workout plans to your needs available online or a personal trainer (or the Fitstop team) will be more than happy to help you to find your feet.
The best advice is to keep things simple. Choose a program that targets your goals with the least complexity. As you progress, you can start to develop a more tailor made program, but for new trainees, it's often best to just follow simple principles.
Alternatively, joining a gym like Fitstop (where classes are set for you) will make sure you’re set up to succeed, no matter what stage of your fitness journey you’re at.
We all know just how beneficial exercise is for mental health. You know that pumped up, energetic feeling you get once you’ve got your heart rate up? Use it.
Instead of driving to the gym - walk, run or cycle. If you have to drive, park a little while away and enjoy a light run before you arrive. Even a light yoga or stretching warmup will provide you with the training momentum you need to get out of your head and ready to workout.
It’s no secret that caffeine can heighten anxiety. The jittery, nervous, heart’s-gonna-explode feeling that your favourite pre-workout is giving you might be just about the worst thing you can do for yourself when it comes to avoiding pre-gym anxiety.
There are a number of pre-workouts on the market that are marketed as ‘stimulant-free’. These formulations do not contain anxiety inducing stimulants, while still providing a substantial performance boost. Better still, ditch the pre-workout entirely and go au naturale. Athletes have been training without pre workout for millennia.
The calming effect of some relaxing tunes, or even an interesting podcast, can be a great way to minimise anxiety. Listening to music releases our brain’s ‘happy chemicals’, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals can help us to feel relaxed and stay focused, meaning you’ll have a stress-free, heart-pumping workout!
One of the most effective ways to keep your anxiety under control is using deep breathing patterns to maximise your oxygen intake. During periods of stress and anxiety, we tend to take shorter, more shallow breaths that leave our brain with a limited supply of oxygen - which compounds the stress!
Take a step back, and focus on your breathing when you find yourself feeling anxious. Use the time to focus, calm yourself, and move on to your next goal.
Finding a training partner and buddying up with someone might also ease your anxieties when it comes to visiting the gym. Scheduling in a time and regularly training with the same person will not only keep you accountable, but will also provide familiarity and reduce stress surrounding your workout routine. Group training facilities like Fitstop encourage a great sense of community, and there’s no better way to motivate yourself than to join people who are all on the same journey as you!
Free Week (6th-11th May, 2019) is the perfect opportunity for you (or your friends) to try Fitstop! There's always so many new faces in the gym during this period (chances are people may be feeling the same nerves as you). However Fitstop sessions are set up to ensure everyone works together, creating a welcoming environment - no need to be nervous! Are you ready to train in a fun, supportive community? Make sure you or your friends register for Fitstop's Free Week.