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Advice on How to Get Past Intimidation at the Gym

Get Over Your Fear of the Weight Room

When I asked what fitness equipment intimidates you at the gym, many of you said "the weight machines." One reason is that big, strong, sweaty guys hang out there, and as FitSugar reader AZDaisy put it, it's "Man Land." I can relate to what laellavita said — "I would feel like a wimpy little girl amid all of the testosterone." Also, tlsgirl understandably doesn't like it when guys stare at women when they use the weights.

So how can you move past feeling intimidated? Reader Jabbadoo has some great advice. She says, "I'm not intimidated by anything . . . because my trainer helped me become strong and smart about it all! Seriously, if you feel intimidated, work with a trainer a few times and ask a ton of questions. Then you will be completely confident on your own!"

For more advice from FitSugar gym-goers,


A wise plumeria9 says, "Come on girls! Don't let the men take over the entire weight room. Most guys are not there for the entertainment . . . If there is a piece of equipment that I am interested in using, I will watch people use it and see how they do it, then I try it and see if it's for me." Yes, you can learn a lot by watching others at the gym. Just make sure they know what they're doing, and use proper form.

I agree with what kclulu says as well: "Everyone looks dumb at some point at the gym if they are challenging themselves and trying new things. If you want to try a certain lift or exercise look it up on Google; they have a video of just about everything you can think of. That way you can learn the right form and for certain exercises you can practice a little at home, so you feel more confident busting it out in front of people at the gym."

As for those sweaty guys staring at you, syako says, "it's easy to ignore them." But if you can't, Lauren3185 suggests finding a gym that has a separate weight room for women. That way you'll feel more comfortable using the equipment knowing you're not being ogled.


Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Honestly ladies, pick up the book "The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess". VERY good read, and it proves how weights are TEN TIMES better then cardio when you want to build muscle and loose fat. Its an easy read too and you get pretty engaged in it :)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I guess I'm pretty lucky...most of the people that use our gym's weights are women, so I never really feel that intimidated. There is this one guy that comes in and does the whole grunting/staring thing, but I know when he usually comes in and just come in at a different time, lol.
AZDaisy AZDaisy 8 years
Yay fit quoted me! Now I feel semi-famous :-D
LilyLyra LilyLyra 8 years
I go to a gym that has hours for women only, it's much more comfortable.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I'm with you, tls. The slamming weights down, insane grunting and constant admiring of their muscles make the men in the weight room entertainment between sets. :)
Beaner Beaner 8 years
I have a flexible schedule, so i hit the gym mid-morning, when less people are there. Less people means less staring!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Hehe, I've since come to terms with the general ogling of the weight room. The way I see it, those grunting doofuses look way sillier than me ;)
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