5 Ways to Build Confidence at the Gym

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt uncomfortable or self-conscious at the gym. You can’t see me, but my hand is high in the air, and I’ll bet yours is too!

That’s because the gym can be an intimidating place, especially if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey! Everywhere you look there seems to be super fit ladies, complicated pieces of equipment, and don’t forget the giant guy shouting and grunting as he lifts an insane amount of weight.

Let’s face it, the gym atmosphere can be an uninviting environment. But you’re not alone! In fact, a poll reported by StudyFinds shows that half of the 2,000 people surveyed experience emotional discomfort when working out at the gym.

But I have some good news for you as well – gymtimidation can totally be overcome! I have 5 tips on how to feel more confident at the gym.

5 Tips for Building Confidence at the Gym

I wish I had the secret to an instant quick-fix for increasing confidence at the gym (let me know if you find it!). Building that confidence takes time, but I do have a handful of tips that can definitely help.

And although it won’t happen overnight, you have to believe that you will build that confidence if you stick with it. I’m here to tell you it’s a process that’s well worth the effort!

As promised, here are my 5 tips for increasing gym confidence.

1. Create a Power-Packed Playlist

A woman listening to music on her phone

Music is a powerful thing. It can influence the way you feel and can generate some powerful emotions inside you.

When you’re facing your fear of starting a new gym routine, one of the biggest things you can do for yourself is to identify those songs that really pump you up. Next, throw those tunes into a mighty playlist, grab a pair of headphones, and blast those songs that you know really rev your engine.

And if you’re looking for music recommendations, check out our list of 59 songs to get you pumped!

*Note: don’t be afraid to pause the music whenever you have an opportunity to eavesdrop on a trainer giving advice to a client. You can decide later whether it’s advice you want to adopt or toss out, but the more you know, the more confident you’ll feel!

2. Feel Comfortable in your Clothes

HopeScope in the gym wondering if she had enough protein

You know what they say – look good, feel good. We all know that this phrase is so true! If you feel cute in the outfit you picked out for the day, it can do wonders for your confidence and can make you feel unstoppable!

The same is true at the gym. While your top priority should be choosing clothes that are comfortable, supportive, and breathable enough to work out in, it’s also important to make sure that you like the way you look.

If you head into the gym in an outfit that you love, you’re setting yourself up for a more confident experience!

(And if you’re looking for an empowering new gym outfit, check out our amazing clothing range!)

3. Talk to People

Three women laughing at the gym

Making friends with others at the gym not only expands your social circle, but it helps to diminish that wall you’ve created in your mind between yourself and the “next-level people” you’re surrounded by.

And the first step to making friends is to simply talk to people! It might sound scary to strike up a conversation with a random stranger, but that’s where compliments come in handy. There’s nothing threatening about complimenting the person on the machine next to you on their shoes, their outfit, or their gym bag, and chances are it will lead to a conversation!

Talking to others will help to make the gym a less intimidating place. Plus, you’ll make new friends with at least one similar interest!

4. Keep Showing Up

As intimidating as your 1st gym visit might be (or your 2nd, 3rd, 4th…) the best thing you can do is to just keep showing up!

Over time, familiarity will replace the discomfort you feel at the gym. As you get accustomed to the layout of the building, the class schedule, the equipment, and as you start to recognize familiar faces, the gymtimidation factor will shrink.

It might be hard, but you totally have the power to make it happen!

5. Compare Yourself to Yourself

Eliza Katoa lifting weights

Remind yourself not to compare your starting point to people who have been working on their physique for years. It’s not anything close to a fair comparison because it’s not a level playing field – you’ll lose that mental battle 100% of the time!

Instead, focus on the goals you’ve set for yourself. Visualize where you’ll be in 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year from now. Think about your awesome state of health and how happy your body will be!  

I suggest journaling regularly about how healthy you feel and then comparing yourself to yourself over time. Because at the end of the day the only comparison that matters is comparing your current self to your past self. And the most important metric to measure is how you feel!


Remember that everyone is ultimately at the gym for the same reason – to improve themselves. Embracing this concept might be easier said than done but keeping this in mind can help you have a more positive perspective when you head off to your local fitness center!

And like I said, it won’t be an overnight change, it will take time to build confidence at the gym. But you can be sure that it will happen and that it will be worth it!

And if you’re looking for a good place to get started on your fitness journey, check out our amazing and free 15-Day Fit Body Challenge. It’s filled with workouts, meal plans, and expert advice from fitness professionals!

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