What is Gym Anxiety? And why do I get it?
There are 16 common types of Gym anxiety people get. Gym Anxiety is actually a real thing and there are many different forms of it. As many of you know, I live with anxiety. I have written a few articles about different types of anxiety I have and how I deal with them, Links to these are below.
This Sunday morning as I drink my nespresso coffee, I am visualizing my day as I often do. I will go to the gym for a jiu jitsu class at 11:30, I will do some work and I will do an activity with my wife and kids. Al ready this feels like a lot of stuff to do on a Sunday, especially considering I still have to do my regular chores and try to relax.
When you have anxiety, everything can feel like more work than it is. It drives my wife crazy that I get anxiety about the gym, because she would love to spend more free time in the gym.
Todays gym anxiety is different, today is about what I should be doing in the gym.
I overpack my gym schedule.
Today I am deciding whether I should be lifting weights for muscle growth and overall look, or If I should be doing martial arts, that is great for my health and cardio. Or should I try to team my workout with spending some time with my wife in a Yoga class, or should I team my workout with my kids and go swimming……What the fuck Sean…
Overthinking is a disaster for people with anxiety, and that is exactly what I am doing.
Going to the gym is supposed to be a relaxing event, it is supposed to feel like therapy to me. So why do I complicate things? I am always trying to make the decision that meets the least resistance and today that will be lifting weights.
The reason for the decision is because it takes the least amount of time and because after doing this activity, I still have the time and energy to do another activity with my family.
Why Do I Have Anxiety About Going To The Gym?
Martial arts are exhausting and sometimes after doing it, I am too tired to do anything else.
There are many other things that you can get anxiety about at the gym that a lot of people deal with. For example, as I am writing this article I have another gym anxiety that I just thought of.
17 Common Types Of Gym Anxiety And How TO Deal With Them
1. Anxiety about what muscles to work today.
I think in my head….What muscles did I work this week? I don’t want to overwork anything, as I feel the results are the same if I do. Did I already do biceps? Should I work my back?….Shit Decisions.
2. Anxiety about what muscle groups will go well with each other.
Should I do my bicep with abs and forearm? Did I do that this week? This is another frustrating thought that goes through a persons head that has anxiety about the gym. The best solution for this is to write things down. I am going to start a note or to do list in my phone and write down what I did at the gym each day of the week. You can also do this in your calendar in your phone. I think this will help huge with this problem
3. Anxiety about what to wear to the gym.
What clothes are in my gym bag right now? Do they match? Do they stink? How many times have I worn them?
These are some of the frustrating things you will think of when you have anxiety about what clothes to bring to the gym. The solution would be to pull out you gym bag and make sure you have the right clothes for the right activity. Like today for example, I will go and do some lifting. After that I will sit in the hot tub for a while to let my muscles relax. I need to bring a tank top, track pants, fresh socks and running shoes for the lifting part. And swim suit, towel and shampoo for the hot tb part.
I find if I pre-prepare myself ahead of time, the anxiety levels drop and I feel ready for the task at hand.
4. Anxiety about what time to go to the gym.
There is a kickboxing class at 6pm. My kids go to sleep at 7:30 pm. Thoughts go into my head about the timeline I go to the gym every day. I could just go and lift so that I am there to tuck the kids in bed on time. Kickboxing is a big part of my cardio health strategy, and when I miss these classes, I straight up miss doing my cardio.
Running on the treadmill has never done much good for me so these classes are very important. I get anxiety about the decision to go at that time.
Sometimes I even feel guilty about going to the gym at certain times, this ads to the anxiety.
5. What is new gym anxiety?
New gym anxiety is when you start at a gym you are unfamiliar with and you are not comfortable with the the people, equipment and schedule of the new gym. People with anxiety really like things to be in order, and when they are not they feel out of place.
I just started at a new gym that I wanted to try out. And although I like positive change, it feels strange being there.
Now I am a bit of a gym junkie and I really should not feel uncomfortable in the gym, but as I suspected I really do. As I get on a treadmill looking at the sea of people that I don’t know, I think to myself…..why did you do this? The other gym was just fine and now I am scrambling around this gym with insecure anxieties.
6. Why do I feel like people are looking at me?
That is a real part of the new Gym anxiety. Trust me, in the gym everyone is looking at everyone. It is not just you. Maybe they are checking you out because they think your cute!
7. Social anxiety at the gym
Social anxiety at the gym is the feeling you get when you are around people. When I first started at the gym I go to, I remember feeling like everyone there knew each other and that I was an outcast imposing myself in their space.
I would notice small things like people smiling at each other and others spotting each others lift. Are they all best friends?
Hell no they are not, but a person with social anxiety in the gym may feel like they are.
There are many types of social anxiety you can have in the gym, another is changing in front of people. At the gym you will notice many people with huge arms, unreal abs and chiselled bodies. It can make a person feel insecure, especially if you don’t have these traits yet. It can make you feel fat or inadequate in other ways.
8. Anxiety About Changing in Front Of people
You might also feel uncomfortable taking your underwear off in front of people because you feel like your dick is small and that everyone is watching. Trust me when I tell you, they are not watching, but I know how you feel. I put a towel over and slide my underwear up so that I am not exposed. Some people don’t give a shit about this, but I really feel like my privacy is mine and I do have anxiety about showing myself to strangers.
9. Anxiety about not knowing how to use the Equipment.
People with anxiety overthink everything, and gym equipment can look intimidating. If I don’t know how to use a piece of equipment properly, I stay hella far away from it until I can spy on someone using it. I am scared to make a fool of myself by using something incorrectly.
I guess some people don’t give a shit and they would use the equipment how they see fit, but not a person with gym anxiety.
Here is the funny thing about this…Now that I am a bit of a regular at the gym, I see people using equipment all of the time not in the way it was meant to be used. And a lot of the time it is people that know what they are doing. They have customized their workouts so much that they know their bodies and muscle groups and use the equipment as they see fit.
Sometimes hitting muscles that most people don’t by using the equipment “incorrectly”.
This might make you feel better as a person with anxiety. If you are confidently using the equipment wrong, people will most likely think you are using the equipment to hit a secret muscle group. Now I always ask people what muscle they are working by doing a move I have never seen. I discovered that I can hit weird muscles by using the equipment wrong!
10. Anxiety with girls at the gym.
As a married man with no interest in establishing relationships with girls at the gym. I do however like to look at a pretty girl just like everyone else in the world. I make sure I don’t stare, just a slight glance.
Sometimes I get anxiety about this as I don’t want to look like a creep to the girls at the gym.
Every now and then, one of them will notice. I have had this situation happen many times and they will try to come closer to me and to smile at me. This for a man is very exciting, as it makes us feel desirable. For a person with anxiety it makes us feel like we have done something wrong.
This happened just recently at the gym where a girl was on the bench right beside me. She was hot as hell and was staring at me through the mirror we were both sitting in front of. Eventually it got so uncomfortable for me, that I had to get up and move to another part of the gym. I don’t know exactly why I get this anxiety, all I know is that it does exist and being aware of it is the first step in getting rid of it.
11. Anxiety with how many plates you lift at the gym
This is a really weird one. When I am on the bench press or another machine, I sometimes feel people are watching how much I am lifting. It is a dangerous slope, because people with gym anxiety will sometimes lift more than they should so that it makes them feel good enough.
I have found overtime that it is not about how much you can lift. We are all there to create better bodies. Many of the most chiselled people in the gym mix up heavy weights and light weights because they hit different muscle groups.
12. Sauna conversation anxiety
When I hit the sauna, I like to meditate on my day. What I find is people that can’t stop talking will strike up general conversation with me in the sauna. This drives me insane as I am not good at small talk, it gives me anxiety to have to think about what to talk about.
13. Anxiety about going with someone to the gym
Is this really a thing? For me it is, and I want to share this with you because I don’t think I am the only one. I get anxiety when a friend asks me to go to the gym with them. There are many reasons this can happen.
If you are going to the gym with a new person you might feel anxiety about how much they can lift versus how much you can lift. Are you strong enough to work out with this person? You may also get anxiety about chatting with them throughout the workout….will I have enough to talk to them about?
These are all things that go through the head of someone that has gym anxiety.
14. Gym class anxiety
If you attend classes, you might feel a certain level of anxiety about a few things. I know when I hit a yoga class, I compare myself to the people next to me.
You might also have anxiety about being on time for the class. I often visualize myself coming in late and disturbing the people around me. Because of this feeling I will often opt out of going to a gym class and choose to workout on my own.
15. Anxiety about forgetting something at the gym
Sometimes when I leave the gym, I am exhausted and my sugar levels feel depleted. I have forgotten my water bottle or my shorts many times. Because of this I have some anxiety about forgetting my things at the gym.
16. Anxiety about running out of ice at the gym
Again this is another weird one. I love cold water, and I drink a lot of it at the gym. After refilling your bottle over and over, you will eventually run out of ice and you will have to drink the water that comes out of the gym fountain. I get anxiety about this, so I fill the ice in my water bottle up to the top before I leave my house.
Anxiety is damn weird. I hate it lol.
17. Eating anxiety before I go to the gym
Did I eat enough? Did I eat too much? These are some of the thoughts I get before I go to the gym. Am I hydrated enough to go to the gym?
I create negative visuals in my mind of myself puking at the gym because I ate too much or passing out because I ate too little.
18. Podcast and music anxiety
Sometimes you feel like everyone can hear what you are listening to at the gym. Trust me, no one is paying attention to you listening to soft rnb while you are working out. But a person with gym anxiety always feels like all eyes and ears or on them.