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5 Ways to Overcome Anxiety at the Gym During New Workouts



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			<span class= Getty Images Back House Productions

It was prime time in the gym: 7:15 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. The floor was packed with weights and plyo boxes everywhere. I was there too, standing over a loaded hex bar, feeling overwhelmed and so out of my element. I'd done CrossFit for years, trained for seven full marathons, but it has been a long time since I felt completely overwhelmed by a workout. Well, a string of workouts.

I had committed to a 30-day strength training program. The plan-designed by a local kettlebell expert, Lacee Lazoff-what geared towards helping me build essential strength that I've been painting while committing myself to so many miles for road races. For four days every week, I'd show up at my local Equinox and follow an hour-long program.

On this particular day, hit the fan. I felt like crying. I was having trouble even attempting numbers. My anxiety piqued, and I hit a breaking point. I hurriedly put away the barbell, and instinctively retreated to the treadmill to run a "safe" 5K and just … breathe.

I'm not the only person who's crazy. For Rajah Nagarajah, a business development manager living in Portland, Maine, walking in to a Crossfit gym for the first time felt mega-intimidating.

"Being a former college athlete and having played football where we were lifting heavy weights, I knew this whole thing was going to be different, "he told Men's Health . I could barely move 115. Everyone around me was crushing, and there I was dragging my feet. I was anxious. "

While Duke University research shows that working out of alleviate anxiety, there's less of a discussion about the pressure on us when we step outside of our comfort zone in the gym.

"It's normal to feel anxiety when starting something new," says dr. Don Greene, sports psychologist and owner of Winning In Sports .

Does that sound all too familiar? "

Does this sound all too familiar? Do not fret; you're probably not the only person in the gym or studio struggling to get into their feelings when they face a new challenge. 5 Anxiety Tips for Better Workouts

1. Have an Open Mind

Just like when you're meeting the parents for the first time, it helps to make you happy with the punches and put on a smile.

"The best way to combat is to approach the new exercise or sport with an open mindset," says Greene. Give yourself time to learn and accomplish positive repetitions, which leads to confidence and lessens anxiety.

. 2 Build a Strong Foundation

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			<span class= Getty Images franckreporter

HIIT training in your routine, find an expert who can help you with the basics.

"says:" Having good instruction and a good base of knowledge. Pam Geisel, exercise physiologist and manager of performance at the New York City Hospital for Special Surgery. Giving Muay Thai a go, for example? Once you can confidently throw a punch, then you can move on to more advanced moves like jumping knee or spinning back elbow.

3. Make Sure Your Work is Purposeful

It's a little difficult to navigate what's right and wrong when you're a total newbie. Especially when you're working with a new trainer, it's critical to ask questions and make sure that your workouts have a purpose, according to hostage.

"There's science behind everything happening on the weight room floor," she says. "So firstly, make sure to communicate with a trainer clearly about your goals, the things that make you comfortable. This will help prevent injury, and ultimately, lift off a weight off your shoulders. "

4. Bring a Friend Along the Ride

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			<span class= Getty Images Eugenio Marongiu

Whether or not you're getting ringside at the boxing gym or laying down a yoga mat, finding an ally in your sweat mission can make the whole thing more manageable and even better your odds of reaching your goal. One University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that 95 percent of those who have completed the program have completed the program.

. 5 Be Willing to Accept Change

Change can be scary, whether it involves physical exertion or not.

"Although it seems counterintuitive, the fear of success manifests itself through the fear of change," says Greene. "If someone's successful at their new activity, this could lead to change in their life." Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate is a freelance writer, certified fitness trainer , and host of the podcast hurdle.


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