Going to the gym can be a challenge for many reasons. One being that you actually have to get yourself there, another being that you have to balance a busy schedule of classes, work, and friends. And, on top of all of that, the gym can be a pretty uncomfortable place for some people. For girls who lift, it can be intimidating to feel like you must negotiate for your own space amongst a sea of guys.

I was certainly scared of the so-called “guy zone” at the gym when I first began lifting. But, as time went on, I developed subtle ways of claiming my territory and building confidence in myself, asserting that I have just as much a place at the gym as any man. Here are five ways to combat any intimidation you might feel at the gym, "guy zone" and beyond.

1. Bring a Friend

Going to the gym with a buddy is a great way to ensure comfort in the gym because you know someone has your back. It creates a good atmosphere to workout in, and there is power in numbers.

2. Go During Off Hours

Rebecca Block

A great way to build gym confidence is to go to the gym when most people aren't there. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the various machines and develop a sense of comfort in your surroundings, without feeling like a bunch of people are watching you.

3. Create a Playlist

Put on a rocking playlist that you vibe to, one that will put your mind at ease, help you to focus, and get you in the groove to have a bangin' workout. Having ear buds in also serves as a sort of barrier and dissuades people from interrupting your set.

4. Plan Your Workout

grass, pasture
Danny Shuleman

Know, in advance, the different exercises you want to do. This cultivates a clear-cut path in your workout and eliminates confusion. Cue up the different circuits you want to perform and have a few alternative options (in case certain machines are being used).

5. Wear Something You Feel Comfortable and Confident In

coffee, beer
Anvita Reddy

It is true that body confidence comes from within, but it doesn't hurt to wear cute, comfy, and functional workout gear that has the potential to motivate you to do just one more set. If you look good, you feel good — point blank. Dressing with purpose will help you to exude confidence, reassuring and reaffirming your self image. 

Hopefully, you found these tips helpful. Following these simple steps can go a long way when it comes to gaining confidence at the gym. Going to the gym doesn't have to be a drag, and it certainly shouldn't be intimidating. Being healthy and proactive is lit, so light your fire, and get your gym on.