If you think the gym is an intimidating place and it leaves you feeling self-conscious, it’s time to pop that negative bubble! Don’t get me wrong—it’s totally normal to feel gym anxiety. I used to be super insecure at the gym and always had to bring a workout buddy with me. But now I love going to the gym alone—it’s an awesome way to get a little me-time.

Here are some of the things that I did that helped me overcome my gym anxiety. Follow these steps to say goodbye to gym-induced intimidation and hello to confident solo workouts.

1. Set goals

First thing’s first—you have to know what you want to get from going to the gym. Do you want to get in shape? Do you want to be stronger? Do you want to be able to eat a lot and be fit? Whatever it is, you gotta have a purpose. It's really easy to lose motivation if you don't set goals for yourself.  

2. Do your research

Don't worry, it's not the kind of research you do for essays. You just need to know which equipment to use at the gym that will help you achieve your fitness goals. I highly suggest going on YouTube and watching exercise videos—you have no idea how much this will help you.

3. Create a workout plan

It feels so good to plan a gym routine before you get there. Writing down what you're going to do—from which machines you're going to use, to how long or how many reps—will save you from wasting time thinking and feeling clueless at the gym. Your workout will be way more effective.

4. Set the right mindset

Yay! Now you're ready to go to the gym. The key to saying goodbye to intimidation is just focusing on yourself. I'll let you in on a little secret: everyone else is focused on themselves—not on you. So don't worry about anyone at the gym other than yourself. Plug in your earphones, turn up your workout playlist, and get in your zone. 

5. Do what works for you

Maybe not all the workouts you saw on YouTube work for you, and other people at the gym may do things differently than you do. That's completely fine! You don't have to be good at everything. Every body works differently—just take a bit of time to figure out what you feel comfortable with. Choose the ones you enjoy and keep doing them.

6. Be consistent

Lastly—and maybe most importantly—remember to be consistent. You don't have to go hard at the gym if you don't feel like it, as long as you're consistent with what you're doing. Make sure to work out at least three times a week. The only way to see visible results is by being committed to your workout, so make it a habit!

There you have it: the ultimate guide to help you start going to the gym. It's not going to be easy at the start, but keep on keeping on—you're going to be so glad you did. Just don't forget to stretch!