When do you get over the intimidation.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 02, 2012 8:10 PM GMT
    I've been a quite irregular visitor to my local gym, on and off. I always have good intentions and go regularly, then something comes along in life and it's not a priority. So, plans to build muscle have been a bit lame. The thing is, that a lot of really fit guys with great bodies go there and I always feel intimidated when I'm there. They are bench pressing 80 kilos etc and look great. I'm a bit crap when it comes to these things and can't lift very heavy, so I feel a bit intimidated and less confident. I know some of you guys started out scrawny or fat and have achieved amazing bodies. But could anyone give me a tip on how to get over my lack of confidence. One time, I was doing a PT session and one guy with a great body was staring at the PT and me and kind of smirking about the fact that I couldn't go really heavy. I felt so bad about this, I knew he was a dick for doing it but at the same time felt a bit pathetic. Now I'm a bit paranoid when I'm there and wondering if others think the same. I know people say that most guys are at the gym and don't give a toss about anyone else but...... Even if I see a guy who's about 120 kgs on the treadmill, I think to myself "Thank God that's not me". I know I shouldn't but I do and I do appreciate that he's doing something about it. I'd appreciate any tips from you guys to achieve what I'd like. ie. like most - gaining muscle and losing fat. Thanks
  • gunpumper

    Posts: 53

    Jul 02, 2012 9:20 PM GMT
    I go to one of the most hardcore lifting gyms in Wash DC...nearly everyone there has a pretty fantastic physique. But when someone joins who is really overweight or out of shape, we all take the position that at least they are one of the ones trying to improve themselves. I hardly ever see anyone made fun of or hassled because they dont have centerfold bodies.
    I say "hardly" because occasionally some misguided out of shape fool joins who does nothing but change into workout gear and wander around the club aimlessly chatting on a cell phone (and laughing like he or she is talking to a Kardashian)
    -apparently counting that as "time at the gym". When that happens we all become like a wild pack of buff wolves and we tear into the douchebag to let them know that if theyre going to be there with us- they really should put the phone away and do some actual exercising.
    In your case, if you were focused and working at a good pace throughout your time in the gym, youd receive only support and encouragement. All of us started at a place not as built as we are now and we remember that time.
    If someone does make fun of you and harrasses you that shows a small personality and deep insecurity-- it shouldnt be too tough to throw something back at someone that damaged that wont send them running for a dark corner- no matter how buff or built or fit they are---a perfect body can never compensate for a weak damaged mind.
    Good luck and keep working out!!!
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    Jul 02, 2012 11:58 PM GMT
    If someone is actually making fun of you for how much you lift, that person is obviously insecure about himself and feels the need to put others down so he could feel better about himself. I really don't give a fuck about what others think of me when I'm lifting. I usually just focus on myself when I'm lifting even when there are hot guys around.
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    Jul 03, 2012 1:51 AM GMT
    The primary reason people go to the gym anyway is to overcome some sort of self esteem "blemish"..or body image issues...No one is better than you are!..Screw everyone else and do your own thing!..I have walked into the "power lifting" section at the gym before with my two 15 pound weights that magically double up as jaw-breakers if anyone even smirks in my direction!..You pay your membership..you have a right to enjoy the gym..at your own pace!..use the internet to do your research..then research that research....and do your own thing!...HUGZ...icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 03, 2012 2:03 AM GMT
    57yo, I am 6'0" and weigh 135, on a good day. I was always afraid to even walk into a gym but three and a half years ago (long story made short) I started going... and haven't stopped since. I've run/jogged off and on for years (more off than on) but now only do it on the treadmills to warm up and cool down, I focus on the weights, and use workouts from here and BodyBuilding.com. icon_cool.gif

    So am I huge, ripped, and buff now? No, and I still weight 135 (yeah, I know, eat more protein and work out heavy) but I do have some little pecs and biceps, and I can see (and feel) the difference even if no one else can, or wants to. icon_confused.gif

    I've been laughed at, by both guys and girls, just as recently as last week, but I simply gave the guy and two chicks a scowl and continued my workout. I just try to remember that he is the insecure one, and needs to put someone else down just so he can feel good about himself. I am not the one wasting my time, he is. icon_mad.gif

    So, to all you guys who don't laugh, but encourage... THANKS. icon_exclaim.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2012 2:30 AM GMT
    You go and you do the work. You don't answer to anyone else and you don't worry about what anyone else is lifting or how many times or if they can do something you can't do yet.

    There will always be people in better shape than you are. And there will always be jerks at the gym. Even when you are buff as hell, someone is going to dislike your shirt or your haircut. You don't have to satisfy those people. Juts yourself.

    Go because you're doing what you want to do.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:43 AM GMT
    Go in like you belong there. Most people are focused on their own workouts and really don't have an opinion about you one way or the other.

    Some gym etiquette: rerack your weights, use a towel and wipe off the equipment after using, allow others to work in, don't drop your weights.
    Also use proper form for your safety.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:58 AM GMT
    When I started going I still lived in a fairly small town where I would see lots of acquaintances from school or around at the gym, which made going really awkward at first. Then after a few weeks I figured everybody is pretty much focused on what they are doing and didn't really care what others did as long as it wasn't obnoxious because that's pretty much what I do. Everybody has to start sometime and I'm sure for most people their first few experiences at the gym were intimidating.
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    Jul 03, 2012 12:15 PM GMT
    Most of these guys lifting heavy with fantastic physiques already know that the key to developing one involves proper form more than weight. It's powerlifters who rely on momentum to max out their poundages.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:12 PM GMT
    Honestly, I don't think you have anything to worry about. I think most of this is in your head (no offense intended -- we're all insecure from time to time).

    Don''t be worried about the tiny minority of idiots you might run into and just keep working out. Nobody's keeping track of how much you lift.

    For the record, with very very few minor exceptions, I've found almost all the guys at the gym to be either really nice or at least keep to themselves. And sometimes, the best built guys are the nicest.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
    The more you put yourself out there, the easier it will get.

    One thing I like about the gym I go to - it's really small - and the guys that actually train and do competitions are some of the nicest people there.


    I was frustrated about not being able to lift heavy one day and one of those guys told me not to focus on what others thought. - Those guys lifting the heavy weights usually are doing it with bad form and will hurt themselves.

    Worry about you and the progress you are making and before long you will be one of "those guys."

    Everyone has to start somewhere and will progress at a different pace.

    Hang in there.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:20 PM GMT
    it's the weird homoerotic tension in the changing room that puts me off. creepy.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:21 PM GMT
    eagermuscle saidMost of these guys lifting heavy with fantastic physiques already know that the key to developing one involves proper form more than weight. It's powerlifters who rely on momentum to max out their poundages.


    jesus thank you... i have some power lifter friends who think they're sooo superior for lifting really really heavy, but the momentum involved is surely helping them quite a bit icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:22 PM GMT
    SportyGuy_1 saidit's the weird homoerotic tension in the changing room that puts me off. creepy.


    There is no homoerotic tension directed at you.

    Trust Me.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:25 PM GMT
    Cash said
    SportyGuy_1 saidit's the weird homoerotic tension in the changing room that puts me off. creepy.


    There is no homoerotic tension directed at you.

    Trust Me.


    not you again. stop stalking me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:30 PM GMT
    just have some confidence and self-esteem. ignore the other people there and just focus on yourself and your workout. if you're a beginner or don't work out regularly, don't feel like you have to meet up the expectations of anyone more experienced. besides, everyone is a beginner at some point, even the "buff" guys, and the gym is a place for people to work on improving their physique.
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:34 PM GMT
    SportyGuy_1 said
    Cash said
    SportyGuy_1 saidit's the weird homoerotic tension in the changing room that puts me off. creepy.


    There is no homoerotic tension directed at you.

    Trust Me.


    not you again. stop stalking me.


    but...but ...I love you.....

    icon_neutral.gificon_neutral.gificon_neutral.gif
  • DCguy2001

    Posts: 314

    Jul 03, 2012 6:42 PM GMT
    You can't overcome your discomfort with the gym if you are an irregular visitor there. The only way you'll start to feel more comfortable is if you start going regularly - combined with adopting healthy eating habits (if you haven't already).

    Here's what I'd suggest: Take some "before" pics. Then start going regularly and chart your progress with more pics. As you start to see results - in how you look, how you feel, and how much you can lift - it will help motivate you to workout consistently.

    In terms of the really fit guys - as someone noted earlier in this thread, there will always be guys who are stronger and in better shape than you. For me, those guys are eye candy and/or motivation for me to push myself harder.

    As for the occasional guy who may seem like he's smirking or looking down on you, just ignore him. You may be imagining it - or he may be a genuine douchebag. Either way, it won't matter if you start to get results at the gym and making progress towards your goals. Good luck!
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    Jul 03, 2012 6:56 PM GMT
    2.5 years ago I had practically zero muscle and the confidences of a mouse. But one thing I did know and did have was drive and ambition. I started going to a gym and I felt like everyone was always staring at me judging me because I was always judging myself. One day I just kinda snapped and said "fuck it" I put my metaphorical hater blockers on and my head phones and looked at everything in a logical standpoint. Who cares what anyone thinks I had a goal and I didn't care what was in my way. You have to be realistic and just not give a shit you're there for you and no one else. It sounds obvious but it's all about your mindset.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2012 7:05 PM GMT
    Lots of good advice above.

    When I started out I too was very conscious. I always wore long pants and long sleeved tops while working out as I didn't want anybody to notice me. Sometimes when I was working out and someone else started working out in the equipment next to me, I would stop working out until they left.

    Eventually I realized that wasn't going to get me where I wanted to be. Also the older I got, the less I cared what other strangers thought of me. It was a long time but I eventually got over it. Even though my no means I consider myself as having an extremely great physique, I don't fuss about what others may think of me.

    What you need to do is...
    1) Be consistent with your workouts
    2) track progress - progress is the best motivator so track your weights/lifts and take pics occasionally.
    3) if the weights aren't going up on the bar and the scale you aren't getting bigger
    4) fix your diet - diet accounts for ~70% of your body change effort in terms of time and effort that it takes to make and stick to a diet plan on a daily basis. working out only takes 3-4 hours a week but your diet needs to be done every day every week.
    5) research research research & learn learn learn...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2012 8:20 PM GMT
    At some point you really just have to get over it. It becomes much easier when you realize that no one is born with an amazing physique. They work for it by lifting weights and playing sports. When I started I was terrified to go to the gym, but overtime you get stronger, get more confidence and all the rest goes away. Funny enough guys with great physiques can actually be really helpful because they know how much work it takes to look like that.

    Just keep at it and overcome you're fear. The worst thing to do is give up.
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    Jul 04, 2012 9:41 PM GMT
    Thanks for all your support and advice guys. Appreciated.