When you’re new to the gym as an arena to develop yourself – it can be a pretty intimidating place. Lots of people suffer with crippling self confidence issues in general, but when it comes to stepping foot in the gym it’s just magnified.

I remember the first time I ever went to a gym. At 16 years old I was a spotty, skinny-fat, weedy little runt of a boy and I felt every bit of that when I scuttled into the weight room in September 2009. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, I just knew I wanted to get bigger. But ending up on one of those ‘gym fail’ videos was a very real fear of mine and it stopped me from even attempting anything with free weights for a long time. I stuck to the ‘safe’ bets – machines and cardio. But I never really changed my body doing this.

To be totally honest, I almost didn’t go back after that first time. The whole thing just seemed too difficult, too complex and I felt like I had no right to be there. The gym seemed to be full of massive guys that had been lifting weights for decades, and there was me with no idea what to do.

If that sounds like something close to your experience right now – read on. This article is for you. I want to tell you that you CAN get better and you DO have as much right to be in the gym as anyone else. But it will require some effort on your part. So if you’re not willing to put in the time or effort, then don’t bother going back. You’re wasting your time.

For everyone else, here’s some tips on how to increase your self confidence in the gym.

Tip #1: Increase Your Knowledge

The main reason you lack self confidence when you train is because you have no idea what you’re doing. You know what I did back in 2009 when I realised I had no idea what to do? I went straight on YouTube and found exercise tips and workout programs to follow. They aren’t what I’d consider ‘good workouts’ today, but it got me started and it gave me the confidence to actually go into the gym and do something constructive with my time there.

Don’t forget I’m talking about TEN years ago here. Instagram wasn’t even a thing and Facebook was still kind of in it’s infancy. There was information available back then, but it’s nothing on what’s out there today. You have the entire world at your finger tips now. Your phone or laptop is the gateway to tons of information on how to increase your knowledge in the gym. Hell, even I have platforms on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and my Email List (free workouts every week) to help people like you get better in the gym. The “I don’t know what I’m doing” excuse simply holds no weight anymore. Get online – or better yet, find someone who knows what they’re doing (whether that’s a PT or a great, experienced training partner) and LEARN. Put your ego at the door, accept you know nothing and get to work on learning how to train. You will find you confidence increases tenfold if you take even 10% of this tip on board.

Tip #2: Improve Your Focus

As a rule, I always try to be supportive and positive to new people in the gym. They’re beginners, and I was in their shoes once. But you know what I can’t stand? A lack of focus. If you’re sat on a machine scrolling through Facebook or messaging birds in between sets you aren’t going to have a great workout. And consistently having poor quality workouts will lead to a total sum of f*ck all when it comes to your results – meaning you’ll lose all faith and confidence in your ability in the gym.

Don’t try and multitask when you train. Focus on one thing at a time, and make that one thing the exercise you’re performing. Focus on getting better at the technique, getting stronger, working harder. Having your mind and body doing two separate things is a recipe for completely wasting your time. Quality training sessions require your full focus and attention throughout the entire session. If this means you need to put your phone on aeroplane mode so you’re not distracted by Auntie Jean liking your profile picture then that’s what you need to do. The gym is YOUR time. You should be fiercely protective of your time. Don’t let anything get in the way of it.

Tip #3: Take Responsibility

The third and final tip to improve your self confidence in the gym is to take responsibility for your own results and actions. So many people want to blame other people, their circumstances, the gym they’re in, or anything but themselves for their lack of results and self confidence. Here’s the reality: You might have tough circumstances right now, you might be restricted in terms of gym equipment, you might have to train when the gym is packed – but there’s still only one person responsible for your results: YOU.

When you start taking ownership and responsibility of your results and your actions an amazing thing starts happening – you stop blaming others and start working harder. With no-one else to put the blame on, the realisation dawns on you that it’s entirely up to you whether you bitch and moan about how busy the gym is, or you do what’s available and get a good workout in regardless.

Remove the excuses and start putting the work in. When you start to see changes in your strength, physique and energy – confidence will follow. You’ll suddenly find yourself steaming into the gym and attacking sets like a pro, which will lead to improved results. Further improved results lead to further increased confidence, and so on and so on…

Results breed confidence. Confidence breeds results. It’s a cycle. All you have to do is begin the cycle.

Hope That Helped

I hope that was useful to you. As a thank you for taking the time to read this article, here’s a free workout to get you started on your physique building journey:

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