The gym can easily seem a frightening place. With all of the grunting, yelling, weigh-slamming, and other testosterone-induced behaviors that portray the modern gym environment, newcomers can easily feel unwelcome, marginalized, and discouraged to pursue their fitness goals. On the other hand, the gym is also a complex concept - it’s not like stepping outside and going for a run, no, it requires some planning and know-how. While these problems might seem too overwhelming, you should know that there are two very effective ways to overcome your gym fears and empower your mind and body to push towards your goals with confidence! The problem of planning and structure The majority of gym fears are born and nurtured from failing to adhere to a structured workout regime that is tailored to fit your needs, passions, age and gender in order to reach your goals, whether they are weight loss or lean muscle mass growth. Remember, no matter the number on your ID card, you are never too young or too old to follow a challenging workout regime. That is why it’s of the utmost importance to find a personal trainer to take you under their wing, at least until you get the hang of things, and provide you with a tailored exercise and nutrition plan that will give your gym sessions a purpose, and provide you with attainable goals you will feel inspired to pursue. The problem of self-consciousness The other major problem among new gym-goers is a condition called gymophobia, and it can be caused by a myriad of factors, the predominant one being unrealistic feelings of self-consciousness. The feeling of constantly being watched, analyzed and judged by fellow gym members can stifle people’s progress and discourage them from adhering to their workout regime, eventually abandoning it completely. While a tailored plan will help you attain a sense of direction, you also need to empower yourself, and realize that everyone else is too self-absorbed to be paying attention to what you are doing, or what you look like. The gym is full of mirrors not only to help you ensure a proper technique but also to keep the eyes occupied. On the other hand, you not only want to step into the gym with confidence, you want to step into a gym that is perfect for you. Some people want a place they can sweat for an hour and spend the rest of their afternoon being pampered, while others want nothing more than to hit a deadlift PR - you need to find your own safe haven and surround yourself with a like-minded community that will welcome you into their ranks. Starting your life-changing fitness journey is not easy, but if you keep these powerful words in mind, you will have no problem overcoming your fears and ensuring a lifetime of health and happiness! About The Author: Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and has spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for a better life. He blogs at Ripped.me.