From a beginner to another: How to NOT gain confidence in your gym sessions

It’s hard to hear, but the truth is that your attitude impacts your time in the gym.

Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Well, of course, there are other things that play into it.

Such as sleep and nutrition, just to name a few. I’m writing about this topic because I too have let insecurity hold me back. I’m also writing this because I want you to feel empowered and confident.

When I joined the gym, I avoided the free weights area for way too long.

Eventually, I started asking myself why that was.

Turns out it was due to a deep feeling of not-belonging.

Add to that being unsure of your ability to perform exercises that require free weights. I’ve learned that the trick not to be frozen by this is to start small. If you need to perform an easier variation of an exercise, do it.

If you started off with too much weight and need to dial it down, do it.

Everyone is too busy doing their own thing, nobody is looking at you.

If you allow yourself to constantly feel self-conscious in the gym, that will become your new normal.

Misusing equipment

Picture that you’re walking towards two very similar machines but in reality,they train very different muscle groups.

You can be sure that you will mix them up. That is, if you’re more worried about others judging you than your own progress. Believe me, it has happened with the Leg Extension vs Leg Curl machine.

The whole thing ended up with me doing a couple more unnecessary, totally not planned sets, only so I didn’t have to walk away.


As you delve deeper into your fitness journey, you will probably hear a lot about mind-muscle connection.

It is the one thing that matters more than getting a jacked physique. Why? Because it makes both daily tasks easier and your next training sessions way more productive.

If you’re not tuning in to the mind-muscle connection at the gym, you’re wasting your time.

Ego Lifting

That thing that most fitness influencers clearly do.

The same thing that you swear never to do. However, it can sneak up on you. No matter how much you try to avoid it, it will make its appearance if you’re lifting to impress others more than improving yourself.

The good news is, you don’t have to hate yourself the moment you realize it.

To sum it up:

Don’t ego lift, but don’t be hard on yourself if you do.

Research the machines before using them, but keep in mind that you also learn by making mistakes.

Quit feeling like the center of the world in the gym. Nobody cares. You should find comfort in that if you’re exercising for the right reasons.

Of course, you choose which are the right reasons. Or will you let that be defined by every fitness influencer that comes across your dash?




Bite-sized content in the realms of criminology, self-development and fitness | Freelance Writer

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Carina Barrau

Carina Barrau

Bite-sized content in the realms of criminology, self-development and fitness | Freelance Writer

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