Faking confidence in the gym can turn a fitness newbie into expert

Katie Leyton

The gym can be a very intimidating place, especially for people who don’t really know what they’re doing. I’ll admit that my first couple months as a gym-goer, I had no idea what half of the machines did. I stuck with what I knew and became a frequent user of the treadmill and elliptical machines, switching between the two as a sort of “interval training.”

I was naive to the “gym flow” concept in these younger days, but I was too scared to step foot in the weight room primarily because I had no idea how to use a majority of the equipment. After two months of the same cardio routine, my confidence had been raised but so had my level of boredom.

After hours of people watching, I found, to my surprise, that there were a lot of people in the gym who clearly did not know what they were doing. This gave me the encouragement I needed to take those first steps into the weight room and try out some of the equipment. It wasn’t long before I looked as though I had been lighting weights for years. As it turns out, the idea of “faking it until you make it” proved true.

Here are a few ideas to help boost confidence in the gym:

Wear real workout clothes. Dress for success in the gym by wearing the right clothes to work out. You will see a huge difference not only in your performance but also in your motivation by wearing clothes that are meant to be sweat in. I’m not saying to go out and buy the cutest Victoria’s Secret sweat suit. This isn’t for looks. It’s for you to feel comfortable in your surroundings. If you’re clothes are intended for working out, your mindset will be in sweat mode.

Make a pump-up playlist. Music can be a huge motivator. A good beat can easily change your mood from sleep to overdrive. Pump up the volume to help drown out the sounds of the gym to help you focus on yourself. Who cares what anybody else thinks?

Do your research. The Internet is full of amazing tips and tricks to help you learn how to become an expert at the gym. Educating yourself on how to operate the machines or looking up exercises on Pinterest will help you to stay focused and keep you from wandering around looking for something to do.

Focus on one muscle group at a time. Targeting one muscle group will help you achieve your set goal each and every day. For example, if you want to focus on your lower body, use the machines that work your legs. This is a sure-fire way to look like you know what you’re doing. 

With these confidence-boosting tips, you should begin to realize that this forced, fake confidence is no longer forced as you continue to learn exercises and routines that will help to transform you into a natural gym-goer.

While “faking it until you make it” works, keep in mind that you can’t fake it forever. You need an end goal. Eventually, you need to make it.

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].