Overcoming fear and mental blocks while working out
A common trait that we all have (to a certain extent) as humans is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being judged, fear of a metal barbell with a bunch of metal and/or rubber plates, fear of monkey bars….. You get the gist of it. I will go over a few common fears that I see with people that I have worked with, seen in the gym, and also from my own experiences.
I’ll start with one that should be brought up more often. Becoming too attached to the outcome of an exercise. Whether it’s expecting dramatic results after jogging a quarter mile, sprinting for the first time, or having an expectation of lifting a certain weight. Paying too much attention to the end result removes yourself from the actual process, which usually leads to disappointment and feeling too fearful to try again. Using all of your energy on consistency, patience, and improving on a daily basis would help you obtain those goals instead of thinking about the end result.
I’ll give two different examples to clear any confusion:
- Before making a heavy lift in the gym, clear your mind of completing the actual lift. Just focus on your form and alignment and just go for the lift. Don’t let it intimidate your of make you feel like you accomplished a huge goal. Do your best, give yourself a pat on the back, and continue the growth process.
- Losing/Gaining weight takes time. Letting go of the expectation that working out alone will bring you instant weight loss would help out mentally. There are many factors to weight loss including exercise intensity, nutrition, genetics, sleep patterns, stress, drugs/alcohol, etc. Having guidance in all these areas along with being patient and taking MASSIVE action lead to a higher chance of achieving your goals. (Not just wishful thinking)
Many people avoid the gym setting since they do not want to be judged. This varies per person and should be approached differently for each individual. For example, women are usually less likely to go to the free weight area full of men due to receiving too much attention. Some women just throw on their headphones, ignore everyone, and just get their workout in. Which is what I suggest for women wanting to workout in that type of environment.
What I can share from past experiences is being ‘too skinny’ or ‘too weak’ in a room full of huge, stronger men. Honestly. Just walk up there and do what you intend to do in the first place, get stronger and bigger. There is no need to overthink that is going on. 9 out of 10 guys in the gym aren’t concerned about the people around them. They are just there to make gains and get out to continue on with their day,
In a nutshell, have fun! Enjoy your workout and just focus on what you are currently doing. The result will come with time and effort. Acknowledge the fact that you may feel a bit of fear or a minor setback, then throw that thought out the window and kick ass in fitness and life every day! Thank you for your time and feel free to leave any feedback or suggestions on future topics.
Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES
Owner of On The Go Fitness