Yeah, yeah...I know this one gets thrown around a lot, but hear me out. Have you ever regretted a workout after you've completed it? Most likely the answer is no. Plus, you don't have to go to a fancy gym to elevate your heart rate. There are plenty of free workouts on YouTube to check out. If all else fails, put on your favorite tunes and dance around your home. It sounds insane, but as someone who does this multiple times a week, it's quite fun, so don't knock it until you try it.

It is gym time baby! Or is it?

Do you even lift? Well, not when other people are near the rack. So many people hate the gym. Why? Because it can be a bit intimidating. Gym anxiety is a real thing and people all over the United States are feeling it.

Gym work can be intimidating due to performance or appearance-related anxiety -think fear of navigating heavy weights or a defeatist body image in the locker room. “Gymtimidation” is a common anxiety that can negatively impact fitness goals or prevent some people from going to the gym altogether.

A nationwide survey conducted by MyProtein asked over 3,000 Americans about their feelings toward going to the gym and concerns about feeling judgmental. Here is how gymtimidated in North Carolina ranks and other nearby states.

  • Georgia

    According to survey results, the degree to which American gym-goers experience gymtimidation varies quite a bit from state to state. Georgians are the Americans least affected by gymtimidation (23% less than the national average).

  • South Carolina

    The ranking is 1.88 and the change is 3.5%. This is above the national average. This makes South Carolina residents a little more shy to go to the gym and workout.

  • North Carolina

    North Carolina rated 1.75 with a change of -3.7%. This is below the national average! We are comfortable going to the gym.

  • Oregon

    Oregonians are the most affected (22% above the national average). Gymtimidation is clearly a widespread issue, and our survey found that there are a variety of reasons for Americans not liking the gym.

  • California

    Oregon’s neighbor to the south, California, is the second least affected, so the 900 miles or so between Los Angeles and Portland must make a big difference when it comes to gym anxiety!

  • Virginia

    Our neighbors in Virginia are not big fans of the gym. Rating at a 2.00 and 10.1% change.

  • The Main Reasons Americans Don’t Enjoy the Gym

  • 1. COVID-19 Concerns

    It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has changed the world in a way we’ll never forget, so it makes sense that it’s the biggest reason respondents don’t go to the gym. Sean has some advice for those who are keeping away from the gym because of COVID: Avoid peak hours – Ask a gym employee what the peak hours are at the gym and try to fit those into your schedule. Being around fewer people will not only allow you to safely practice social distancing, but it can also help with the second most frequently cited gym issue in our survey.

  • 2. Fear of Judgement

    This entire study was based on the second most commonly cited reason our respondents don’t like the gym, “fear of judgment,” and there is no one way to overcome it. I’ll go into more detail shortly about gymtimidation experienced by the average American, but there are a few things you can do.

    Here are some of Sean’s recommendations:

    Learn the layout: Learning the layout of the gym can help make you feel more in control and stop you from walking around looking a little lost.

    Practice at home first: If you’re worried about trying a new exercise, try it at home first by watching videos of personal trainers demonstrating the exercise online, recording yourself as you attempt to copy what they’re doing, then comparing the video of the trainer doing the exercise to the video of you doing the exercise.

    Go in with a plan of attack: Know what you’re training before you walk into the gym. When you’re starting out it can help to have a list of exercises you can do if a piece of equipment you would normally use is being used. Be prepared!

    Wear the right clothes: Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident! If you’re worried about how you look then those worries will seep into your lifts and movements, and ultimately you will feel worse.

  • 3. Lack of Motivation

    Getting up off the couch, driving to the gym, changing into gym clothes, completing your workout, driving back home, taking a shower – it’s a lot for anybody. The key to making working out easier is motivation, but how does one get motivated so they can get into shape and stay healthy?

    Here are some tips to help:

    Find a workout buddy: Sometimes we need a hype person who will help us along our journey! Even if you’ve already been training on your own for a while, having someone with you can be massively beneficial. As well as providing motivation, they can help with form and technique – and what’s better than being able to laugh together?

    Make a banging playlist: This will help with focus, and drive and maybe help you squeeze out that last rep or two.

    Keep track of your workout: Track your lifts, repetitions, and sets. You might not see progression right away, but if your results are written down on paper or even in the notes on your phone it’s a visual reminder that you’re smashing it!

    Celebrate your wins: Celebrate your wins and successes no matter how small they may seem. Managed one extra press-up in comparison to last week? GO ON! Celebrate these small wins, in the beginning, to help build your confidence.

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