Power Down Therapy Ltd.

HEALING THERAPIES IN Westmanstown, Dublin 15

GYMTIMIDATION – How to overcome gym anxiety!

In a recent survey up to 50% of respondents revealed that they suffer from gymtimidation – the fear of being judged by others whilst in the gym. It’s not just the gym either – runners report that they feel very ‘critiqued’ whilst pounding the pavements – most women will have some experience of wolf-whistling wasters enlivening their workout. In essence that very negativity can prevent us training in public spaces, limiting our fitness options and depriving us from the absolute pleasure of getting fit and staying fit in mind and body…

So how can we combat this feeling? How can we overcome this reluctance to train in front of others?

First off, realise that all those gym bunnies have a focus in common. They are working on themselves. They’re not there to check you out, to pass judgement, to sneer at the quality of your bicep curl. On the gym floor, as in life, it’s considered rude to stare, so even if you were swinging from the rafters throwing gladioli, you’d merit just a passing glance. A wise person once said, ‘Fake it till you make it’, so go in, grab a bench and some dumbbells with a smidgeon of authority and you’re already one of the gang…

Secondly, remember that all those shiny mirrors are to check not flab but form, so you can check you’re lifting and moving safely and correctly. Free weights stacks start at 1kg and literally everyone around you started here at some stage.

Feel out of place in your Deep Purple t-shirt and jogging bottoms? Be different, you don’t have to run with the Sweaty Betty herd! Be comfortable in your gear and in your skin. All that cool kit is worn by people who have fallen in love with fitness and want to show off the gorgeous results of the hours they have put into their training. But for every Lululemon acolyte, there’s someone on the next bench perfectly happy in their 1992 Dublin Marathon singlet and shorts. Remember, gym life is not a competition – there’s room for every shape, size, sex, colour, creed, denomination and orientation. When you look beyond the headlines it’s probably the most inclusive club you could join. And it’s certainly the healthiest.

Let’s talk about health for a moment. What has brought you to consider joining a gym? Maybe you’re thinking “If I don’t lose this excess weight I’ll certainly have a health scare”. Maybe you haven’t exercised for years and you’re thinking it’s about time to push back impending decrepitude! Whatever your reasons, know that we’re here for you and we hear you. We’re blessed with expertly trained PTs, movement specialists, sports therapists, group fitness classes that explain, demonstrate, and motivate, and of course friendly, helpful members. Between us we’ll welcome you in and guide you in the direction that’s right and comfortable for you.

A couple of tips to get started:

  • Have a go at some of the classes – even the ones that might not immediately appeal. That’ll help you discover what motivates you , and you’ll be more likely to come back for more. Our classes are designed for all levels of fitness, so there’s no ‘front row’ snobbery. Our byword is inclusivity – and we go above and beyond to ensure that our gyms and our classes and our spas are our members’ comfort zones.
  • Book your free 6 day induction with the PTs. They will take note of where you are right now in your fitness journey, what interests you, what your goals are, and then they will design and work through a bespoke programme just for you, which will change with you as you grow in fitness and confidence.
  • Buddy up with a friend for your first few sessions – remember we offer a free no obligation four day tester to prospective members, so there’s no reason not to try before you buy. Having a mate with you for your first couple of visits can make all the difference.
  • Get the staff to show you the ropes on the equipment, and don’t be afraid to ask for a reminder if you’re still not sure or forget. It’s like learning a new language – don’t expect to be fluent until you’ve practised, practised, practised…
  • Visit the gym at quieter times initially. If you always come when it’s buzzing, it will look like everyone around is fitter than you, more confident than you and certainly busting better moves. So bridge the gap between gymtimidation and gyminspiration by trying everything at quieter times.
  • If you’re female, the consider our private ladies - only gyms, available at West Woods Westmanstown, Clontarf, Sandymount and Leopardstown which are packed with all the professional equipment you need to build strength, build metabolism and burn fat in a quiet, comfortable space just for you.
  • Finally, music! All our gyms play pump out fabulous tunes on our own West Wood radio channel, plus you can loop onto one of our monitors and watch TV while you work. But sometimes creating your own personal playlist with music or podcasts that are guaranteed to move and motivate you can be that last missing piece to blast gymtimidation into the ha’penny place.


Kathy O’Meara is a personal trainer specialising in cancer and cardiac exercise rehabilitation. She holds the National Qualification in Pre and Post Natal Exercise. She is a sports therapist, movement specialist, reflexologist and teaches a range of Les Mills classes at West Wood Club, Westmanstown www.powerdown.ie

Follow her on Instagram: @kathyomearapt or Facebook: Power Down



©2022 Kathy O'Meara

powered by WebHealer