Construct Your Consumer’s Confidence with These 6 Suggestions

“To be trustworthy, I’m afraid of understanding within the gymnasium.”

Likelihood is, as a private coach, you’ve had a shopper (or two) admit their fears about going to the gymnasium after developing with an acceptable coaching program for them.

What do you do in such a scenario? It’s a difficult one for certain. Do nothing, and their gymnasium nervousness would possibly get the higher of them, impeding them from attaining their health targets. However telling them to “simply do it” gained’t minimize it, both.

Don’t fear. This text explores what you must learn about supporting a shopper coping with “gymtimidation”—together with what it’s, why it happens, and what you are able to do about it as a health coach—to allow them to really feel comfy about getting into the gymnasium.


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What Is “Gymtimidation”?

As implied by its title, the time period “gymtimidation” refers back to the feeling somebody will get once they’re intimidated by the thought or the precise act of understanding within the gymnasium.

Oh, and simply so you already know: Your shoppers aren’t the one ones getting right into a bundle of nerves about having to work up a sweat within the gymnasium. “Gymtimidation” is an actual phenomenon that impacts loads of folks. In reality, a survey carried out by PureGym (on their members) discovered that one in 4 folks would quite face spiders than go to the gymnasium!

Analysis lately commissioned by Samsung helps this discovering, with 83% of survey individuals agreeing that the gymnasium may be an intimidating expertise.  

However what’s up with this deep-seated concern? Each analysis items arrived at a startlingly comparable record of the highest causes of “gymtimidation”:

  1. Not understanding find out how to use all of the gear
  2. Feeling intimidated by different “skilled” gym-goers
  3. Visiting the gymnasium when it’s busy (having another person eye the gear they’re utilizing)
  4. Not having an outlined exercise plan
  5. Having to ask for assist or recommendation

This record affords invaluable insights into how you might assist your shopper overcome their gymnasium nerves. So, with out additional ado, let’s leap proper into that.

#1: Stroll Your Consumer By Each Train on Their Exercise Plan

Earlier than you ship your shopper off to clock in a solo exercise session within the gymnasium, be certain that they know find out how to carry out each train included of their exercise program. Doing so tackles two major causes of “gymtimidation”: #1 (not understanding find out how to use all of the gear) and #5 (having to ask for assist or recommendation).

Right here’s a terrific tip that’ll actually increase your shopper’s confidence within the gymnasium: Have them arrange their very own gear throughout their coaching session with you. For instance, educate them on how they might modify the bar top on the squat rack such that it will swimsuit the train they’re performing, be it a barbell squat, overhead press, or bench press.

The identical goes for machines. Get your shopper acquainted with the totally different knobs and levers they might manipulate on each machine so it fits their distinctive physique proportions and coaching targets.

Have your shopper file their most well-liked settings (e.g., writing it down in a pocket book or taking an image) if mandatory; this may function their reference level once they’re within the gymnasium with out you by their facet.

#2: Give Cautious Thought to Your Consumer’s Exercise Plan

Whereas one of the vital apparent options to fixing trigger #3 of “gymtimidation” (visiting the gymnasium when it’s busy) is asking your shopper to get into the gymnasium throughout off-peak hours, typically, that’s unattainable contemplating their schedule.

So, the following greatest various could be so that you can program their exercise plan in such a manner that minimizes “backwards and forwards” motion within the gymnasium.

What does that imply, precisely?

Within the easiest phrases, it means it’s best to keep away from programming in supersets or “large units,” the place they need to carry out a number of workouts—typically at totally different machines—in consecutive order with none relaxation in between.

That’s as a result of such a programming technique leaves your shopper weak to conditions the place their train gear will get “stolen” by one other gym-goer (and, within the worst-case situation, might get your shopper right into a nasty argument).

One other manner you might reduce stated “backwards and forwards” motion?

By accounting for the proximity of varied train gear relative to 1 one other when planning a shopper’s exercise program. For example, let’s say you’re designing a “push day” in your shopper, and you’ve got the next workouts in thoughts:

  1. Barbell overhead shoulder press
  2. Arnold press
  3. Cable chest flys
  4. Dumbbell lateral raises
  5. Barbell bench press
  6. Triceps pushdown

Right here’s an instance of an train order that’ll assist your shopper reduce motion within the gymnasium:

  1. Barbell bench press (squat rack)
  2. Barbell overhead shoulder press (squat rack)
  3. Dumbbell lateral raises (free weights)
  4. Arnold press (free weights)
  5. Cable chest flys (cable machine)
  6. Triceps pushdown (cable machine)

Apply this to each exercise you design in your shopper. Take into consideration the “circulation” of their exercise, and ensure they “maximize” their time at any given area within the gymnasium earlier than transferring on to a different.

#3: Plan Sensible Alternate options for Every Train

Regardless of your greatest efforts to plan the “greatest exercise routine,” your shopper should still run into cases the place one other gym-goer is already utilizing the piece of kit they should use (e.g., the ever-popular Smith Machine).

Planning continues to be the important thing right here.

As an alternative of permitting your shopper to easily skip out on doing that train, present them with a number of options that’ll goal the identical muscle teams however at a special machine or with one other setup.

For example, let’s say your shopper is used to doing hip thrusts on the Smith Machine.

Why not additionally educate them find out how to carry out the train with a free-moving barbell? And even higher: Stroll them by way of a whole record of workouts they might do to focus on their glutes, together with glute-focused hip extensions, single-leg step-ups, and Bulgarian cut up squats.

Right here’s one other instance. Let’s say the lat pulldown machine is occupied. Let your shopper know that there are many different lat-focused workouts obtainable, such because the seated cable rows, “lats-focused” barbell rows (the place their elbows are saved at round 45 levels relative to their torso), and even the chest-supported dumbbell rows.

Look by way of your shopper’s exercise plan. Ensure you record not less than one various train your shopper might do as a substitute if the mandatory gear is taken.

Equipping your shopper with this record of different workouts they might flip to will assist them take advantage of their exercise session, even in a crowded gymnasium.

#4: Encourage Your Consumer to Attempt Out Completely different Gyms for the “Proper Match”

There’s no denying it: Sure gyms are extra welcoming than others. In case your shopper plans to get their exercises in at a special gymnasium than the one you are coaching them in, encourage them to “store round.”

Allow them to know that they need to all the time get an excellent really feel of a gymnasium’s type and clientele earlier than committing to a long-term contract.

And one of many best methods they might accomplish that is by signing up for a free trial session, the place a workers member excursions them across the gymnasium, which affords a peek into what it’ll be wish to work on the market. Have your shopper remember the next questions as they stroll round:

  • Is the gymnasium workers pleasant? Do gym-goers method them in any respect?
  • Is the gymnasium properly maintained? 
  • What’s the gymnasium’s “tradition”?
  • Is the gymnasium crowded?
  • Does the gymnasium structure make sense (e.g., “chest machines” in a single area, in comparison with one the place the machines are all over)?

To your shopper, this may occasionally look like an unnecessarily lengthy record of bins that have to be ticked simply to discover a gymnasium—however it’s best to remind them that, on the finish of the day, they’re investing their time, cash, and power into the health facility.

It’ll profit them to make certain that it is your best option for them and their coaching targets.

#5: Educate Them on Correct Fitness center Etiquette

Dig deeper into trigger #2 of “gymtimidation” (feeling intimidated by extra skilled gym-goers), and also you’ll understand a deeper underlying concern: that of being judged for doing the “flawed factor” by others.

How are you going to assist assuage your shopper’s apprehension? Reply: by educating them fundamental gymnasium etiquette. Listed below are the highest essential tips to share:

  • Put the whole lot again the place it belongs: Have your shopper unload the bar and re-rack all weights and dumbbells after they’re accomplished with an train.
  • Wipe issues down after utilizing them: Have your shopper wipe their sweat off machines, barbells, flooring mats, and anything they use. Even higher, counsel they bring about in a towel to put over benches or whichever gear they plan on utilizing.
  • Don’t block another person’s view of the mirror: Let your shopper know that they need to do their greatest to remain out of somebody’s line of sight once they’re testing their train kind within the mirror. In different phrases, performing lateral raises proper in entrance of somebody doing dumbbell presses—and looking out on the mirror—isn’t advisable.
  • Keep away from slamming weights: It’s noisy and thoughtless. Plus, until the gymnasium explicitly encourages weight-slamming, doing so would irk the gymnasium house owners as it will possibly wreck the gear (e.g., breaking the dumbbell heads off).
  • Solely “work in” with another person when it is smart: Tools-sharing is feasible, however it ought to make sense for each events. Which means the particular person your shopper needs to share with is doing the identical train and/or across the identical weights.

#6: Perspective Is All the things

Along with all of the above “technical” factors, you also needs to acknowledge your shopper’s emotional struggles—allow them to know that “gymtimidation” is completely regular.

However reassure your shopper that everybody within the gymnasium, together with the fittest-looking particular person and even your self, was as soon as a newbie too. Everybody begins someplace. Additionally, different folks (and their ranges of health) are irrelevant. Your shopper’s health journey is their very own.

Get your shopper to remain aware of their ideas within the gymnasium. Each time they catch themselves considering, “They assume I look foolish,” or “They assume I don’t know what I’m doing,” have your shopper reframe their perspective so that they imagine the next as a substitute:

  • “I might not be the fittest within the gymnasium, however I’m about to develop into the fittest model of myself.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if I don’t elevate as heavy as others. It doesn’t make sense evaluating my chapter one to another person’s chapter twenty.”


Serving to your shopper overcome “gymtimidation” isn’t all the time a simple course of. As a coach, ask the fitting questions to find out about their difficulties, then work with them to handle their reservations about understanding within the gymnasium.

If it helps, be happy to take a step again and take into consideration simply how weak you felt while you first began in your health journey. Put your self of their footwear. Let your shopper know you perceive how they really feel. Higher nonetheless, share how you bought over your concern. Actual life proof that “gymtimidation” may be overcome all the time helps.  


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