Intimidation in the Gym


I work with clients in my private studio.

Aside from me and my chocolate Labrador Kiva, there are no eyes on you in my one-on-one sessions.

When you are here, you can feel comfortable to make mistakes, look silly learning new things, and not feel intimidated.

Assuming a client also trains on their own outside of their time with me, they must venture into the “all eyes on me” world of a public gym.

If someone does not have a trainer/coach, they are taking this plunge without any prior instruction on form and technique aside from perhaps a few YouTube videos.

It’s scary, I get it.

I felt the same feelings briefly when I got a six-month gym membership to the college I graduated from a year and half ago.

I hadn’t worked out in a public gym in 5 years and now there were people looking at me while I worked out.

But, the thing is, they weren’t.

Because no one cared that I was there.

Aside from looking like I was a thirteenth-year college student, I was just another number.

This brings us to our first rule of gym intimidation.


No one in the gym cares what you are doing.

Other people in the gym feel the same way you do. They get worried about who may be watching and judging them.

It’s like I tell clients who are apprehensive about joining my group workouts: People are far too worried about doing a good job themselves to give a crap about what anyone else is doing in their workout.

The only eyes that you may catch at a public gym are from folks who hope you ARE watching them because their ego requires a set number of eyes to validate them while they workout.


Most people have no clue what they are doing in the gym.

I could walk through a public gym and pick apart the form of probably 95% of the patrons, but (going back to rule #1) I don’t care what they are doing, I am there for me.

With that said, if you are worried about not having perfect form, don’t be. The vast majority of folks are right there with you trying to perfect their craft.

Rule #3

If someone is being a legitimate creep, tell them to screw off.

This is not the norm by any stretch, but I have seen it a couple of times over my years working in gyms. Some creeper guy repeatedly approaches the same females over and over. Typically, older guys to younger ladies.

Put your foot down fast. This is NOT normal gym behavior. Tell the person you like to be left alone while working out.

Any “normal” person gets the hint after ONE shut down.

If not, tell an employee. It isn’t a bar.

Rule #4

Don’t ever let what someone might think of you stop you from bettering your life or your health.

When you are active in fitness, healthy nutrition, and your overall physical and mental health, you are showing respect for your body.

You are building something that few people have the privilege of going through life with; being healthy and capable especially into old age.

Do not keep yourself from these things because you fear the thoughts of others.

In Conclusion

There are many things in life that can be intimidating.

-Your first day at a new job

-The arrival of your first child

-Giving a presentation

-Asking someone on a date

-Eating food on its expiration date

I’m not telling you to develop a mastery of never being intimidated at any point in life. However, I am telling you that the gym should not be one of those places.

After all, you have two options:

1. Get scared and quit.

2. Get scared, throat punch the fear, and proceed to be a total boss in the gym while you get leaner and stronger.

You know which one I recommend. Start building your greenhouse.

If I can help you with anything, email me at:

To learn more, check out my website at: www.JonWalters.CO

There is only one thing this stare from Kiva means:  Play with me.

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