Overcoming Weight Room Intimidation

Working out in the weight room can be intimating for some people and I completely understand! Before I became a certified trainer, I only taught group exercise classes and solely used classes for my workouts. The only reason I would ever get near the weight room was to use the treadmill and that was it. As I started to move in the direction of becoming a personal trainer, I knew I had to overcome my intimidation of the weight room and build my confidence and knowledge.  Adding weight training has helped me have a more well-rounded workout routine. Knowing that there are others out there that have the same deer in the headlights look when they are staring at the racks of weights and machines, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks that helped me overcome my personal intimidation and hope it will help you as well.


The first thing I did was I had a trainer take me through the weight room to give me a tour and to teach me how to use the equipment. Never be afraid to ask for help! Team members who work in the weight room are more than willing to help and are happy to help educate others. It’s what they love to do!


The second thing I did was purchase a few sessions from a personal trainer and requested to just workout in the weight room to help me become more familiar with what to do there. This helped me become a self-sufficient exerciser in the weight room. Having a plan is priceless. Even if you just pick 6-10 exercises you will do in the weight room for 3-4 sets, this will help build confidence. Learning from a personal trainer will also help you learn how to do exercises safely without the fear of hurting yourself.


As you are just getting started with your new weight room workouts, if possible try to avoid the more popular times to give yourself the freedom to take your time and go slow as you are figuring it all out.  Then once I knew I had the hang of things I was so much more confident to work out in the weight room whether it was busy or not!


One of my fears before getting started was that everyone would be watching and critiquing my every move. What I came to realize is that everyone is focused in on their own form and workout. No one is thinking, “Look at her over there doing those pushups incorrectly.” Once I realized that, I was free from my own intimidation and was able to just focus on my own workout and goals.

Ready to get started? I recently teamed up with Stephen Harrison, trainer at MVP Athletic Club, Rockford, to put together a Get Started Total Body Workout that will take less than 30 minutes and give you a workout plan to start building your confidence on the weight floor.

Full Body Strength Workout:

Dumbbell Goblet Squat   3×10

Dumbbell Chest Press      3×10

(Superset squat & press)

Kettlebell Lunge                3×10

TRX Row                               3×10

(Superset lunge & row)

Table Top Hold                   3×30 seconds

Dumbbell Goblet Squat:

● Sit hips back and down

● Hips, knees & toes in line, drive off heels as you stand up

Dumbbell Chest Press:

● Wrist, elbow in line with your chest

● Brace abdominal muscles, exhale on the way up

Kettlebell Lunge:

● Hips, shoulders straight

● Back knee straight down, front knee directly above ankle

TRX Row:

● Back straight, glutes squeezed

● Stick chest out in top position, squeeze your upper back as you row

Table Top Hold:

● Wrists directly below shoulders, knees directly below hips

● Lift knees 1-2 inches off floor

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