Here we are at the 4th article in this blog series examining the top 5 reasons people don’t work out more.

We’ve looked at time.

And at cost.

And at value.

Now, we’ll look at the issue of feeling intimidated and unsure of what to do.

Before we dive into that, I want to share some statistics I found on gym habits. Take a look at these:


Dang. Ever feel like you’re being duped? The gyms don’t care if you never walk through the doors again. The instructor of that class you went to once probably isn’t going to give you a ring and ask where you’ve been. It’s on you to find that motivation to get up and get going.

But what if you just don’t know what to do and/or feel intimidated? 

The Issue:

To the question of why don’t you work out more, I received the following answers:

Amy says, “I know how to use the equipment, but sometimes I’m not sure what to do, or what a good workout would be for that day.”

Angela says, “If I try and work out at home I am not sure what is the best exercise or routine to do.”

Julie says, “Not knowing exactly what to do to shape up my target areas and get the results I want.”

Jennifer says, “(I don’t want to be) the most out of shape one there!”

Rachel says, “(It’s hard to) find a place that you fit in and feel comfortable.”

Jennifer says, “I’m self-conscious around fit people.”

Amanda says, “Not knowing if what I’m doing is going to cause injury. I love weights but I’m intimidated to push beyond limits.”

Dawn says, “Working out at home is fine, but I’m not sure *what* to do… or if the workouts I’m doing are even working.” 

Suggestions for Getting the Most Effective Workout and Feeling Confident

Hiring a personal trainer is definitely the most surefire way to know you’re doing exactly the right exercises for your body and your goals. A trainer’s job is to sit down with you and understand everything about your current situation, limitations, injuries, goals, obstacles, etc., and then design a program specifically for you. A trainer should always be motivating and encouraging, and never make you feel bad about your workout. Your trainer should track your progress, help with nutritional guidance (if this is within their expertise) and offer a listening ear.

If a personal trainer is outside your budget, a less expensive option is virtual personal training. Through a quick Google search, I found this option, for example. (Not that I know anything about this company.) You should be able to receive many (but not all) of the same benefits as an in-person trainer. I say “not all” because I believe that my best value to my clients comes from the face-to-face interaction that we have. It allows for a deeper relationship and level of accountability.

I sound like a broken record on this point but there really are lots of free videos on YouTube (or you can buy workout videos pretty cheap.) Once you start digging around on YouTube, you can likely find a channel you like that has lots of videos from which to choose. One that I like is POPSUGAR Fitness. They offer 5, 10, 30 and 40 minute workouts. Another option is Sweaty Betty. This channel has many #GetFit4Free workouts you should check out.

If you have a gym membership and aren’t sure what to do, just try asking someone on staff! Most people in the fitness industry are passionate about helping others get fit and don’t mind offering guidance. Ask someone at the desk if they can give you a tour of the machines or help you understand a good routine, etc. Chances are they will be more than happy to assist.

As I mentioned in my story from the first article, I’ve seen so many people walk out of class. I understand what they’re going through – they feel intimidated and like they can’t keep up – but I can’t stop the class to go and tell them what I believe to be true: everyone starts at square one, and if you will just give yourself a few classes and stick with it, you’ll get it. Don’t give up!

Regular gym attenders have made the decision to commit themselves. It’s the determination that sets them apart – not the fitness level or the coordination or the cute gym outfit. Everyone starts somewhere. Just take that first step!