The gym is meant to be a place where you strengthen your body, not be intimidated by the bodies of other people.
When I first started going to the gym, years ago, I felt intimidated. I had no idea what I was doing, how to use most of the machines, what correct form was, how to use free weights and I got stared at because I was a twig and that feeling was very awkward. But this is normal and everyone starts somewhere, right?
I pulled myself together and kept going, regardless of what others thought of me. Now I go to the gym all the time, not giving a shit what other people think of me. I’m there to work on myself because that’s really all you can ever do. You can’t work on other people, so why care about what they think?
The reason why gyms are intimidating, especially CrossFit boxes, is because of ego. Where there is a lot of ego, there’s insecurity. Remember that.
There may be some people who think otherwise and say that the “box” or gym they go to doesn’t display any egotistical behaviors. Well, that’s bullshit, and sorry to burst that bubble, but trying to say that is like trying to say there’s work places that don’t display problems. You’ll always come across them at some point. But it doesn’t matter, because the point is to stay focused on yourself at all times and stay away from the competitive energy when these “problems” come around.
Since we are all made up of energy and we are all connected, anytime you feel intimidated or competitive with someone at the gym, you are accepting their energy as your own. Don’t do it, try to stay neutral at all times or you will start to compare yourself with them, which is why Planet Fitness exists.
To me, Planet Fitness is a gym that encourages insecurity. It’s there for you when you can’t deal with other people’s ego or rather, their insecurity, even though that issue belongs to them, not you. So you go to the gym that allows you to hide from their insecurity instead of facing up to your own, like a grown ass adult. It also encourages you to defeat your purpose of going to the gym, by offering full on pizza days. With this, you are going 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Where’s the progress in that?
I don’t care what kind of fitness level you’re at, you should always strive for progress and confidence, not hide from them. In fact, I find the most admirable and confident people in the gym are the ones who aren’t physically aesthetically pleasing, according to society, but they train and they train hard. They are go-getters! I give them so much credit, because they show true dedication and confidence regardless of what they look like. They show that they are there to work on themselves,, which means they stay neutral with the arrogant ones.
I feel that when you get to a certain stage in fitness where your confidence levels are high, you automatically start comparing yourself to other people in an arrogant way, instead of staying focused on yourself and helping others. I see it all the time. But there are those who know how to control their ego when their fitness levels are high. They are the ones who are really nice and compassionate at the gym. The ones who are not in control of their ego, act arrogant and try to one up others. To me, that kind of behavior is like a bully in grade school.
Arrogant behaviors include: peacocking (walking around with your chest out and your chin up), unnecessary grunting, posing and taking selfies, the obvious resting bitch face look, trying to lift heavier than you knowing full well the curvature of their spine during a lift says they shouldn’t and slamming weights down when it’s unnecessary.
I understand deadlifts and why they are “noisy”. You’re pulling heavy dead weight up from the ground, like the Romans did when they had to lift dead bodies, and then you let it fall back down. It can get noisy, although I wouldn’t know what it’s like to lift a dead body, and hopefully, I don’t ever have to! Anyways, I deadlift all the time, since it’s quite possibly the best compound exercise you can do but I try not to let it slam hard. I’ll lower it a little past my knees, then drop it. So if you ever see someone doing deadlifts and they are just allowing the weights to drop hard, they want to be heard and that’s nonsense.
Besides deadlifts, there shouldn’t be any ridiculous slamming going on. I know it’s not a library but still, slamming weights down is just dumb and never allow that kind of attention getting behavior to intimidate you.
So just remember that any kind of arrogant behavior at the gym is really a sign of insecurity, because when people are secure with themselves, they don’t require any attention, whatsoever. They are the ones who go to the gym, do their thing, stay neutral with everyone and leave. So really, there should never be a reason to feel intimidated at the gym. You go there, you do your thing, you stay neutral and you leave. Keep things simple.
And make sure you always use correct form when lifting anything. Anytime you have a question about something, just ask a fitness trainer. I still ask questions all the time, regardless of how long I’ve been lifting, because no matter how much you think you know, you can never stop learning.
Cheers and happy gym days!