Too Embarrassed to Go to the Gym?

It may sound crazy to a lot of people for someone to admit that they are too embarrassed to go to the gym. Many times, it is easy to assume that as soon as you step foot inside a gym, everyone will be watching you or judging you.

Some people feel uncomfortable for many reasons. Feeling embarrassed can be due to insecurity about one’s physical appearance or feeling awkward using the gym equipment. I belonged to a gym for several years and in the beginning I used to wonder if people were watching me and judging me but over time, I realized that most people in the gym could care less what you are doing.

Really, when you stop to really look around, everyone is focused on their own workouts to stop and worry about what everyone else is doing. A lot of times, we make situations much bigger than they are. Most people are not spending their time thinking about you – particularly strangers in a gym.


However, I understand that some folks still won’t join a gym for their own reasons, regardless of any reassurance from others. Joining a gym is not the only way to get into shape. In fact, you don’t really need to join one if you have no desire to. There are plenty of ways to stay fit without a gym membership:

  • Create your own small home gym with equipment that you can afford.
  • Workout outdoors – check out boot camp classes in your area.
  • Run or jog – it’s free!
  • Home fitness programs are awesome – I’m using P90X and love it!
  • Hire a personal trainer who will train you at home.

If anything, go into a gym and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Chances are, they are not concerned about your appearance, which machines you use, your form using the weights, etc. Focus on your workout and remember that you are a paying member just like everyone else. Be proud that you are exercising and improving your health!

Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

15 thoughts on “Too Embarrassed to Go to the Gym?”

  1. Great post! I actually rarely hear this excuse from people who avoid going to the gym. The usual reasons I’ll hear is that they don’t have time or that they don’t want to spend money on the membership. Whatever their reasons, the five alternatives you listed there are always great. I, myself started out on home fitness programs (tae bo, etc) before I first signed up for a gym membership more than a decade ago.

  2. I used to worry about what others thought too, and I did realize nobody is looking at me or cares what I am doing – they are all too busy paying attention to their own workouts and are usually totally focused on their own goals and programs. IF I felt awkward about using the equipment I learned to ask a staff member to demonstrate – that is what they are there for, to help members! In time, it feels so good to work out you don’t think about that insecurity thing anymore. I really like your recommendation of the home gym equipment, I have my own set up despite having very little room at home, portable fold up bench, dumbells, ez bar, things I can stow under the bed in spare room. If I am having one of those days, it is just easier to work out at home. Great blog! thank you!

  3. Most people at the gym are entirely too narcissistic to be interested in anyone except for their beautiful selves.

    Or maybe that’s just me

    Either way, no need to feel embarrassed.

  4. There’s no need to go to the gym anyway. There’s plenty of ways to get fit without it. Everyday objects can become a great workout, without spending any money. For example, use the edge of your couch to do tricep dips, stairs for step ups, etc.

  5. I feel like I am unmotivated when I am doing fitness alone. Any gym workout is ignore because I want to be with company. Family or friends, it doesn’t matter as long as I feel I belong.

  6. Hi
    I have exercised for years bUT still avoid the gym at all costs. Im lucky that I love training outdoors and have access to it and I love bootcamps, as you suggested. I have done 4 already in the last 12 months and find all the shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels you get there really makes me feel confortable. No mirrors, plenty of fun and alsways the kick I need!

  7. Doug is right. People at the gym care more about themselves than they do others – like people in most places do. Everyone from the most out of shape old timer to the young and super fit spend most of the time thinking about themselves, that’s just the way it is.

    If you know what you’re doing, then a small home gym can be great. I’ve almost always kept a gym at home anyway – it’s good for those days that you just want to save that extra bit of time you would have spent in the car on the way to the gym.

  8. Nice article. I think you have a very good point. I’m all about working out at home! I’ve always enjoyed doing my fitness at home that’s why I created our fitness DVDs. I do them myself! I have free workouts on my youtube channel too for those of you that want something short and sweet.

  9. I remember when I first walked in to a gym. I went once and didn’t go back for a month. But then I realized it’s what I had to do and that if I wanted to make any progress, I’d need help. That’s why I went back and got a personal trainer. He helped me both mentally and physically. Helped me get over the fears and get out of my own head and focus on what was at hand, getting healthy.

  10. I agree with this article, working out at home is really the most efficient way to workout as there is no travel involved and you can split it up into small 15 minutes section or whenever time permits.

    The challenge is making it a priority and not getting distracted with everything else going on at home! Once you make it a habit it gets easier. And you don’t need a bunch of gear to get fit at home, you can do it with a skipping rope, a matt, a few dumbbells and 6 feet of open area.

    Just get started and see what happens!


  11. It is sad but true. Many are nervous to start training but we all had to start somewhere no matter how great you look. If people are staring at you it is usually cause you look amazing (guys or girls) so strive for that.

  12. I understand this concern. I’m not self conscious at the gym, but I’m a fitness trainer and have confidence that I know what I’m doing. I say that you have to start going to the gym to stop feeling that way and it’s better to be uncomfortable for an hour at the gym than every hour of your life because you don’t look and feel how you want. If it’s not knowing what to do check out The 6 Week Workout Program at It’s helped my mom for years to know what to do when she goes to the gym.

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