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Regular hours of operations are in effect. The Student Recreation Center will close at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, August 16th due to Fall Fest. The Downtown Fitness Center will remain open.

A Shy Girl’s Guide to the Gym

Written by: Hannah Morgan | WVUGo Media - Copywriter/Editor

WVU Rec Center Lower Fitness Room Photo by: Ben Powell

Do you have anxiety about going to the gym? Here’s a guide to feel more confident.

Gyms can be scary. As soon as you walk in, you see the gym buffs that know how to use every machine. They walk through the doors with confidence, and sometimes a checklist of what they need to do that day. Yet, for someone who is new to fitness and the gym, it can all seem intimidating. 

But, it doesn’t have to be. 

Here are some tips that have helped me feel more confident in the gym.

Tiktok Workouts Photo by: Solen Feyissa

Watch Videos Online

I paid for a gym membership and didn’t even walk through the doors until months later. Yet, once I found out that some people on social media had videos showing how to use some of the machines, I felt more comfortable. 

While searching on YouTube, looking for answers on how to “gym” correctly, I found videos like this. 

There are tons of videos out there that can help gym newbies learn how to correctly and safely use equipment. TikTok is another great place to look for information– just search for “shy girl gym workouts” and you’ll find so many great videos. 

Group Fitness Class Photo by: Bruce Mars

Find Something You Like

The thought of lifting weights makes me uncomfortable. Yet, it seems to be the top workout that most people are doing at the gym. But, why would I do something that I don’t like?  I’ve found that I really enjoy hopping on the treadmill and going for a run, and that’s perfectly fine. Sure, it might not be what everyone else is doing, but it makes me happy. 

There is no need to be doing a workout that everyone seems to be doing if it’s not something that brings you joy. Don’t like lifting? You don’t have to do it. Don’t like running? There are plenty of other options! The gym shouldn’t turn into a place that you hate. It should be a place that brings you joy, somewhere that you are excited to go to. 

Group Fitness Class Photo by: Bruce Mars

Wear What Makes You Comfortable

For some people, wearing a cute two piece workout outfit is something that brings them joy and allows them to feel confident in the gym. For me, I like wearing baggy shirts over my biker shorts. There is no right or wrong way to dress for the gym. If it makes you feel comfortable, confident and amazing, wear it! Wear a cute gym fit, an oversized shirt or anything in between. Wear makeup, have a clear face, do your hair or just throw it up in a bun. It doesn’t matter. Wearing what makes you feel the best makes the entire gym experience so much better. It might take a few trips to the gym to really know what makes you feel the best, but it’s just something small that can make you feel more confident and ready to take on the gym.

Fitness Exercise Photo by: Inspired Horizons Digital Marketing

At the end of the day, going to the gym isn’t always going to be scary. Once you learn what makes you confident, it’ll become a place where you actually want to go. Going to the gym isn’t about losing weight or trying to change your body, it’s about how it makes you feel. 

So, have fun and go to the gym. You’re amazing and strong. You’ll be great.


About the Author

hannah Grace

About the Author

Hannah Grace Morgan is a part of the Writing/Editing Team for WVUGo. She is a senior studying journalism and political science. Hannah is from Oceana, West Virginia where the closest stoplight is about an hour drive away. Hannah has written for the Daily Athenaeum, WV News, the Register-Herald and now for WVUGo.