Gymtimidation is real and 50% of Americans suffer from it

I’ve been wanting to use the rowing machine at my gym for months. But I won’t, because they’re positioned directly in front of the fierce treadmill warriors in perfect workout gear, and I don’t want to look awkward or weak while they stare me down. So I stick with the ellipticals, in the corner of the gym that feels safe. That’s the very definition of “gymtimidation” – the fear of working out in front of others.

A survey of 2,000 Americans sponsored by Isopure and conducted by OnePoll and reported on Studyfinds found that that 50% of people experience gymtimidation, which apparently takes on many forms. Almost a third (32%) reported feeling intimidated when exercising in the vicinity of someone who is in great shape. And 17% felt wary when working out in front of someone of the opposite sex.

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And then there’s the sheer number of fitness classes to choose from at some gyms, which 48% says they feel overwhelmed by. And forget canceling your membership and taking a nice solo run around the block instead: 36% said that running outside was more dreadful than starting an entirely new exercise routine.

And then there are those that are so gymtimidated they don’t seem to have stepped foot in one recently at all: 31% said they felt anxious when thinking about trying to get in shape, and 37% said they had never worked out and were too out-of-shape to start an exercise routine.

“Eventually, the body adapts and plateaus can occur,” says Isopure General Manager Jonathan Thompson, in a statement, about doing the same routine over and over again. “A fresh activity or workout routine can help break you out of the fitness rut by forcing you to adapt.”

And it’s also a good reason to buy cute new workout clothes, right?

Maybe I will try the rowing machines.

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