17 Gym Intimidation Statistics aka “Gymtimidation”

The gym can be an intimidating place, not only for women, but for men as well. The gym should be a judgment free zone, but many feel something else.

Top 8 Gym Intimidating Statistics

  1. 60% of gym goers feel intimidated working out for the 1st time
  2. 31% of gym goers experience anxiety about getting in shape
  3. 37% of people have never completed a workout routine
  4. 32% of gym goers feel intimidated working out next to fit people
  5. 39% of people find lifting weights intimidating
  6. 17% of gym-goers are intimidated working out next to the opposite sex
  7. 6 out of 10 women have experienced sexual harassment at the gym
  8. 31% of women are in favor of all women’s gyms (1)

Chapter 1: Gym Anxiety Stats

Going to the gym should be a fun and challenging experience that helps fellow gym-goers grow physically and mentally. Unfortunately, a large number of women experience gym anxiety which can make them feel uncomfortable. Gyms should be a judgment-free zone that allows women to work out without fear. Let’s take a look at the top intimidation factors and those who experience intimidation.

1. 60% of people are anxious about working out in the gym

As a result of societal pressures and the ever-increasing popularity of health and fitness, many fitness goers, especially those new to fitness, feel intimidated to work out at the gym. In fact, 50% of gym goers say they are anxious about working out.

2. 47% of regular gym goers still feel intimidated walking through the door

Somewhat surprisingly, this stat shows that even people who regularly attend the gym still feel some form of stress, anxiousnesses, and intimidation, Part of this might be due to their own lack of self-confidence, while some of it might be due to external factors like other highly fit gym members.

3. 29% of UK gym members felt anxious about using equipment

A survey of 3,000 UK gym members, showed that nearly one-third of them felt intimidated about using gym equipment for the first time. Many stated they didn’t want to “feel embarrassed,” especially in front of other experienced and highly fit gym members.

4. 48% of 1st-time gym goers are intimidated about the number of workouts

Even for regular and experienced gym members, the sheer number of workouts can be overwhelming. Knowing which training program to select and which works best for you must be a stressful experience for beginners. Luckily qualified personal trainers and gym staff are on hand to guide newcomers and ease the stress. (2)

Chapter 2: Female Harassment Stats

While many gym-goers feel an intimidation factor that causes fear, women seem to be the most affected and experience intimidation. To go to the gym and be harassed by the opposite sex is not only uncomfortable for women but also leaves them with feelings of fear. Gym members should try to make fitness workouts for women a fresh activity that invokes confidence and gets them extremely fit.

1. 6 out of 10 women have experienced sexual harassment at the gym

I must admit, I am surprised by this statistic and somewhat disappointed, especially as a father of a young duagfthetr. Gyms should be placed where women feel safe and can work out without feeling “judged” or that someone is “looking over them.” Men, if you do see gym harassment, please report it to gym management.

2. 31% of women are in favor of all women’s gyms

Female-only gyms have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with so many women feeling harassed and intimidated by going to the gym, it’s easy to see why. (3) (4)

Chapter 3: Male vs Female Gym Intimidation Stats

A good workout routine and a good exercise routine will boost gym memberships and help to make the opposite sex feel comfortable. Personal trainers also play a critical role in helping women feel stress-free when exercising and can provide guidance when it comes to those using gym equipment for the first time. The fitness industry has worked hard in recent years to stamp out behaviors that make those who feel gym intimidated scared.

1. 17% of gym-goers are intimidated working out next to the opposite sex

The interesting thing about this stat is that it works both ways. While women are very conscious about their body image, men also have extreme anxiety, maybe more so, especially when it comes to looking masculine for the opposite sex.

Chapter 4: Social Appearance Anxiety in the Gym Stats

Social appearance is a major factor when it comes to gym memberships, particularly amongst those of both sexes who have gained weight. A workout buddy can go a long way in designing a workout routine and fitness plan. Many people experience a physical plateau, which can lead to a feeling of being scared or even stuck with the body they have. Let’s take a look at some of the most important statistics in this category.

1. 31% of gym goers experience anxiety about getting in shape

This is not surprising especially considering how daunting it can be for newcomers to fitness. Countless workouts to choose from, an endless option of diets, and nutritional plans make it tough even for the most experienced gym-goer.

2. 32% of gym goers feel intimidated working out next to fit people

Kind of a carry-on from the last statistic, it’s easy for beginners to feel anxious and/or intimidated about working out next to physically fit athletes. Just remember, though, everyone has to start their fitness journey somewhere; even the highly fit members.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people are intimidated by the gym?

To some people, the word “gymtimidation” might sound outlandish; however, some numbers say that as many as 50% of gymgoers experience some form of intimidation. In one survey, nearly 32% said they felt most intimidated when training in the presence of those in tip-top physical shape. (5)

Why are people intimidated by the gym?

The main reason people report being intimidated by the gym is being around others who are in great shape. Those who experience intimidation also say it’s partly due to their fear of not knowing how to use the gym equipment.

Is going to the gym intimidating?

In short, Yes, most people feel slightly intimidated going to the gym for the first time. That said, after a few fitness workouts, you’ll start to feel comfortable and get out of that fitness rut. Just remind yourself that it’s normal to feel intimidated, and as the old saying goes, “we all have to start somewhere.”

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McLean, C. P., Asnaani, A., Litz, B. T., & Hofmann, S. G. (2011). Gender differences in anxiety disorders: prevalence, course of illness, comorbidity and burden of illness. Journal of psychiatric research, 45(8), 1027โ€“1035. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.03.006




Brenton Barker

Brenton Barker | Writer

Brenton is a highly qualified sports coach with over 20 years of experience working with professional athletes. With a degree in sports coaching and experience in prominent positions, including Head Advisor to the Japanese Government Sports Institute and Manager & Head Coach to Australia's Governing Sporting Body. Currently, he consults with several professional athletes and sporting organizations, sharing his expertise to help them reach their full potential.

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