Feb 15, 2022
Fear, doubt, it's a part of life & certainly a part of
self-improvement, strength training, & nutrition. Find some
inspiration and practical ideas for how to overcome your fears and
This isn't just for beginners. Doubt is typical as we begin
anything new, as the unknown can overwhelm us. There are known
unknowns but also unknown unknowns. We might be afraid of
embarrassment or looking silly. We might fear getting injured or
Let's acknowledge that change and new things can be intimidating.
There's a lot to learn, and you're trying to build confidence and
knowledge and capability all at once. It's a lot to handle.
Hard is scary. Discomfort can be terrifying. The avoidance of the
uncomfortable is a self-defeating pursuit, as discomfort and
suffering are a part of life. You have some control over what
discomfort you face.
We know you can train. You can get stronger. We've trained all
demographics with countless challenges and obstacles. Very few
people have the reality that barbell training is contraindicated.
YES YOU CAN.
If you're overwhelmed, shift your fear to curiosity. Enjoy the
process of learning and improving. Start slow, start easy, start
with something you know you can do in an environment you feel
If you fear looking stupid, getting made fun of, getting
criticized, or embarrassment, this is a real fear. Begin with
controlling what you can control. You might begin to lift at home,
listening to your favorite music, with exercises you know you can
complete. Look to free how to videos to ensure your form is
passable. Build the habit and develop the supportive
You can also control your reactions to others. If someone comes up
and explains how you SHOULD do something, tell them you have a
coach. Maybe lift with headphones. Fake the confidence. A coach or
at least a lifting partner you trust who can support you makes a
big difference here.
More advanced lifts, or lifters who may have a history of
training and are coming back to it may have other fears and
concerns. If you've dealt with injury, you may have a very tangible
fear of reinjury. Similar to being afraid of driving after a car
crash, you fear a reoccurrence.
Similar to a novice, start with something that doesn't scare you.
You may adjust exercises to avoid the specific exercise. You also
need to address whether you want to push that exercise again, or
whether you'd rather work around it (at least for now; priorities
change). Again, having a competent coach really helps
Similarly, if you see a picture of yourself from an earlier
time, how do you react? There's really two considerations here.
One is, you may be confronting the reality of who you are, what
your body is, and some limitations. For some, stubborn fat seems to
always be there, despite intense efforts and even achieving lean
The other thing you're facing is your recent choices. You might
realize that you're not happy with what you've done the past 6
months or 6 years or 6 decades. You can't change the past, but you
control your decisions now. Don't let this discomfort cause a
spiraling downward, but embrace the discomfort and help it motivate
you to change.
You can do it. Control what you can control. Begin with a support
environment, with things you know you can do, but
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