I'm sure that there is a scientific study to it but I'm going to list the reasons that people are timid or even refuse to go to the gym through conversations that I've had.
1. INSECURITIES OR FEAR
People are genuinely afraid to go to the gym to work out. Maybe even more afraid of just being in public while working out or any form of exercise. The thought is frightening. I get that. Have you ever heard a 265 lb man run on a treadmill. Do you think I didn't hear it too as I ran on it? I didn't need looks. I didn't want to weaken the bolts that are holding it together. I especially don't like people see my fat jiggle around with each step.
But then I realized these two things:
A) It's not my equipment and if it breaks, maybe they'll buy better equipment and
B) Who cares what they think. If I am at the gym making myself better, it's sure doing a lot more than taking up a weight bench staring at me run.
Others in the gym are just as insecure with how they look as you are with how you look.
MY ADVICE: Know that your worth, beauty, strengths and values are not in what others think of you.
Side Note: I am afraid to run on my treadmill at home. While I think it can handle me, it's not as solid as the one at the gym.
2. NO KNOWLEDGE OF MACHINES OR FREE WEIGHTS
There was a time that I didn't know how to type. There was a time that I didn't know how to drive a car. There was even a time that I didn't know how to get dressed on my own. And then I learned. Some of my learning came from trial and error while some was by hands on experience. Most though, came from instruction.
Using the machines or free weights can be intimidating. It still is for me today. It's intimidating to go into the weight lifting area. I get it. There's other people in the area and you going in with little knowledge is a brave step and one few people take.
You can prepare before you go to the gym as well. Check YOUTUBE for instructional videos. Take a class - Many gyms have classes that you can take part in that educate you in different exercises and how to perform them. Hire a trainer - it's a financial commitment but even if you only do this for a little while it can pay off. Download an app - there are a ton of apps out there that will show you the exercise; imitate it. Keep your eyes open - most machines have instructions mounted to them in order for you to use them properly.
MY ADVICE: Take the step. Talk to the gym manager or trainer and have them show you the machines. If you are worried about form, (form is key; quality over quantity), ask a trainer or a trusted peer. Most likely, if there is someone else there in the same area - they'll help you if they see something wrong. People look out for people more often than not. Be brave!
(Google defines the following)
noun: a male peafowl, which has very long tail feathers that have eye-like markings and that can be erected and expanded in display like a fan.
verb: display oneself ostentatiously; strut like a peacock
There are those guys and girls that want to fan their feathers for all to see! They focus more on how their triceps looks in the mirror without a weight in their hand than actually doing triceps extensions. They strut their stuff and want all to look at them. Those gyms are no fun to be at. Talk about intimidating. It's like looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger strut around the gym and then I look at myself in the mirror and see short Arnold Schwarzenegger in a fat suit.
It's tempting to do that when you do feel good about yourself and how you look outwardly but it's a tell tale sign of what is happening inwardly. The gym is not a dating platform, or shouldn't be, and you shouldn't be afraid of the peacocks. Eventually, the peacocks will be outdone by another and they''ll wimper back to their corner.
MY ADVICE: You do your thing and better yourself! Let the peacocks strut and you take care of yourself. They won't bite you. They might look at you but if you refuse to entertain it - they know they'll have to go somewhere else. They might get in the way too - just brush them aside and go about your business. If you are tempted -- it's best for you to ignore the peacocks and find your significant other somewhere else. They might look like peacocks with pretty feathers but they're more like vultures looking to prey on others' weaknesses. If you continue to better yourself - your hard work and determination will pay off and when you mix that with a solid inner beauty; that's something on another level!
WHATEVER THE REASON THAT YOU HAVE FOR NOT GOING TO THE GYM - THROW IT IN THE WIND AND GET BUSY!
YOUR HEALTH IS WORTH MORE THAN YOUR FEAR AND YOUR FEAR CAN HURT YOUR HEALTH!