If you’re new to the gym, and you’re feeling intimidated – this post is for you! I’m sharing 10 gym commandments to help any new gym-goer feel confident and at ease in the gym. Going to the gym isn’t for everyone… but then again – COVID taught us that working out from home isn’t for everyone… I hope this post gives some new gym-goers the confidence they need to not be intimidated by the gym.
Are you new to the gym? Or intimidated? This is for you.
The gym can be intimidating as hell. It doesn’t matter if you’re 400 pounds, 100 pounds, or somewhere in-between navigating around a new gym amongst new people and equipment can be a bit frightening.
You’ll see some people and equipment that might look rather odd. You may not know whether to wave at the grunting Hulk curling 300 pounds in the corner or never look his way again. You may see some equipment that looks like something out of a horror film or torture chamber.
HAHA. Yeah, it’s not the most inviting place in the world. Not to worry, my friend! Below are my 10 Gym Commandments. AKA Gym Etiquette that will have you navigating and training in the gym like a pro in no time.
First and foremost: ATTITUDE CHECK!
You can’t have a good day with a bad attitude, and you can’t have a bad day with a good attitude.
My 10 Commandments for the Gym
#1: Read the rules at your gym!
This sounds like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how many people I see in my own gym dropping weights, taking off their shoes, bringing their children in the weight room, taking photos in restricted areas, etc.
#2: Dress properly!
If you plan to weight lift then wear clothing that is fitted with a four-way stretch or material that is loose enough to not interfere with compound body movements. If you plan on doing cardio (i.e. running, stepmill, elliptical, stationary bike) then wear clothing that allows for ample movement and is moisture-wicking.
#3: Shower/wash your clothes!
You may be thinking to yourself, “WTH, did she just tell me to bathe and wear clean clothes?” YEP, sure did! No one wants to workout next to little Johnny who is wearing soiled workout clothes for the 3rd day in a row. Be courteous to your fellow gym mates and exercise proper hygiene!
#4: Rack your weights!
This is a BIG one! How many times a day do you remind your kids (or husband) to hang the dishtowel back up after using it or to put their clothes in the dirty clothes hamper? The gym is no different, except your mom isn’t there to remind you. If you use a piece of equipment then return it once you are done.
#5: Use a Towel/Clean Equipment!
If your gym offers towel service you are in luck. Grab a towel before you head for the weight room and lay it down before you sit/lay on the equipment. If your gym does not offer towels then I recommend buying a pack (example HERE). Also, most gyms offer cleansing wipes to clean the equipment’s surface before/after each use. Be courteous, especially if you’re a sweaty mess!
#6: Be aware of your surroundings!
Before you jump on a piece of equipment glance around and make sure someone isn’t using it. If someone seems to be jumping back and forth between several machines then kindly ask them if you can “work in a set”.
#7: Don’t block someone’s view of the mirror!
This goes back to being courteous. Don’t step into someone’s view in the mirror. Kindly wait your turn until they finish their set or find free mirror space and move your equipment over.
#8: Don’t drop the dumbbells!
This is annoying. No one wants to be around a dumbo that drops his weights and acts like the angry Hulk. If you must drop your weights then you are lifting too heavy. Lighten up buttercup.
#9: Step away from the dumbbell rack!
I see it all the time!!! Little Johnny grabs a pair of dumbbells and proceeds to carry out his/her exercise right in front of the rack AKA a foot away from the mirror and in everyone’s way. Grab the dumbbells you wish to use and step back so others can get by.
#10: Read the instructions!
Before you jump on a new machine you’ve never used before taking a moment to look over the description, instructions, and study the pictures. If you feel comfortable trying the exercise then proceed with very lightweight and understand the movement before pinning the whole stack. If you are unsure about the exercise step away and search for a YouTube video or ask a free Personal Trainer or Gym Associate for assistance.
Going to the gym does not have to be intimidating but I understand how it can be. I want you to feel comfortable starting back up at a gym and joining a gym for the first time. Once you feel comfortable at the gym, you’re going to be laughing at how silly you were when you first joined. Everyone has those pre-gym jitters. My best guess is that it comes from being nervous. And then seeing people who seem to know exactly what they are doing.
If you don’t know what you are doing, simply ask for help. Over on Instagram, I share workout videos and inspiration all the time. Before beginning a workout, you can check out my page and have a better idea of what machines, weights, and exercises you can try. Having proper gym etiquette will go a long way when you are just starting out.
As long as you follow my 10 commandments for the gym, you are going to be a pro in no time! Trust me.
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