This is my motto when I walk into the gym: I OWN THIS PLACE!
Many of you will not have this motto if the gym is not your "comfortable" place. To me the gym is home. I feel the BEST at the gym lifting and "real" life intimidates me, There is something about putting on my headphones and blocking the world out for ME time!!!
However Walking into a new gym or fitness facility can feel a little VERY intimidating for some of you. Looking around you see members who appear to know the gym inside and out, who are comfortable and not the least bit self-conscious.
And then there’s you. Walking by with your stuff, looking around, taking it all in. As the new member, you might sometimes feel lost and you might get the notion that everyone else is staring and judging.
Pssst… they’re not! Actually, people hardly even notice what is around them. I know at the gym I am not focused on anyone but myself !
Below are some helpful hints for you to try out next time you feel like you are "lost" in a new gym setting !!
-The very first step : GET A TOUR!! Ask questions, don’t hold back. BIG THING -Find out where the locker room is located!!! Ask about the type of equipment they have (kettlebells, suspension training straps or rings, bands, barbells, platforms, chains, etc.). Some gyms restrict the use of certain equipment for personal training clients only, so ask whether using them all is included in your membership. Ask if the gym offers classes, personal training or any other services.
IN THE LOCKER ROOM
-The locker room may feel like high school ALL OVER AGAIN! First please keep your flip flops on when in any public place. Germs are just creeping around and you don't need to be worried about catching anything!! I love a girl who is confident in her body, but not everyone is confident in nudity. So be very considerate of the people around you and keep your nakedness to a minimum!!
-Take only as much space as you need on a bench or counter with your stuff, as a consideration to other members who need to use that space or the space around you. Some people may speak up, but often, they don’t. If all the contents of your gym bag are on the bench, or all your make-up and toiletries are spread across the whole counter, it may be a huge inconvenience to someone else who’s also trying to get ready and head out to work on time. Don’t hesitate to politely ask for some space if you’re the one needing a little more room.
IN THE WEIGHT ROOM / CARDIO AREA
-Be sure to check the policy on what you can and cannot wear at your facility. Some places enforce a dress code that you need to follow along as a member.Depending on the gym and the type of activities and equipment available, members might want to wear clothing that covers up more skin rather than just shorts and a sports bra to prevent the spread of bacteria.
-Most gyms also request that you wear shoes, though some will allow you to go barefoot or wear socks for warm ups and certain lifts. For example, some people prefer to wear Olympic weight lifting shoes, socks, or simply go barefoot while dead lifting. It’s a good idea to check if this is OK before you do it.
-Find an area designated for warming up, stretching, foam rolling, etc. If your gym doesn't have a designated space, be courteous to other members and find a low-traffic spot that’s clear of equipment and people and provides enough room to do your thing safely. Perhaps a hallway, the space behind or adjacent to cardio machines, or even outside if it’s a nice day and there’s a safe area where you won’t get hit by a car or be in someone’s way.
-Please UNLOAD your weights and put the equipment back where it was found. Everything has a place and everything should be placed back into the correct spot as a curtsy of others. On the flip side, if you do need some help to unloading a bar, or want someone to clear their weights out of the way and ideally back to their home on the rack after they’re done with them, speak up and ask someone for help!
-Try not to HOARD the equipment or just leave your stuff laying around on a bench if you are not using it. Nothing is more frustrating than when someone is just hanging around a bench talking or takes ALL the weights to perform a drop set for 3 sets. Think of the other members as you workout !!
-If your gym has them, use the disinfectant wipes or spray and towels to wipe down handles, mats, benches, or seats after you’ve used equipment, especially if you’re sweaty. Don’t be afraid to give something a wipe down before you use it, too. Nothing is worse than sitting in the sweat of someone else!
BEST TIMES TO GET IN A WORKOUT
-Not everyone is social at the gym. I AM NOT a social person. I have ONE thing on my mind and that's to get my workout in. Rule of thumb, headphones on the world is off! So you can be nice and smile to others but don't stop for a full conversation!
-If someone’s using the equipment and space you need, and you’re crunched for time, ask to “work in” with them.By alternating sets with another member (“I go, you go” style), you can maximize your use of time, rather than waiting. It’s always nice to extend this same courtesy if you notice someone waiting to use the equipment you’re using. Invite them to work in with you.
-Ask for a SPOTTER if you need one. Another thing you can do is perform the HEAVY exercises on a machine that has plates or weights you can move so you are safe. Then do accessory work with lighter weights !
There you have it—you can’t go wrong with these top gym etiquette tips.