It’s that time of year again! As one year wraps up, we’re looking towards the beginning of a new year. You’re probably thinking about your resolutions and goals for the next year. Chances are, some of these goals are fitness oriented.
For some, diet and exercise is already a big part of life. They may set goals to reach new records or try a new challenge. But, for many, fitness is totally new. Maybe you have joined a gym in the past, but stopped going after a couple of months. Or things were going great for a while, but life happened and fitness took a back seat.
Wherever you’re starting this year, many are joining a gym for the first time. This can be intimidating. Scary. Just the thought of all the equipment and those super fit people is enough to make you binge Netflix and go through a pint of ice cream.
I wanted to write this kind of as a guide for the “gym newbie” or “Resolutioners”. We all can use a little reassuring, so I’m more than happy to help you out!!
- The gym can be an intimidating place, especially for those who haven’t exercised in years. It’s easy to fixate on all the tiny women and muscley men. You sit there and compare yourself and you find yourself coming way behind. I promise you, the gym isn’t as intimidating as it looks!!
- This brings me to my next point… one thing I have heard/seen people say is that they feel like they have to be at a certain level before they feel comfortable joining a gym. There is no requirement for how your body is supposed to look!! If you keep using that excuse, you’re never going to make it to the gym. You can’t get that “ideal” level if you’re not already putting in the work!!
- “I don’t know how to use the equipment, so I don’t want to embarrass myself.” “I can only lift a few pounds.” “I don’t have the same clothes everyone else seems to have.” “If I try this and fail, everyone will see me and laugh!” Look, if there is one thing I have learned going to the gym, it’s that you have to get over yourself! I get it! You don’t want to look stupid. You don’t want to be “that guy”. If you keep the fear of failure or embarrassment in check, you’re never going to succeed!! This is something I constantly have to work on! I get embarrassed when I load up a ton of weight to try to hit a record and can’t even move the bar. I get embarrassed when I try something new and I’m not sure if I’m doing it right. But I’ve learned to get over it. Most people aren’t paying as much attention to you as you think!!
- You’re not going to know every right away, and that’s okay! I don’t think there is anybody that knows everything about fitness! If you don’t know where to start, do some research! Watch videos on YouTube. Find workouts on Pinterest. If you can afford a personal trainer, do it! If you can’t afford one and your gym has PTs, watch what they do with their clients. Watch what other people are doing! I have learned a lot just by watching others!
- It’s okay to ask for help! so ignorance doesn’t pass as an excuse anymore!
- It takes time to see results, so don’t give up!One of the reason people give up on their goal so soon is because they aren’t seeing results. It takes time, and you certainly won’t achieve your goals if you give up!!!
- So it’s okay to start over again and again and again!
In this next session, I’m going to go over a few basic rules of gym etiquette. I’m sure some of them are common sense things, but even gym veterans forget (or ignore) these rules.
- Don’t curl in the squat rack. Honestly, I don’t know what the big deal is with this, but it really seems to bug some people, so, just don’t do it.
- Wipe down your equipment after you use it. No one wants to sit in your sweat! Some gyms provide wipes, but if yours doesn’t, you can bring your own or just bring a small towel.
- Don’t stand right in front of the mirrors. This one really bugs me. There is a ton of space in the free weight area and some people are trying to check their form, yet there is that one person that always has to stand right.in.front.of.the.mirrors.
- Don’t hoard weights! I understand if you’re doing super sets, you may need to have a couple things near you, but you don’t need 5 sets of dumbbells. You don’t need to leave your weight on the bar when it’s going to take you 10 minutes to come back to your bench. Use just what you need for that set and leave everything else be until you need them.
- Put your stuff back when you’re done! Duh, right? Tell that to the person that left a weight sitting out in the middle of the floor. No joke, today there was a weight just sitting there for at least 30 minutes. I kept watching to see if someone would come back to it, but no one did, so I finally out it up. (I’m not bitter about it hahaha!)
- Follow the gym rules! Most gyms will have some posted somewhere. Some allow you to have your bag with you, others don’t. Some have rules against dropping the weights. Making too much noise. Using chalk. Recording videos. Some of the rules might seem ridiculous, but the gyms have them for a reason. Don’t be the jerk that ignores the rules!
I am also writing a post for the gym veterans, so that might be a good read for you too! Basically, it all boils down to don’t be a judgemental jerk! That judgement goes both ways. We all have different goals and different ideas of what is best. Don’t automatically assume that girl with the tiny waist is anorexic (because how else can anyone be that small!) Or that dude with the huge arms is on steroids. Yes, I have heard and seen things like this all the time!!
I hope this eases some of your fears! If you ever need a nudge, I’m always glad to help!!