There are probably all sorts of guidelines and rules for the gym in the paperwork you get when you sign up. But…who reads those? And, even if you did read those, are they really telling you the secrets of the gym, the things you really need to know? Today I’m going to tell you some of the things you might not know about the gym.
Group Exercise Room
A fun, structured way to spend your time at the gym. There are many options, probably something for everyone. A great way to get in shape, but there might be some dynamics that you’re not immediately aware of. The thing is, some people (women, mostly, but some men) become regulars at these classes, and with regular attendance comes a sort of entitlement. Specifically, regulars have designated spots they expect to exercise in from week to week. Some like their spot right up front near the instructor. Others like to be near the fan, or the door, or where they get the best view of themselves in the mirror. Now, there are no assigned spots in these classes, but they’re there, just the same. My advice to any person attending a class for the first time is to arrive early and find a spot in the back. Once you become a regular, you can work your way into the spot that best fits your needs. You’ve earned it!
Know the limits–both of your body and the cardio rooms. Many gyms that get busy–particularly after 5 p.m., when most people work out–have time limits on their cardio machines. My gym has a 20-minute time limit on machines, and trust me, if you go over that limit, someone will let you know, and they might not be polite. If you don’t want to worry about time limits on cardio machines, I suggest hitting the gym in the morning when it’s less crowded. Also, wipe down your machine when you’re done. No one wants your sweat or your germs.
This is my favorite room, the place I spend the majority of my workout, because I love lifting weights. But here’s the thing about the weight room…it’s full of dudes. You’ll walk in and feel like they’re all staring at you, and you’ll probably be right. If that doesn’t bother you, then rock on and do your thing! But if the thought of all those pairs of eyes on you is enough to dissuade you from lifting, find out if your gym has a “women only” section or somewhere you can go and lift weights in peace. If all else fails, try a group exercise lifting class. They’re pretty fun and mostly full of chicks.
Mind your own business, and help others mind theirs. What I mean is (and here’s the part where I might be old-fashioned), it’s not your house, so don’t spend 25 minutes walking around naked like you own the place. The thing is, not everyone (myself included) is comfortable seeing people walk around naked. People are in there to shower, to change, whatever, but there is no reason to excessively flaunt your birthday suit.
- Always bring a towel.
- Always bring water.
- Dont’ curl your hair before the gym. There is just no reason for it and you’ll look ridiculous no matter how good of a hair day you’re having.
- Don’t put on make-up to go the gym. You’re there to sweat, not look pretty.
- Don’t fight for a good parking spot. It’s about exercise, remember? A few extra steps won’t kill you.
- Don’t talk on your phone while doing cardio, weights, in class, or in the locker room. It’s annoying. We can all go an hour a day without our phones (in theory, anyway).
If you’re a gym regular, what would you add to this? If you’re a beginner, what questions do you have?
Photo by: www.localfitness.com.au