Are you considering joining a gym to kick off your New Year’s resolution? What type of gym etiquette for beginners should I follow? As a gym newbie, signing up for a membership at the gym can be quite intimidating. Going to the gym doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience but it is best to get familiar with the rules before your first workout. Even if you feel out of place for your very first workout session, try not to stress about what other people are thinking about you. Chances are they aren’t even paying attention to you unless you a drawing negative attention to yourself.
Most gyms are packed full of a variety of equipment to help meet your fitness goals this New Year. Each piece of equipment has a designed purpose and it is important to learn how to use it properly to avoid potential injuries. Failure to use the equipment properly could even potentially get you banned from the gym so keep this in mind when you are attempting something that causes you to question yourself.
Before signing the dotted line, we recommend that you ask for a tour of the facilities including the bathroom, locker room, and give you a brief rundown of the equipment that they have in their facility. Always pay close attention to the cleanliness of the gym equipment, bathrooms, locker room, floors, and walkways. Dirty areas within the gym can give you an idea of how they care and maintain the facility. A poorly maintained facility could mean faulty equipment or even gym related accidents.
Follow this simple gym etiquette for beginners so that you can get in an out of the gym without possibly attracting negative attention to yourself. The gym should be used as a place to help you meet your fitness goals; instead, of turning it into a huge social hour. Not that having a gym buddy and talking is out of the question, but it is best to keep your conversations focused on achieving results.
I highly suggest that you invest in a few articles of clothing that are suitable for working out in. I personally like to wear athletic shirts because they help keep me cooler and wick away the moisture from my body. You want to be comfortable while you are working out. I don’t recommend working out in jeans or ill-fitting clothing. Ladies, make sure that you invest in a good, quality sports bra too.
Plus, the last thing that you want to encounter is a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of your workout. Most gyms have a dress code that you must follow. Check with your gym for a complete list of things you are allowed to wear. It is important that you follow the dress code so you can enjoy your workout.
Get a Good Pair of Shoes
Invest in a good pair of cross-training or running shoes to wear to the gym. A poor fitting shoe can cause foot pain or other health problems. When you are walking or even running on the treadmill or elliptical, it can cause additional pressure on your feet that you might not be accustomed too.
Don’t Talk on the Phone While Working Out
Never talk on the phone while you are working out. It is annoying and you could be distracting to other people who are focused on working out. You will likely get the stink eye if you end up talking on the phone while you are working out. If you need to answer the phone, pause your workout and step outside. This is not only proper gym etiquette for beginners but it is the right thing to do.
No One Is Going to Judge You
Chances are nobody is paying attention to what you are doing. Remember everyone is probably at the gym for the same reason. Most people go to the gym to improve their health, get stronger, or to lose weight. As long as you are following the rules and proper gym etiquette for beginners, you shouldn’t have to worry about others judging you.
Go For It
Getting started every day is the hardest part but you can do it. Once you are at the gym, find a piece of equipment or a weight machine that isn’t occupied and give it a try. Do ask for help from the gym staff or personal trainer if you don’t know how to properly use the equipment or free weights. Most of the weight machines are labeled and have stickers demonstrating the proper way to use the machine.
Use a Personal Trainer
I highly recommend that you invest in a personal trainer, if you haven’t been to the gym or it has been a long time since you have worked out at the gym. A personal trainer can show you how to use the gym equipment properly and how to use proper form when using weights. You want to use the equipment correctly in order to prevent injuries.
In most of the gyms, personal training sessions aren’t included with your membership and it does cost extra. But we feel that it is important to work out properly and a personal trainer is worth the additional cost. Planet Fitness, personal training is included in your monthly membership. Space is often limited so make sure that you sign up and show up to your scheduled session.
Add Strength Training to Your Exercise Routine
Most people don’t realize that adding strength training several times a week is beneficial to your overall health that you can’t get by doing cardio alone. As you age, your muscles naturally degenerate especially if you are over the age of 40 or live a sedentary lifestyle.
Carry a Lock in Your Gym Bag
My husband got a lock to carry around in his gym bag so that we can lock up our valuables while we are working out. Most of the gyms offer free day-use lockers so that you have a place to store your belongings while you are working out. Locking up your personal belongings will help prevent theft. We also suggest that you leave your valuables at home.
Give Other People Enough Personal Space
Make sure that you give other people plenty of space, it is annoying when other people crowd into a small space and attempt to work out. Don’t crowd around the machines and talk. Instead, move to another area of the gym that is less crowded. Also, choose a machine that is free and preferably not next to someone unless it is during peak times. Following these simple tips gives you and other people plenty of space to work out freely.
Leave the Gym Cleaner than What You Found It
Always leave the gym cleaner than what you found it. Nobody wants to work out on equipment that you left drenched in sweat. Be courtesy and wipe off the gym equipment after you used it. Most gyms even supply cleaning supplies for you to use too. If not, bring a small towel that you can use to wipe down the equipment after you finished. Cleaning up after yourself is proper gym etiquette for beginners.
Be Courteous to Other Members
If you plan on going to the gym during peak hours, make sure that you are mindful of other people who are waiting in line to use the machines. You might have to wait for your favorite machine. Hovering over someone’s workout is poor gym etiquette and might even make them nervous. Instead, go find another machine and give it a try. It gives you an opportunity to try new things in the gym too.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try
Even if you haven’t ever used weights or a particular machine at the gym, go ahead and give it a try even if you don’t know what you’re doing. Chances are you will figure it out if you just give it a try. Don’t be afraid to ask other people or even a personal trainer. A personal trainer will usually take the time to explain a piece of equipment and demonstrate proper form if they aren’t busy and it doesn’t require a ton of time. But don’t bother the trainer if they are busy with another client.
Take a Water Bottle With You
Always take a water bottle with you to the gym. It is important to stay hydrated while you are working out. Plus, if the gym does sell bottled water, they tend to mark it up. Paying a dollar or more for bottled water is insane when you can buy a case of water for under $5.00. We suggest this insulated water bottle (aff link).
I remember the first time that I stepped into the gym, it was a bit overwhelming at first. If you are a gym newbie, do make sure that you follow these simple rules.