The good news? Everyone was a newbie at some point. Whenever you’re getting started with something, that’s just the thing – you’re getting started. Everyone has to start somewhere, so there’s no need to feel nervous, worried, or anxious, no matter what it is you’re getting started with (although of course we all experience those feelings sometimes).
If you’ve decided to make health and fitness a priority in your life (good for you!) you want to get in shape and maybe your plan is to do so at the local gym. There are certainly many advantages to working out at a gym, especially for a beginner. That includes saving you money for one thing; the gym is fully equipped with everything you need to improve your fitness level. You don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money on free weights, a barbell and plates, a squat rack – these things are already at the gym just waiting for you to use to get into killer shape.
The gym is also a very motivating place – it’s pretty awesome to see a bunch of people around you with the same interest as you, working hard to get fit and healthy. It’s also nice quite frankly just to have a place to go. Most people are at home so often dealing with kids, planning out bills, cooking some delicious smoothies and salads, and it’s nice to get out and get away for a while, even if it’s only for an hour to push out that kickass workout.
Whether you’ve signed up for a gym membership or you’re just testing out the waters, you’re probably going to love it. Just make sure you keep a few things in mind before stepping through the gym door, to make the experience as awesome as possible for you and everyone else there.
Put Your Toys Away
Just like you remind your kids every night before bed, it’s nice to put your things away when you’re done with them. There’s no worse way to welcome yourself to the gym than by being a slob. Respect others in the gym and make sure all the weights go back to their proper racks when you’re done. This seems pretty obvious, but it’s something that may slip your mind after you’ve just finished your last rep of squats and your ass is on fire.
Don’t Give Unwanted Advice
Even if you feel like you’re already pretty experienced at this whole fitness thing, it’s really not proper etiquette to approach someone at the gym and offer your critique. Even if you have the credentials to back you up to do so, just don’t. Don’t be that guy. It’s one thing to share tips and ideas with others online, or when you’re hired by someone to do so, but taking it upon yourself to comment to that girl in the gym letting her know her squat form isn’t perfection – that’s just not OK.
Don’t be a Nuisance
You should always feel free to do your own thing, to be the rock star you know you are, but when you’re in the gym and others are trying to focus on making those gains, the last thing you want to do is make yourself a distraction and mess up their workout. Avoid leaving your cellphone turned on, so everyone else in the room doesn’t have to listen to the Flashdance song you switched your ringtone to when you were out having drinks with your friends the other night. Don’t talk on your phone either, please. Most people there want to focus on their workout, not listen to you and your best friend chit-chat for a half hour. Don’t use this time to take a selfie every 3 seconds or check the latest posts on Facebook or Twitter. Get in, do your thing, and get out. That way there’s more space and more equipment available for others, plus this way you know you’re focusing on your workout and you can take care of everything else after. Wear headphones if you want to listen to music while you workout. Don’t practice your Thriller dance moves in the mirror (unless you get requests, of course, then go ahead and rock it). In general, just try to be polite and let others do their thing.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re walking into an army boot camp when you head into the gym, but it is good to know at least basic gym etiquette so you and everyone else there can avoid hassle and drama and keep your concentration on what really matters – kicking ass and making some fat cry.