Are you considering joining a gym? A few months ago, my husband signed up for a membership at the gym. I remember the first time that I ever stepped foot into a gym and I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed at first. However, don’t worry most of the people who go to the gym were in your shoes at some point too. I suggest that you ask the facility to give you a tour of the gym so that you are familiar with everything. Plus, you want to make sure that you are choosing the right gym for your needs. Do pay attention to the cleanliness of the bathrooms, changing rooms, and equipment before making a commitment.
Follow this simple gym etiquette for beginners: 13 honest tips for gym newbies to follow so that you don’t have a glazed over look when you go to the gym for the very first time.
I highly suggest that you invest in a few articles of clothing that are suitable for working out in. I personally like to wear the 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 workout 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 or 40 or live a sedentary lifestyle.
Further reading: 7 reasons to add strength training to your workout routine
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 workout freely.
Leave the Gym Cleaner than What You Found It
Always leave the gym cleaner than what you found it. Nobody wants to workout 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 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.
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.