As 2024 begins and people start making good on their goals and resolutions, it’s time to talk about gym etiquette in the new year. I consider myself a newer gym goer, but I’m already hearing grumbles and rumbles about incoming crowds. In my heart, I believe that most people want to be supportive and encouraging, especially to gym newcomers, so here’s what you need to know about starting your fitness journey.
Arrive with a plan.
If you’re not making use of a trainer, be sure to have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish in the gym before you go. There are plenty of solid workout routines available on social media, including TikTok and Pinterest, so get your ducks in a row to maximize your productivity. If you are prepped in advance, chances are high that you will have better focus and be more efficient with your time.
Remember, everyone at the gym is on a journey.
When you arrive on the gym floor for the first time, you’ll see plenty of people in their groove. They are locked in and focused, moving fluidly from station to station. It can be a little intimidating, but remember: everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged. Keep your chin up, and keep your focus on one person: you.
Observe the flow, and don’t get scared off.
For some people, showing up in the gym is an act of courage. They may be anxious, self-conscious, and scared, I always remember how nervous I was the first few weeks at my gym: I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way or have anyone look at me while I found my groove. In fact, on my first day, I accidentally stepped in on someone’s machine! I saw a man vacate the chest fly machine, so I headed over to adjust the settings for my turn. As I went to sit down, I saw a phone in a black case, facedown on the black seat. This particular man walks laps around the floor during rest periods, and that’s how he holds his spot. I apologized and he was cool about it, but I was so embarrassed and almost fled right there and then.
It would have been so easy to quit in that moment, and I’m so glad I was able to shake it off. Had he been unkind about my mistake, it would have crushed me. Don’t let similar snafus get you down. Hold your head high and keep going!
Be Respectful Of The Space And The Other Members.
Gyms are for working out, and that’s all. When you show up, be respectful of all aspects of the space. That means wiping down machines, allowing others to have their own space, not crowding others while waiting for a machine, not using equipment for extended rests or conversations, and certainly adhering to the photo policies. We all want to feel safe and take turns, and every gym member needs to do their part.
And Remember. All Members Belong At The Gym.
If you have a gym membership, then you belong at the gym. Let’s all do our part to make it a pleasant and productive experience for everyone!
How did you feel on your first day at your gym?
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