Being a newbie or beginner at the gym can be intimidating, if not scary. You’re in a foreign place, there’s a bunch of strangers, weights are slamming, and obnoxious people are grunting to high heaven threw their sets. All you can think of is where am I? What did I sign up for? Where do I even start?
At the gym you're going to notice people of all ages, sizes, and shapes. Keep in mind they’re all there for a reason, and so are you. The number one thing you have to realize about the gym is no one there cares about you! It might sound harsh but the people in the gym are there to focus on themselves. This is both good and bad but regardless it is what it is.
Once you realize this, the atmosphere, instantly, becomes more relaxed and you're almost a regular. I say “ almost” because there are unspoken rules when it comes to proper gym etiquette.
My 13 Top Gym Tips for Beginners
Here are my 13 top unspoken gym rules to help you fly under the radar at the gym, prevent you from upsetting other members and ultimately get the most out of your workout!
- Always re-rack plates and dumbbells. Nobody wants to clean up after you, and I'm sure you don't want to clean up after others before your set. Be courteous.
- No curling in the squat rack. The squat rack is for squats only! Most gyms only have one squat rack, so odds are people are waiting to use it for its intended use.
- Always wipe your sweat off the machines when you’re done. Nobody wants to take a bath in a pool of your sweat.
- Don’t walk or stand in front of someone training in front of a mirror. Nobody wants to be blocked while doing their set.
- Don’t curl in front of the dumbbell rack. Others need access to the weights, too. There’s plenty of space in the gym. Back up a few feet.
- Don’t wear lifting gloves. If you look around nobody uses them. People see them as a sign of weakness. Plus calluses are trophies! Earn them.
- Never hop on a machine or unload a barbell until you're 100% sure no one is using it.
- Never train right next to someone. People want their space and don't want to smell your sweaty body. Keep a comfortable distance. If it's awkward you're too close.
- If you have a question about how something works, just ask! People are more than happy to explain and demonstrate for you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a spot. 99% of the time they dont mind. You asking them for a spot makes them think you think they are capable of support. It makes them feel good and you just might make a gym buddy.
- The Smith machine is for inverted rows. Don’t bench or squat at a Smith machine. It doesn’t count and everyone knows it.
- Don’t slam the weights or grunt excessively. Its unnecessary and obnoxious. You are more than capable of getting threw a set without sounding like a dying seal.
- Don’t try to talk to someone with headphones. Odds are they wont hear you. Wave your hand to get their attention and wait for them to notice you. Never interrupt their set.
The gym can be an intimidating place for “Newbies” or “Beginners”, but if you follow these unspoken gym rules you’ll fit right in. The end goal is to get fit and healthy. Why not make it easier by understanding avoiding awkward situations.
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