Saturday, January 5, 2013

WLJ: Gym etiquette

Yes, I usually do these posts on Tuesday.  But I'm changing it up for a few reasons ...

1)  I view Saturday morning as the end of a week, so that seems to be a good time to measure my progress.

2)  I'm participating in a DietBet, for which I have to weigh-in on Saturdays. No need to weigh-in twice a week.

So, yes, this makes it more convenient for me.  And my convenience is what's important in this journey.  If it doesn't work with my schedule, I won't stick with it.  Plain and simple.

That said, let's get to the real point of this week's post -- gym etiquette.

With a new year, the gyms are bound to be crowded right now.  And judging by the posts on my Facebook and Twitter timelines, they are.  Some of my friends are trying a new gym or a new activity.  Or maybe they're going for the first time.  And there are plenty of people with established fitness routines who are annoyed by all the newbies.  For all of these people, I have some advice on how to make the best of your time at the gym.

:: Focus on you and your workout.
Just because the person next to you is squatting 50 lbs. or running at a 6.0 pace doesn't mean you have to.  Go at your own pace and don't worry about what anyone else is doing.  Your workout is about your goals and your abilities. 

::  Don't judge those around you.
I am so guilty of this.  Last year, I got annoyed with the people who were texting while working out.  I may have made a statement about how they couldn't have been working out very hard if they had the time/energy to text.  That was wrong of me, and I feel bad.  Especially now that I'm seeing posts by friends who are making fun of people coming into "their" gym.  So what if they're not a Zumba whiz in their first class? So what if they're wearing ugly t-shirts?  It's a workout, not the club or a fashion show.

:: Be patient.
Yes, the gym is busy this time of year with new year's resolutions.  And, yes, it's annoying when it disrupts your schedule and time.  Instead of glaring at people who are trying to improve themselves, maybe try something new while you wait.  You might just discover a new activity you like.  Or, if it bothers you too much, consider finding a new workout time until the crowds die down.

:: Be considerate of others.
Clean the machines with the provided solution when you're done.  Don't hog a machine if you see people waiting.  I'm not saying you should compromise your workout, but when you're done, wipe it off and move on.  Don't lean against it to change the music on your iPod or talk to the buddy next to you.

The common theme in all of these is - BE KIND.

At one time, you too were a newbie in the gym.  Remember how it felt to walk into a new place and try to figure out your own fitness routine.  If you feel so inclined, offer encouragement to one of those new faces.  Maybe your support will encourage them to continue working toward their health.  At the very least, you will probably make their day.

Do you have any advice for people at the gym (new or veteran)?


This month's fitness challenge: 
30 push-ups a day. 
My arms are in desperate need of shaping up.  
Push-ups are the bane of my existence (along with burpees).
Maybe if I get better at them, I won't hate them so much.

Total weight-loss goal: 45 lbs.
This week's progress: -1.8 lbs.
Progress to date: -31 lbs.
Non-scale victory: I made myself get on the treadmill this week.  Twice. I hate that machine.  I get bored before I get tired.  If anyone has some good tricks for keeping my mind busy on the treadmill, let me know!


  1. These are great tips. I always get nervous going to the gym after not going for a while or if I'm going to try something new. Everyone deserves their own time there without judgement! And congrats on your weight loss so far, that's amazing!

  2. Oh, and if I go on the treadmill or eliptical I usually watch a movie or TV show on my iPod. It makes it go by faster for me.

  3. For arms, I recommend tricep dips, if you have a step you can use (or over your head with a 10 lb. weight). I love working triceps because it always feels like it stretches my shoulders too.
    Sometimes I wear cute workout clothes to the gym, but not often. I'm more about the comfort level. Who CARES what people wear to sweat it, ya know?

  4. I ended my gym membership in October and haven't missed it. (I now do classes, like pure barre and boot camp, i hope to get back into running too when it gets warmer).
    However, I always liked seeing new people at the gym. I thought how great it was that they were making an effort. I can see how the regulars would get mad, but everyone has to start somewhere!

  5. Use headphones. Don't talk on your phone. AND my personal favorite if the gym is empty for the love of &%$# DO NOT get on the bike/treadmill/elliptical right next to someone!! Give space when available lol Happy Working out =D


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