By all means, feel the burn at the gym, but don’t intimidate others.
For you to really get the maximum benefits from a gym membership, you need to feel very comfortable wherever you decide to work out. If the gym is intimidating or otherwise off-putting, you will be far less inclined to spend time there, thus defeating the whole purpose of having a membership.
Here is some basic gym etiquette to remember; observe these at all times to ensure that everyone has the best experience they can:
Observe the Rules
Every facility has its own set of posted rules members are expected to follow. Make sure you read and understand them.
Treat others as you would wish to be treated and don’t be intimidating. People who are self-conscious about how they look probably already feel uncomfortable around those who are fit; be nice and offer to help them whenever possible.
Wipe Down the Equipment When Finished
When you finish with a machine, use whatever sanitary solution the gym supplies to wipe off the equipment. Many people may use a piece of equipment over the course of a day and that can mean a whole lot of germs; don’t contribute to the bacteria pool by leaving yours behind.
Make Sure Someone Else is Not Using the Equipment
Someone using a machine may have gotten up to ask a question or get something they need; that doesn’t mean they have finished. If it’s not clear, ask whether anyone is using a machine before you sit down and get started.
Give People Enough Space
The gym can get very crowded during peak times, but do your best not to crowd your fellow member. Make sure everyone has ample space to perform their activity. This will ensure member comfort and help to prevent injuries.
So, you have decided that it’s finally time to lose those 20 pounds you promised you would start taking off…oh, last New Year’s Day. You now have the will, you now have the motivation, and you now just need the facilities to get going and become fit again. You probably have a multitude of gyms in your city with an equally large number of membership packages available. Where do you go and which do you choose? It’s perplexing enough to make you want to just stay home on the couch.
Here are some tips that can help make things easier:
Choose One Close to Home
The closer the gym is, the more likely you are to use it. If it’s in walking distance from your job, even better. Check the hours; are they open during times when it’s convenient for you to use the facility?
Take the Tour
Ask for a tour of the facility. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the equipment, instructors, programs, change rooms, or anything else that comes to mind. For example: find out when the peak times are. If this is when you plan to attend, ask how busy the facility gets. It won’t do you any good to show up at the gym and find all of the machines taken.
Go Month to Month
You’re eager now, but will you still be in six weeks? Try going month to month for the first while and see how you do, rather than locking yourself into a yearly contract.
Study the Paperwork
Make sure that there are no extra fees beyond what you agree to. Only sign up for things you know you need.
Before You Sign…
Do some additional online research. Does the gym have good reviews? Do you know anyone who goes there regularly? Ask questions.