Tips for Gym Newbies



  • ShannonECTD
    ShannonECTD Posts: 203 Member
    BUMP these are hilarious.

    I'm not a newbie to the gym but i see a lot of posts on here having to do with people on their phones. I for one use my phone to look up and log my workouts on the website since i'm doing Jamie Easons plan. If i didn't have my phone i'd have to print out everything and walk around with a clip board and a pen... no thanks. I'll stick with my phone
  • chuckles9189
    chuckles9189 Posts: 343 Member
    I want to come back to this later..... but thanks so far!
  • efirkey
    efirkey Posts: 298 Member
    Don't hog all of the dumbells and weights in the gym. Put back your weights.

    The first day is usually the hardest, so don't give up! It gets easier the more you do it. Just like with the biggest loser contestants.
  • Hirgy03
    Hirgy03 Posts: 332 Member
    Apparently I've offended some people on here, as this was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the guys that try to intimidate others in the gym.... hence my "threatening sneer" mention. The "making all sorts of noise" comment was intended only to reference those persons who scream and yell, pretty much strictly to draw attention to themselves (yes, even an out of shape newbie loser like myself grunts and makes faces when lifting heavy weights....we all [at least I thought] understand that). I thought maybe the reference to "acid wash" would put a picture in mind, as well, as to the overall sense of a bit of sarcasm and humor to what I was saying. And quite frankly, I thought "unfrozen caveman hulkamaniac" was a humorous touch, apparently there are a lot of people out here who have been called this and are offended by it.

    So, official apologies
  • AngelsFan91106
    AngelsFan91106 Posts: 111 Member

    If I am using the squat rack, pull up station whatever..don't ask me how many more sets I have..when I;m done i'm done..

    if you want to work in thats cool, just ask :)

    Why should I not ask how many more sets? If you have one more (and you're using the only power rack in the gym), I'd wait. If you have 5 more, I'd do something else.
  • Hirgy03
    Hirgy03 Posts: 332 Member

    If I am using the squat rack, pull up station whatever..don't ask me how many more sets I have..when I;m done i'm done..

    if you want to work in thats cool, just ask :)

    Why should I not ask how many more sets? If you have one more (and you're using the only power rack in the gym), I'd wait. If you have 5 more, I'd do something else.

    ^^This^^ Serious question. I've seen people take up squat racks and other equipment for 30-40 minutes, sometimes only doing a couple of sets then standing there for long stretches at a time while others are obviously waiting patiently .... when, in my opinion, just a simple couple of words between the two could have cleared any doubt up.
  • junebaby21
    junebaby21 Posts: 260 Member
    Please be quiet in the steam room. Although there is no sign on the door that says "no talking", please don't use it to gossip with your friends extremely loudly. It is a great space to wind down after a grueling workout.
  • VitVit18
    VitVit18 Posts: 103 Member
    Just in general because it's a pet-peeve of mine... if you're using chalk, wipe down your bar afterwards! (I've been getting an allergic reaction to chalk, and it's kind of annoying after doing one set and then remembering that you didn't check the bar for chalk beforehand and then the palms of your hands get red and itchy for the next day or so)
  • bcf7683
    bcf7683 Posts: 1,653 Member
    If you feel the need to puff on a cancer stick before you come to the gym, please do so BEFORE you put your workout attire on/BEFORE you get in the car to come to the gym. I cannot stand working out next to someone who smells like a friggin ash tray. Smelling stale cigarettes when I'm trying to do anything that requires lifting heavy makes me want to vomit all over you.
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
    If you're doing some sort of circuit in the free weight section, unload your barbell before going on to your next exercise. If you leave a barbell loaded in the squat rack, but I see you off somewhere else, and there's someone actually working in the power rack - there's only one of each in my gym - I'm taking over the squat rack. You can get in in between my sets, but I'm not waiting all morning for you to finish up before I get my work in. If you're actively working, then I'll suck it up.

    Speaking of unloading barbells, put the plates away. All the markings are gone from the racks at my gym, so I don't know exactly where each plate goes. It doesn't matter - just put them away. I don't care if you put all the 2.5 lb plates where the 5 lb plates are "supposed" to go. Just don't mix the plates. I don't want to have to move a handful of 25 lb plates just to get to a couple of 5 lb plates. Yes - some fool at my gym has done this.

    Don't just wipe the benches and machines. Wipe down your barbells and dumbbells. Let's make sure everything is actually clean for the next person - it may be YOU.
  • rob1976
    rob1976 Posts: 1,328 Member
    1) Remember why you're there - to workout. Keep your mind focused on that and less on texting your friend, checking in on Facebook, holding a conversation, or flirting with Joe Steroids over there.

    2) Remember that other people are there to workout, too. Instead of occupying the only ab machine in the gym for all 120 sets of 12 reps you plan on doing, how about limiting your use to 3 sets per occupation and let someone else get their sets in between yours?

    3) If you, ma'am, think I might be creeping you, I probably am. I need motivation just like everyone else.

    4) Before you judge me for my potbelly and graying goatee, remember that even Joe Steroids over there was a spaghetti-armed shrimp at one point. It didn't take me a week to get this

    5) Wipe down the machines when you are done. Use a paper towel, alcohol wipe, or your own towel - I don't care what you use - just do it.

    6) If you bring your kids to the gym (my gym is at the Y), please don't let them occupy machines that other people need to use just because you want to keep them busy. If they are legitimately using them, that's another story.

    7) If you see me doing weird stretches in the corner before I workout, it's because I am allergic to bodily injury. I stretch to warm up and prevent injury. I still do PT stretches that I did in the Army. It served me well for my 9-year Army career and I walked away with zero damage from PT. Not everyone does things the way you do them and that's okay.

    8) If you need to fill up your 6 gallon water bottle, please go to an empty workout room or seldom-used bubbler to do it. Your bottle just sapped all the cold water out of the bubbler reservoir and I am now drinking what has the same temp as fresh pee.

    9) If the people obviously half-assing their workouts bug you, don't fret - they'll be gone by the end of next month.

    10) I feel it bears repeating that you don't have to follow people as they walk to their cars so you can park as close to the front door as possible. You are there for fitness. Walking from the far edge of the parking lot counts.
  • Tyggress73
    Tyggress73 Posts: 104 Member
    Beyond what everyone else has said, which bears multiple repeating, I have a few tips:

    Do NOT sit on the locker room benches bare-a$$ed. Just plain nasty. Put a damn towel on the bench first.

    Please wear rubber shoes in the showers. I guess it shouldn't bug me, I wear them and if someone else chooses not to and gets athlete's feet, it's their problem...but as a tip to newbies, wear them in order to avoid aforementioned feet problems.

    Ladies...please use the weight room, believe me...the men in there do NOT care if you are there, as long as you are there to workout in a serious manner.

    Please re-rack weights...there is nothing more aggravating to me then having to walk all over the weight room looking for what I need.

    Bottom respectful.
  • losingweightfindingme
    Thanks so much for this topic! I've never been to a gym (save the college fitness center about 11 years ago). I can assume I know proper weight room protocols (stay out of the way, put things back where they belong, etc) but to hear it from people with experience really helps. The gym completely intimidates me...and the weight area scares me sh*tless. I don't have a membership yet, but I'm hoping after my roommate gets a job transfer we can get a membership to our workplace fitness center. I'm terrified of working out in front of others so it really helps to hear that people really don't care about my fat, sweaty, out-of-shape self.
  • kit_katty
    kit_katty Posts: 994 Member
    Don't be scared to ask someone for help. Twice at my gym in the last week I've ended up with barbell too low to squat, asked two different random guys if they could help and they did with no questions asked. I have yet to meet an unfriendly person at my gym.

    Also, don't hesitate to ask to work in, if they're doing really heavy weights then they'll be pausing for long enough for you to switch weights and do yours, if it's low weight, then they'll be done quickly. Again, never had an issue.
  • RepsnSets
    RepsnSets Posts: 805 Member
    I use my phone at the gym cause I have a weight lifting app on there. Not bothered if people think Im texting....I say, mind your own business :)
  • bdamaster60
    bdamaster60 Posts: 595 Member
    None of this please...

  • shrinkingsusie
    shrinkingsusie Posts: 40 Member
    Good thread with good tips. I agree that long and loud conversations on the phone are a no no but fiddling with your phone is okay. I use mine to log reps and weights.
  • Lantzbug
    Great Thread. I've been going to the gym for 3 weeks now. My first day was HORRID. I didn't know what I was doing, I hurt, I had no endurance on any machines. Just know it does get easier, I promise. I have never stuck to the gym before. Now I crave it. Turns out I wasn't doing the right machines for me, nor did I stick to it long enough. Try ALL of the machines, you may be surprised which ones you like. I find I'm doing a little more without even realizing it. I started out burning about 150 calories a day, and today I walked out burning 533! This is a big step for me, as I had to find machines that allowed me to maximize my ability without hurting my hips and knees which are bad. I had so much energy today, I felt like I could run! I may try that tomorrow, I have never ran. So keep your head up, soon you'll be so focused on your progress, you won't even realize other people are in the room. Keep it up. Stick to a plan (I go every weekday for 2 hours), and even if I'm tired, I don't skip because then I lose focus. Go in there and GET IT!

  • Kissah
    Kissah Posts: 33 Member
    Please please please wipe down the benches and/or machines when you are done with them, even if you don't think you were sweating.

    AMEN!!!!! I always clean and also carry around a pack of Clorox wipes just because I've seen people do some nasty stuff... like wiping the machine after they blew their nose and wiped the sweat with the same towel.... and since I am not sure how many people have done this to the machine I am about to use, I just use my Clorox wipes every time just in case...
  • jehavin
    jehavin Posts: 316 Member
    Benches are tools for exercises. Not places to relax, not storage for your shaker cup and towel, not yours to call dibs on when you're not using it.

    People look around when they're in between sets (if they're not dancing or playing with their phones), they're not necessarily creeping you. I mean, they *might be* creeping you, but it's not the only explanation if you catch eyes with someone. If it's me, I'm probably creeping you. :tongue:

    If you don't know how to use something, just ask. People would much rather help you than cringe watching you use something *kitten*-backwards. But most people won't just come and offer help, it's often considered abrasive- so just ask. But NOT while someone's in the middle of a set- wait until they're between sets and looking around.

    Good one! I always feel weird looking around between sets but it's almost involuntary, lol. Also about the benches and no "dibs." Get on, do your thing and get off for the next person. Same with weights. Pick your dumbbells, use them, (and if you need a spare set, you can keep those by you, too,) and then put them back. Don't keep them the duration of your hour-long workout and only use them for 15 minutes total.

    Good thread, OP, and way to keep the tone light!