Congratulations on your decision to get in shape this year. Though some may mock you for jumping on the bandwagon, we applaud you. We all need prodding into action and a new years resolution is as good a prod as any.
Now, we’re sure you’re being bombarded with weight loss options right now, from gyms to boot camps to diet regimes all promising a “new you” this new year.
We won’t lend our voice to the cacophony. Instead, allow us to give you some free advice you may not get elsewhere.
You see, the gym can be an intimidating place. Us seasoned gym goers do you newbies no favours with our grunting and our dropping weights and our being fitter, stronger and generally better than you. Maybe we need to work on that.
But if we bear a few things in mind I think we can all get along just fine. Now all of this advice applies equally to the non-newbies, in fact, they have much less of an excuse for not knowing this stuff already, but I think learning this when you’re just starting out will stand you in good stead.
At Evolve we don’t have to contend with these issues, being a private studio for personal trainers rather than a big club with a membership base of thousands, but the majority of you will be embarking on your fitness journey in regular health clubs, so this is for you.
Spotting- Spotting is the act of preventing an individual from decapitating or throttling themselves with a barbell when they are unable to perform another rep. It is not assisting or even touching the bar on every single rep while repeatedly assuring the bench-presser that it’s “all them”.
Curling in the squat rack- There’s quite a lot of talk about this online. To be honest, we think it’s a bit overblown. If the gym isn’t busy and there are multiple racks then, by all means, curl away. But it’s highly likely that whatever weight your biceps are capable of lifting will be significantly less than the maximum amount you can simply lift off the floor.
Squat racks are sadly thin on the ground in many gyms and the last thing we all need is to wait even longer to use them so that someone doesn’t have to “deadlift” a couple of kilos in order to do curls. So if someone needs to squat, get out of the way. Pretty simple really.
Be aware of your surroundings- The gym can most definitely be an overwhelming place for a beginner so it’s really no surprise that new members can go a bit Dawn of the Dead, wandering round in awe but with little awareness of those around them.
Having someone bump into a hundred-kilo barbell in your outstretched hands on your 5th rep is one way you ruin both your Monday and your rotator cuff.
So again, we love that you’re in the gym and want to help, just try and be cognisant of your fellow trainees.
And last but not least…
Be cool – like everything we’ve said this goes for everybody in the gym, not just the newbies.
The gym should be somewhere we enjoy going. We’re all here to better ourselves. We can make that a hell of a lot easier by just being cool, being considerate and not acting like a knob.
It doesn’t take much, it’s just putting your weights back when you’re done, allowing someone to work in with you on a machine if necessary, not leaving pools of sweat on every surface for someone else to mop up.
A little bit of consideration goes a long way.