Thursday, December 30, 2010

Have you set your New Year's Resolutions?

Is one of them to get in shape or go to the gym? If so, let's talk about some things.

Those of us who are regular gym goers throughout the year are dreading January because of the HUGE influx of new people. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for people getting healthier and wanting to be more active. But the honest to God truth is that 3/4 of them will drop by the end of February and then another 1/8 or so will drop by the summer. Very few will actually stick to it. So, if you're one of those people who wants to lose 10 lbs, get in better shape, hit the gym X times a week please heed some advice.

*The biggest tip I can give is to go to the gym with a plan. Cut a workout out of a magazine, pick up New Rules of Lifting and start reading now! When you walk around aimlessly or sit on a machine while trying to figure out what to do, you cause traffic and back ups and regulars get irritated. If you're really lost, spend the money and do a few sessions with a personal trainer. Heck most gyms offer a free first time session with one. Got your plan in place? Good, moving on....

*If you're going to try classes, show up early. Most of the people in those classes have been to them for months and know the instructors fairly well. Get in early, chat up the instructor or even a few of the people in your class and ask questions before hand. Don't show up late and cause distractions.

*When using the weight lifting equipment, get on, do your sets, and get off. If you don't know how to use the machine, watch someone else, read the directions quickly, or note what it was so you can research it later and maybe use it the next day. When you sit on a machine you're impeding someone else from doing their sets.

*Work people in. If you're a regular gym goer then you know that most lifting programs will have you rest 60 seconds or so in between sets. A lot of people will let you "work in" Example: I'm using the squat rack but I just finished a set and am doing my rest period. If someone walks up and wants to use the rack they say "Are you done" I say No. They say "Oh, can I work in then?" I say "Sure, I'm on my rest set now so get ahead and get a set in." They throw their weights on, do ONE set, then we switch so they rest and I do a set. Make sense? This also is a good way to meet people since you obviously have a common interest. ;)

*Come to the gym in proper attire. My gym is pretty picky about people with street shoes and such. But if you hop on a treadmill in jeans and boots, please believe someone will say something. You don't have to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but wear at least some workout pants/shorts and a t-shirt. This leads me to another point...

*Ladies, please do not come looking cute and for a date. If you're using the weights just so you can look at yourself in the mirror and check out guys around you, you are dead wrong.

*Guys, similar. Please do not hit on me while I'm lifting weights or running. I know I wear gloves most of the time and if I don't, I don't have my wedding ring on. But honestly even if I wasn't married, being hit on while I'm sweating like a pig and concentrating on what I'm doing is disgusting and aggravating. My headphones are in for a reason.

*Don't blare your music. If you have headphones in and I can hear your music when I walk by, it's too loud. You're going to go deaf.

*I'm going to say it again, if you don't know, ASK. No one will laugh at you, well, ok we may chuckle but we will help. We only chuckle b/c we've been there too. I'd much rather someone ask me about how to do an exercise then watch them do it with terrible form and possibly hurting themselves.

*Wipe off your machine when you're done! I HATE sitting on a sweaty bench b/c the jerk before me didn't have the common decency to wipe it off. Gross.

Lastly, when in the locker room, no one cares if you walk around naked. But for the love of all things holy, put something, ANYTHING on your feet. Socks, flip flops, slippers, paper freaking towels, I don't care. Just something, especially in the shower.

Fellow H&F people if I missed something please feel free to add it! Happy New Year!


  1. I'm just a random on the nest and found your blog. I'm ordering the New Rules of Lifting right now, I can't wait to start strength training...and lastly, love the gym rules!

  2. This is awesome. I'm gonna get that book, make a plan, and FINALLY be serious about this. Thanks for these tips!!! Keep them coming.


I love to read comments!