Starting to a gym or learning how to work out can be intimidating and being scared/nervous is actually very common thing for noobies. I’m going to list a lot of the common fears that most people have and what you can do to combat them or at least help you so that they don’t bother you as much.
I’ll be covering a lot here so if some topics don’t interest you then you can always skip over by selecting the topic you want to see in the table of contents box above.
How To Sign up And Get Started With A New Gym
Well first things first you have to sign up with the gym and pay to use their equipment, unless it’s free. So don’t just walk in and start working out or you’ll get questioned by the staff.
When you walk into the gym usually you’ll see some sort of information desk or someone towards the front, if not just kind of pace around to front until someone comes up to you.
Some gyms only have 1 staff member working so they could be on the other busy with other things but they should be keeping a close eye on the front for new members/people with questions.
Also note that a lot of times with 24 Hour Gyms the doors automatically lock to where you need a key card to get in so if the door is locked knock on the door and wait for someone to let you in.
Don’t automatically sign up unless you’re for sure you want to join, ask about their rates, if they require a contract , hours of operation and anything else you may be wanting to know.
Some gyms allow you to get a free workout or two in before signing up to try it out and see how you like it. Don’t be afraid to ask for this, it’s a common thing. I like to do this because you get to see how crowded the gym is at certain times, how good the equipment is and things like if your ex-girlfriend workouts there.
Learning Your Way Around The Gym
After you’ve signed up that staff member will give you a tour of them gym (also will probably do this before you sign up). This is just to show you what is where like the locker room, cardio equipment and other machines are so don’t worry about trying to remember all of the different names of the workout equipment they’re mentioning to you.
Don’t worry about learning what every machine in the gym does (we’ll cover this later in the article) because it can be overwhelming just get a good understanding of where stuff is.
How To Know Which Workout Machine Does What
This can be the scariest part of joining a gym because no man wants to look like an idiot trying to use a machine the wrong way, especially with a bunch of pretty girls looking at you.
What you do is if you know a little bit about working out then stick with what you know until you get a better fill for the gym. After you’ve been in the gym for a few days you can watch other people use the machines to get a better understanding of how it works.
Also know that people in the gym understand that people are learning so don’t be afraid to ask questions but don’t bombard them with it. If you’re curious to know about what a person is doing then WAIT until they’re finished with their set then ask them something like, “What muscle does that workout”? Literally 9.99999/10 of people will happily let you know.
Next option is hire a personal trainer (most gyms have them on staff) this not only allows you to accustomed to the gym but allows you to learn what does what.
Final option is simply print off or use a workout plan from your smart phone. Don’t worry about carrying paper around reading it, tons of people do this until they learn even advanced lifters who are starting a new workout routine so they can remember what to do.
Don’t Try To Lift More Weight Than You Can Do
I think every guy has been to this point where you good looking girls and bigger guys than you around and you don’t want to look weak, I get it but this isn’t a prison yard, you’re not going to lose any kind of credibility here if you don’t lift as much as you think you should.
What will draw attention to you is injuring yourself or getting stuck under a barbell that you can’t move off of you. This is why I highly recommend just starting very lightweight until you get a good understanding of what exercise works what muscle.
Why You Should Listen To Music In The Gym
This is one of the best ways to help control any anxiety or fear of what people may be thinking about you in the gym. Grab your playlist, throw in your ear buds and crank up your music. This will put you in your own zone where you basically don’t give a crap.
The Unspoken Rules On What Not To Do In The Gym
This section will possible save you the embarrassment of getting some mean glares or worse some guy having a bad day chewing you out so pay close attention here.
There are actually a good bit of these but I’ll focus on the main few.
1.) Put the weights back up after you’re done using them. DO NOT leave them out for someone else to use or have to put up.
2.) DO NOT jump into a machine/station that someone is using unless you ask to work in with them or that you know they’re finished.
*Note that if you work in with the person do not take forever doing your set because they’re waiting on you, also put the weight back to where they had it.
3.) If you leave sweat on a bench/machine then make sure to wipe it up. 99% of the gyms I’ve been to have wipes/spray somewhere on the wall to use just for this very reason. If not you might have to bring your own towel.
4.) Lastly be conscience of how you smell. I’ve seen to many times where people think that just because they’re in the gym they think it doesn’t matter if they stink, this is wrong. Wear deodorant just like you would anywhere else. I’ve seen many people be embarrassed by this because of complaints to the gym owner or other members straight up telling them.
Overall these 4 I would consider the main rules to follow and if you follow these then you shouldn’t have any real problems. I will be making a full length list in a separate article to cover a more full length list for any that is interested.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Other Gym Goers
I had this notion in my head when I first started the gym that all of the big dudes in the gym would be jerks and I didn’t want to get in their way. No idea why I thought this but I did. Throughout the years I’ve realized more than ever not to judge a book by its cover.
I’ve had more conversations with some of the biggest dudes that you’ll come across about world of warcraft, video games, Christianity and other things of that nature.
I’m not telling you to go up to the first guy you see in the gym and start talking about world of warcraft, I’m saying this because I want to point out that just because some guys are jacked doesn’t mean anything for their personality so go about being around them just as you would anywhere else in the world.
This will wrap up this article but know that this post is a part of a series that I’ll be doing so this is the first post (entry level if you will) to get you going. The upcoming article will focus on more advanced topics going into more detailed types of stuff like what supplements to take and stuff of that nature.