Dear Fitness Coach,
I finally made the big leap after years of procrastination and joined a gym. Now that I am a member, I want to take full advantage of what is on offer as well as navigate around without being too obvious that I don’t know what I am doing. Can you go over the ins and outs of what a membership entails?
Congrats on your decision to join a gym… It’s the first step in incorporating healthy lifestyle changes. However, having a keytag dangling from your keychain is not a guarantee that you will go. You have to make a conscious decision to commit to working out. You need to treat it like a job and just focus on the reasons to go, rather than the excuses not to.
When you signed up you probably got an info packet on the services your gym offers, what is included in your membership as well as the opening and closing hours. If not, speak to someone in membership services who will be able to go over that with you. Most facilities also offer a fitness evaluation with a personal trainer for new members - especially important for those who are new to fitness. Depending on the gym, it could be a quick orientation of the equipment or a sit-down assessment of fitness goals and wellness objectives.
You should formulate a detailed game plan, with the help of a trainer, as to what your workouts will entail. This will increase your success rate exponentially, as the first few months are absolutely critical to longevity. The vast majority of new members will quit or stop coming within a very short .period of time because of unrealistic expectations or lack of results.
Once you start working out, there are a few written and unwritten ground rules for the gym floor. By following these guidelines, you should fit right in with all the other gym rats:
- Always, and I mean always, rack your weights. It is not fair to the next person who wants to use that piece of equipment.
- Same goes for wiping down the equipment if you are sweating. Nothing is more unpleasant than coming in contact with someone else’s sweat.
- Quickly answering a phone call is OK. Yammering loudly on the phone is not.
- That hottie across the floor is there to work out: do not stare or, even worse, try to start up a conversation. However, a smile, or sincere comp, is always appreciated.
- Do not hog the equipment. Whether it’s spending 20 minutes on the leg extension or an hour on the treadmill, remember you have to share. Be cognizant of anyone that may want to use it as well.