Joining a new gym can be intimidating. From proper etiquette to navigating where everything is stored, it’s easy to look like a tourist in a foreign land – minus the camera. Here are five tips for new gym members that will have you looking like a seasoned veteran.
1. Clean Your Equipment
Although every gym has different rules, most ask that you clean your equipment after you use it. This includes the elliptical handles, mats, benches, treadmills, etc. There should be supplies close by at all times to encourage members to actually do this. If you tend to pick up colds easily, you may want to clean your machines before and after as you don’t know if the prior person wiped down the machine or mat. Most people do not clean the hand weights, so make sure you clean your hands after your workout. If you use a towel, make sure the side you use is not the side you are placing down on the machine. It will pick up the germs and transfer them to your face.
2. Sharing is Caring
Many gyms ask that you limit your time on a piece of cardio to 30 minutes when there is a wait. Although most gym tours give you the line, “This is our busiest time of day, and look at all the open machines!” this is usually not the case once Spring Break and New Year’s come around. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t put a magazine over the timer on my treadmill but if you know in advance you want to do a longer routine, go during a time when the gym is less crowded to avoid making enemies. The busiest times will be after work from 5:15 – 8 pm at most gyms. Similarly, if you are in the weight room, allow others to work with your sets while you take a break. Do a plank while you wait or add in some cardio like jumping jacks for extra fat burn.