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gym etiquette

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Old 01-02-2007, 01:52 AM   #1
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Several months ago, I joined a women's gym that is opening this week near my home. I am so excited it's finally opening (the date was pushed back twice) but I have never been in a gym in my life and I'm a little terrified! I have a lot of weight to lose and I know that is one purpose of a gym, but I'm scared I will once again be the biggest person in the room and I won't know how to act in that unfamiliar environment. All I know is not to leave equipment sweaty and not to hog the weights...but since I don't even really know how to use weights yet, I don't think that one will be a problem!

I'm excited about going to the gym to try new things (I can recite my WATP videos) but I'm just scared of the unknown. Could any of you give me a few pointers?
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:17 AM   #2
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I can tell you that the way you feel is perfectly normal. I was nervous when I started at my gym. I was nervous later, when I switched to free weights. I was nervous when I started carrying around my notes from my program. I'm nervous today, doing squats again after a guy last week told me I was doing them wrong. Just keep overcoming it In time you'll see so many things at the gym, and you'll realize that no one's really paying any attention to what you're doing.

You know what I think when I see someone big at the gym? "I've been there. Stick with it. You can do it." I rarely say anything, but I always smile and send good vibes. You're brave to do this. Many of the people at they gym will know this, and be proud of you.

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Old 01-02-2007, 09:47 AM   #3
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We've all had the first day gitters... Heck, I still get them after a prolonged abscence from the gym, and I've been at the same gym for almost 10 years now and weight training for 22 years (I'm almost giving away my age here ) Anyways, go for it, we've all been there done that, I love to see new folks at the gym, specially after a few months, when I notice them melting away... Last week I saw a girl that looked totally awesome and she was a very very big girl when she started... so I told her how good she looks, and how hard she'd been working and how proud she should be of her success... Maybe some day someone will come up to you and say the same, hang in there, and just DO IT!! You won't regret it!
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Just go in and go for it. I have been going to my 24 hour fitness for almost 2 years and in the past 4 months I have finally moved out of the cardio only room. I started working with this skinny minney personal trainer... and the very first night... I fell on my butt twice in front of the super barbies.. did anyone laugh? I don't think anyone even noticed. I of course cried on the way home from embarrassment, but I still went back the next day.

My point is... just try it... it is the beginning of the year and so many people are just starting out. They most likely don't know what they are doing either.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:31 PM   #5
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One thing I have noticed being in a gym, is that if I'm not paying attention to anyone else (I'm usually concentrating on what my goal is or the t.v.), they most likely aren't paying attention to me. Just go in and don't be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
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The great thing about it being a new gym is that everyone is new there! In fact, for all the people joining next month, and the month after, and the month after, you'll be the one they'll be looking at to see if you noticed that they didn't know how to use the equipment...

Kudos to you for getting out there and joining a gym!!!! That's awesome.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:55 PM   #7
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Peaceful, have you gone to the gym yet? Enquiry minds wanna know!
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:17 PM   #8
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Ettiquette

dont be afraid to ask for help with the equipment...some is obvious, some isnt

pay attention if someone is hovering your weight station, they may be waiting for it. If you are doing multiple sets with rest in between offer to let her "work in"

Dont hover...your routine wont be messed up if you do the machines out of order. If you are getting to the point where you are down to the last few exercises and are waiting, either be unintrusive or ask if you could work in.

Be aware of how loudly you talk if you wear headphones working out. Especially the ear buds. Nothing like people screaming across the gym...lol
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:37 PM   #9
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Starting at a new gym will make anyone nervous but we all started somewhere. When you joined did they not give you the option of a tour or a session on the machines? If they haven't, might be a good idea to ask. Most gyms offer a free training session and taking the advantage of this will only benefit you. Luckily most machines also have diagrams and directions on how to do the exercises as well as form techniques. You will need some training (whether from a friend or a trainer at the gym) about the free weights - form is everything. All in all, be positive. I agree with C.C., soon you will be the one others will be watching to see how to use things. Who knows, maybe you'll end up with a few buddies from there that can help you along your healthy lifestyle journey. Keep positive.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene View Post
Peaceful, have you gone to the gym yet? Enquiry minds wanna know!
Thank you all for the reassuring responses. I am feeling a little better now about going. I haven't been yet - last I heard, it is supposed to open Jan 8. I have not toured because they were building while trying to get charter memberships but the trainers are supposed to be making appointments for everyone to come in for a tour and to do initial measurements and come up with a workout plan if we want that. I understand this is a leap of faith in some respects (joining before it was open) but it came at a time that I felt strongly about making a change in my life, and it's less than a mile away and I just felt it was a sign. It sounded great, I saw other locations, I got a fantastic deal on my membership, and there is no contract so I won't be stuck in a situation that isn't right for me.

I hope I get to go soon! I'm still nervous but also pretty excited.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:24 PM   #11
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You say you're afraid to be the biggest person in the room but you must realize the difference in the rooms changes the other people's perception of you. For example, the larger person at the supermarket with a cart full of ice cream, hot dogs and chips may get a lot of harsh stares from the thinneys. I'm not saying that is OK, but it is often the reality. Conversely, when a large person is at the gym, I would think the average person (definitely me for one) thinks that it is so wonderful that the larger person is there and they generally wish them nothing but the best in their getting-in-shape endeavors. Its obvious that this larger person, someone like you, is making a true and healthy effort to lose weight and people (even strangers) are proud of someone like that!

I dont know about anyone else, but I would be only too happy to help anyone that came up to me at the gym and asked me how to do an exercise or use some equipment. EVERYONE at the gym has started out not knowing what to do. Try starting out with the weight machines, they are easy to use and will help keep you stable while you perform the exercise. But you should definitely have a trainer show you how to use the machines, what weight to use, how to adjust the height, etc. Once you know how to use the machines, just do 2 to 3 sets of 12 and move up the weight once that gets really easy. At first though, keep it light and get the form down. Let your muscles get used to being used, and then start adding on more weight.

While cardio is VERY important (try to do at least 30 minutes per visit), I am one who strongly believes weight training will help you in the long run to maintain your weight, to speed up your metabolism, and to make you look toned rather than flabby. Most importantly, you would be amazed at how much more you can do with some strength in your arms, back, chest and shoulders. Just last week I helped DH carry a couch up a flight of stairs and it really wasn't that hard!

Just be consistent and always try to push yourself just a little harder than last time. And don't be shy!
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:23 PM   #12
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Just bumping to say that I made an appointment with a trainer for an "evaluation" tomorrow (they're contacting people and meeting elsewhere since the gym opening was pushed back 2 weeks) so here I go!

I'm terrified...actually so scared I cried. Clearly I have some issues that need work! Hopefully I'll feel much better after tomorrow. Thanks for the support!
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:42 PM   #13
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You'll feel just fine ... probably pumped, if they have a good trainer talking to you, they should be professional and get you very motivated ...

Good luck and keep us posted
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