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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 06-21-2005, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default Going to the GYM

I'm going to a gym for the first time - ever. What do I need to know?
I'm going to my university gym, not sure if they have locker rooms or not. About all I know is to wear something comfy to workout in.
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Old 06-21-2005, 11:56 PM   #2
Ilene the Bean
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Good for you for joining a gym ... I am a total gym addict and am there several times/week ... Do you have a partner to go with or are you meeting with a trainer ?

Here's an article I found
Gym Etiquette
From Paige Waehner,

How to behave at the gym

Oh my. That's what I was saying to myself at the gym the other day as I was waiting...and waiting...and waiting for the chest press machine because someone decided to do a million sets and didn't want to share. Sigh.
This time of year can be tough for regulars at the gym as new people flood through the door, hoping to lose weight and get in shape. While I'm all for people getting busy at the gym, one of the side effects is that beginners aren't necessarily up on gym etiquette. Though there may not be rules posted around the gym for how to act, there are some unspoken rules that newbies should always follow. This will make everyone happy and keep YOU from being the most annoying person in the gym.

The Basics

While it's perfectly acceptable to sweat, grunt and make mean faces while working out, there are a few behaviors that aren't acceptable.

Here are just a few rules for getting along with your fellow exercisers:

Share. Remember when you were a kid and you broke your GI Joe in a tug-of-war contest with your brother and your mom said - if you would only SHARE, you wouldn't have broken your favorite toy? It's like that at the gym too. Machines are community property, so if someone's waiting for your machine, let them work in while you're resting.
Clean up After Yourself. My biggest pet peeve is someone who walks away from a machine, leaving a slimy pool of sweat behind...just for me. Thanks! Always bring a towel with you and wipe the machines down when you're finished.

Leave no trace. My next biggest pet peeve is the person who leaves six million pounds on the leg press machine and walks away. I don't know...maybe I look stronger than I am. The point is, when you're using a plate-loaded machine, be sure to put your plates away when you're finished.
Don't hog the treadmill. Many gyms have time limits on cardio machines during busy hours. There's a reason for that, and you should obey it. And no, throwing your towel over the display doesn't fool me!

Keep it down. Most gym-goers I know have seen That Guy. The one pumping away on the treadmill while screaming into a cell phone. Unless it's an emergency, save your chat-time for after your workouts.

Now that you know how to act when you visit a gym, it's time to cover a few basics about how you workout when you go to a gym.

How to Workout at the Gym

There are days when I cringe watching people workout. I see people flinging weights around, dropping heavy weights on the floor, hanging onto the treadmill for dear life and just generally using bad form with their exercises. Here are a few tips for getting an effective workout without hurting yourself:

Use good form. Now, good form is different depending on what exercise you're doing but, in general, good form looks like this:
*Don't swing your weights. If you have to heave the weight up, it's too heavy.
*Don't drop or throw the weights down. That's a great way to break a toe--yours or someone else's. If you're using a heavy weight, have a spotter nearby to help you.
*Don't lock your joints. When you get to the end of a motion--like a squat--keep your joints soft to avoid hurting yourself.
*Don't slump. Keep your abs engaged during all of your exercises and stand up straight to avoid injury and get the most out of your exercises.
Learn how to use the machines properly. I've seen people doing crunches on a leg press machine. Really! If you don't know how a machine works, either look at the diagrams on the machine or ask someone to show you how it works.

Learn how to set up a good workout for your goals. Rather than just showing up at the gym and randomly picking machines, have a plan before you walk in the door. This might mean hiring a trainer or going out and buying a book that covers the basics of strength training (like Bill Pearl's 'Getting Stronger'). Or visit my Workout Center for ideas.
Learn how to monitor your intensity. Since January, I've seen 3 people puke after working too hard on the cardio machines. Beginner's often aren't sure of how much they can handle and end up working too hard, which means I have to see pukage. Educate yourself on how to monitor your intensity and the right way to begin a cardio program.
You know, I get excited when I see all these new people in the gym, even if they are bugging me sometimes. If you take care to follow the rules, be a pleasant gym-goer and, most of all, learn how to set up a safe, effective program, you're much more likely to keep showing up for your workouts. And you'll avoid being that annoying person at the gym that everyone avoids. Happy exercising!


Hope this helps, relax and have fun !!
I l e n e
Falling down is not failure....Failure is staying down.

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