With the new year, comes new gym memberships and with new gym memberships comes…new gym members.
You are the tried and true gym veteran who was there at the inception of the gym’s existence. How dare others to invade YOUR SPACE! Or you are the newbie just trying to find the men’s locker room to put your shorts on.
Each of us has felt one of these ways, especially toward the beginning of the year. Instead of getting territorial, grumpy and upset, CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE!
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Think back to the dawn of your gym process and how you felt when you stepped foot in that place of wellness worship. Were you intimidated? Were you lost and could not find the equipment? Did someone help you? I bet you remember that person and how it made you feel.
It is easiest to frame the personal experience in the setting of our familiarities. Be a positive force in that process for your fellow gym members and the benefits will pay off.
Everyone Is Going Through Something in Life
If you had a bad day, week, month or year, chances are that everyone around you is going through something as well. Looking down on someone for their body appearance, the amount of weight they are lifting or the distance they are running is just plain wrong.
We are all humans trying to get through life and achieve @maximalbeing. Whatever that may mean for a particular person at a particular time is variable, so just be happy that your squat wrack partner is at the gym and not damaging their mind, body or spirit. Be happy for your newfound gym member and happy for them on their path to being an optimal human.
Ground Rules FOR ALL
- Keep the equipment clean
- If using equipment, use the equipment or rest
- Try to no occupy many machines at the same time
- Overall, be aware of yourself and others
Basics: Cleanliness and Sharing is Caring
The following rules are universal to every gym I have been a part of or stepped foot into. Keeping everything hygienic is of paramount importance. Each gym can wipe off sweat from the equipment. Hygienically maintain yourself and the equipment should be the same way. Body odors and smells are sure to get the wrong sort of attention. Leaving sweat, towels and other things behind, will have the same effect. Clean up after yourself!
Now that we have the basic sterility issue out of the way, next comes the etiquette. At all times, but most importantly, at the beginning of the year, use the equipment if you are using the equipment. Rest time is okay, but rest time on the phone is uncouth. Are you that important that you can’t take your stuff, step away for a moment and have the conversation, then return? At Maximal Being, we as healthcare providers get calls for emergencies while trying to get that work-out in. When that happens, we most certainly are not sitting on the leg press machine while doing it.
Also, I would recommend taking up ideally one machine at a time. Utilizing multiple areas in the gym, especially if separated by space and time is apt to either breed resentment in those around you or lead to someone taking that equipment while you are away. This will likely lead to an altercation or disagreement. Be mindful of your utilization as those around you pay the same amount each month as you do.
Now onto the biggest part of gym-going…people.
We go through life in concrete and metal bubbles, driving down the road, cutting each other off and shooting the middle finger up in the air. The gym is no different. Instead, when you are face to face with someone trying to take your machine, you internalize, ruining your work-out or get aggressive and that is a recipe for disaster.
Instead of flipping the bird, use a different strategy…COMMUNICATION.
We need a community to survive in this age of technology and connecting with your fellow gym members will do several things. First and foremost, you will avoid a fight, disagreement or worse…getting kicked out of your beloved home away from home. You also will avoid internalizing that stress, and thus having a distracted disdainful work-out.
You also will allow that new person the ability to feel welcome in a place, foreign and intimidating to them. Be welcoming and build community, not disharmony. You can do this, just by kindly asking that person to move their equipment, or if you can work in, or finish your last set and move on (I did that today). Chances are that person has no idea they are doing wrong to your gym process.
Not TOO WELCOMING
Yes, create that harmonious environment, but don’t go overboard. In particular, I mean with members of the sex you are intereted in. Seemingly friendly interactions such as these can easily be construed in the wrong way. Keep your interactions professional, brief and to your goal. People usually are at the gym to work on themselves, not their dating cards.
As a further step, it is important NOT to be “unsolicited advice guy or gal.” Unless you are a paid trainer at your facility, you should not give someone advice unless they ask you for it. If they do ask for help, great. By all means, help them out if you have something to offer. However, it is hostile to tell someone to work-out your way, because to them you are saying “You are wrong! I know more than you!” No one wants that and there are many ways to do the same action.
Think back to the beginning when you started on the path to wellness. Be welcoming, kind and respectful to your fellow gym-goers. Sharing is caring, cleanliness is next to godliness. Be happy for your fellow woman/man that they are on the pathway toward their @maximalbeing.