How Not to Annoy the Regulars

Welp, it’s January. For us regular gym goers, it’s the worst time of the year. For maybe 3% of those gung ho about their resolutions to get fit, it’s the beginning of a lifestyle.

Last week, I wrote a post about how newbies can successfully get started on their new workout routines. Now that the gym is starting to fill up, and all the regulars are feeling their style a little more than cramped, I wanted to share a few suggestions to the new folks – trust me, follow these bits of advice, and you won’t stick out like sore thumb.

Just park already. One thing I’ve never been able to figure out are the people who drive around in circles, hunting for a parking spot close to the entrance. HELLO! You are at a gym! WALK!

Clean your machines when you are done. I watched a woman sweat all over a treadmill yesterday, then just walk away. Gyms stock wipes and/or cleaner every five feet for a reason – because nobody wants to touch your sweat (heck, I don’t want to touch my own sweat). It’s cold and flu season, people. Don’t be nasty.

Be mindful of other peoples’ space. I’ve never understood the people who will just waltz in and park themselves an inch away from you. Or those who take over entire sections of the gym (and more often than not, are doing nothing). I actually overheard a regular talking to one of the managers yesterday … describing the situation in which a guy tried to fight him after he encroached on the space he clearly was already using (yes, I was eavesdropping, because I couldn’t believe this actually happened).

Always re-rack your weights. Nothing makes me crazier than tripping over dumbells (usually close to my bodyweight) or not being able to find what I’m looking for. Use it, put it away. Your mother doesn’t work in your gym (and if she’s like mine, she’d make you clean up after yourself, anyway).

Stop creeping. Yes, machines are at a premium this time of year. That is no excuse to sit there and stare at someone, willing them to finish what they are doing so you can pounce on their machine (yes, this happened to me tonight. Girl was STARING at me a foot away from my treadmill. It was a little unsettling).

…and stop waiting while you’re at it. Just because you have your heart on a run today doesn’t mean you don’t have plenty of other options. While I may not like it, on many occasions I’ve changed up my plan simply because I’d rather spend my gym time working, rather than waiting. Try something new instead of just standing around!

Most of all, never be afraid to ask questions. Those of us who are just as likely to be in the gym on July 1 as we are on January 1 will respect you a lot more if you make an effort to learn the how and why of what you are doing, rather than wandering aimlessly around the gym (or worse yet, ending up injured as a result of bad form). Good luck – the effort is worth it!

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11 thoughts on “How Not to Annoy the Regulars

  1. Oh man, I hear you! I hate hate going to the gym in January simply because it is packed!!! It is quite unreal at times and frustrating, because no offense most of the people won’t be there in a month. Dont even get me started on the parking. I park clear in left field so that I dont have to deal with it.

    • You’re totally right! I’d always rather park far away … really, if you think about it you probably end up saving time. I’m with you on using as many avoidance tactics as possible when it comes to additional hassles.

  2. Its always a blast seeing people who are changing up times to get out of being cramped during the ‘rush’ times. I usually work out at odd times, thanks to a flexible schedule, to keep away during regular volumes. This week has been great to catch up with old regulars who are of their normal stride too.

  3. Great post Sarah! X Sport has been CRAZY lately – last night for Pump there was barely a spot in the whole garage…and I always just head as far away from the door as possible because the parking is always more available and you get a walk/stretch in! 🙂

    Happy New Year! It’ll slow down soon and be back to the “lifers”…. 😉 Hopefully I can call myself one of those now!

    • Yup-if you go a little farther out to the green section of the garage you can save some headaches (I’d love to know who designed the spaces in the red section, though, because I swear, good luck fitting anything bigger than a smartecar into one of those spaces).

      Seems like it got busy right away this year-usually we have a little leeway the first couple weeks. You’re definitely a lifer by now!!

  4. All great advice. Waiting for the closest spot only makes sense if it’s crazy subzero temperatures outside. Otherwise yeah, walk, that’s why you’re there, isn’t it?
    And about stopping creeping for your favorite machine, well said! Try something new! You might find a new favorite, or at least know that you don’t particularly like a kind of exercise. I used to mock Spin, until I tried it. I used to fear the rowing machines, until I tried them (still fear them, but secretly like them too).
    Mix it up instead of another 30 minutes on the elliptical just like the last time and the time before that.

    • I’m with you. There are plenty of gym fears I’ve overcome (new machines, heavier weights) just because I figured screw it, I’m not waiting around for what I want! Variety is a good thing!
      And please, it was 15 degrees last night and I parked outside instead of in the garage … a block away from the garage.

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