2014 has started. This marks year number 6 of getting into running and fitness. I look back on those early days and think: Geez. I had so much to learn.

Hardcore Stormies Hit The Gym
Hardcore Stormies Hit The Gym by W_Minshull

You see, I wasn’t a Resolutioner. It started in May 2008 with the perfect timing of a new mega gym opening up 10 minutes from my home. Convenient. Shiny. Clean. TONS of equipment, and the added bonus of a free personal training session per month if I paid up front. My job was pretty sedentary, so sure. I’ll sign up. It kept me going to yoga and pilates on a regular basis. The trainers… well… every time I’d find a good one, they left to build their own business. Results? Nope. But at least I was staying active and not putting on weight.

And the reason why I still continue today? I respect myself and the gym. Respect to not just the physical gym and the equipment, but also the people that work there and the other paying customers. I enjoy the gym, and want to see others enjoy it as well.

Want to know something else, Resolutioner? I can tell if you’re going to stick with it by the respect that you show. Going over on the time limit for the treadmill or bike when there are others waiting? Hoarding all of the free weights (oh, yes, sorry…. “barbells”), kettlebells, or medicine balls? Slamming the weight stacks down because you put on too much weight? Not asking how to operate the machine — and then using it incorrectly — due to Resolutioner’s pride? Not bringing a towel and/or not wiping down equipment? Arriving late, and/or talking excessively in yoga class (or worse, answering your phone)? Trying to get your non-member friend in during non-visitor hours? Ladies,  bringing your whole beauty routine and taking 45 minutes in the shower? Then leaving gobs of hair everywhere? And taking up an entire bench in the locker room?

These are all common Resolutioner behaviours.

Chances of you progressing past mid-February are slim unless you make some changes. You are the reason for success at the gym, and what you manifest out is what you get in return. Start by learning basic gym etiquette and your specific gym’s rules. Then go back and use the skills you should have learned in kindergarten.

If you don’t know, ask. There are qualified staff around to show you the proper use of the equipment. If you really want to succeed, hire a trainer for a session or two (generally $50-$80 per session, less if you find an intro package) to get a few routines and introduce you to proper body position for equipment use. These sessions should be tailored to your goals and helping you succeed! It will keep you healthier and injury free over time, too.

Respect your other gym-goers by sharing equipment and cleaning it off when you’re done. You don’t want to use a sweaty headrest or grip, so why would someone else? Same goes for the locker room and shower areas. Remember, the gym locker room is not your personal bathroom or bedroom. Do your basics, and then move on so the next person can shower / use the mirror / hairdryer.

I hope that you progress past Resolutioner stats by embracing gym culture by showing respect. If you decide to stay a Resolutioner, I send a big, hearty thanks for paying to maintain and improve the facility and equipment for the other 10 months of the year. Thank you for your donation.

I realize that we all have to start somewhere, and educating yourself is the first part of succeeding. Fitness and the gym is no different than taking up a new hobby. Your success is completely up to you. Learn the rules, Respect the facility its people, and then Conquer your fears and yourself!

Photo: Hardcore Stormies Hit The Gym by W_Minshull and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.



Sara Written by:

I'm an Information Architect and Taxonomist in the greater Philadelphia, PA area. Mad about metadata. Incessant organizer. Knowledge monger. Information seeker. Wisdom chaser. Curiosity has yet to kill this cat!