I’m back at the gym now, by which I mean fitness facility, I’m not buffing up for weight lifting competition (or am I??)
I’m reading that many bloggers are looking to tone-up, get in shape, lose weight, feel better but don’t consider themselves “gym types”. I’d like to let them know that there really isn’t a certain profile for gym-goers. My gym (a really nice, cheap one, with modern machines and lots of free weights) is populated by every person on the body-type spectrum- chubby moms, weekend warriors, old guys, teens, super-tanned dude-bros, etc. This isn’t the 80’s and the aerobic girls from Showtime are not going to show you up with their unnaturally thin thighs and high-cut leotards. Here are some FAQ’s to get you started.
What Should I Wear?
Wear whatever makes you comfortable, something you can sweat in (should you choose to work hard enough to sweat; I rarely bother with this) and something you can move in. Yoga pants, sports bra and tank or T is perfect but nothing wrong with sweat pants or shorts (however, if you plan to do any exercise where you might have your feet apart, do think of the rest of and keep shorts form-fitting). Any sports shoe will be fine (well, not golf cleats.)
What Am I Going To Do There?
If you’re starting out, there are generally a good number of weight-resistance machines available at most gyms. These have instructions printed on them (to tell you which way to sit, etc) and are easy to operate. Gym personnel (they are usually approximately 12 years old and chipper) will be happy to show you how to work a machine. Always start on the lowest weight level before you figure out what you’re doing and what you’re capable of.
If you prefer a more aerobic effect, there generally classes you can join. No one cares if you don’t know the steps.
Then there are the cardio machines: treadmills, ellipticals, stair-steppers, gilders, bikes, the tilt-a-whirl (not really but that would be fun!). Bring your earbuds and climb a few hills watching Hilary on HGTV’s Love It or List It tear her contractor a new one.
What If People Are Looking At Me?
It’s because your butt is looking TIGHT, take the compliment, move on.
In the mornings when I’m jacked up on coffee, supplements and not-being-hungover I can be a little intense. So I’d like to talk about behaviors I see at my gym range from annoying to thoughtless to rude, generally “what not to do at the gym”.
DON’T take up residence on the leg press, do a set, fiddle with your phone, text your friends, do another set, stare off into space, etc. There is only ONE leg press and others would appreciate getting to use it SOMETIME THIS YEAR.
DON’T stare at yourself in the mirror while setting your weights on the rack thereby blocking others from obtaining their weights, even if you’re a dude-bro with FABULOUS HAIR. Seriously guy, I saw you do that. Not cool. Nice wife-beater.
DON’T bring your children to the gym unless there is an area (my gym has one) that is a child-watching area or the gym has kid activities that they can be engaged in. It’s boring for them and annoying to others.
Regarding the last, I used to take my kids to the YMCA where they could be doing swimming lessons, karate, gymnastics and character-building things while you’re getting cut. YMCA’s generally have free or low cost short term child care for littles and supervised activity areas for older kids.
So there ya go! If you’ve being thinking about it, maybe give it whirl. Many gyms offer a free introductory period so you can see if you’re going to like it. You have nothing to lose but your arm flaps.