We have all walked into a fitness center and felt out-of-place! Sometimes it just looks like only “fit” people go to the gym. Then you have the pushy front desk trying to get you to sign up for a membership that requires a 3 year contract and then a personal trainer tries to tell you how much better off you will be by hiring them and they will help you achieve the perfect body. Well, number one, no one will make you have a “perfect body” unless it’s you and then there is no such thing as perfect. Number two, that trainer will spend an hour with you and then you are on your own. Trainers are great, don’t get me wrong, if you have an educated trainer and if you both are on the same page that what you do outside of the gym makes 90% of the change. You can’t expect to be the best you if you are eating all the wrong things and only working out twice a week for an hour. You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, I’ve tried plenty of times and it never works. You have to make day-to-day changes in order to see results.
So you decide to get this gym membership but you feel a little out-of-place so you just start on the treadmill, no big deal, I would totally encourage you to start there, walk 30 minutes, stretch and be on your way the first week! Make small goals such as that, just get there. The next week maybe look into a class if they look interesting to you. It can be a little uncomfortable walking into a class for the first time, like what are you suppose to wear, bring & expect? Well, most gyms will have a group exercise schedule you can take home and it should have a description of the class. My personal recommendations on taking classes, take one that looks fun to you, get there 10 minutes ahead of time to make sure you have time to grab your stuff and get settled. If you come in late you can disrupt the class or even miss the warm up and the warm up is important. If you are more than 5 minutes late to a class I would just catch it next time.
What if you decided to take a spin class, what should you wear and bring? I would bring a towel, water and if you are new I would have the instructor help you get the bike set up. It is important to have the bike fit you. So arrive early and let them know you need assistance with the bike. You’ll be so thankful you did! In spin class, don’t feel like you have to do everything the instructor is doing, you have control of the resistance so you can go at your own pace 🙂 As for what to wear, I would wear capris or long exercise pants for women and for guys, shorts but with performance boxer briefs underneath would be appropriate for any class.
Yoga, Barre, & Pilates. You’ll want to wear exercise pants that you are comfortable in and I would wear them a little bit more on the fitted side. A lot of the time you’ll see people in leggings. Shorts are just restricting and you’ll spend more time adjusting them than actually doing the exercises. I would wear a tank top, t-shirts are also restrictive and a lot of the time you end up rolling the sleeves up. You’ll be bare foot in these classes or you can wear socks that have grip on the bottom, but you’ll see most people are bare foot. If you want socks, most studios will sell them there. I would also bring a towel and water. Some places will ask that you bring your own yoga mat. Always check online and see what they encourage you to bring. Also, always arrive 5-10 minutes early.
Weight room, always, always have closed toed shoes on. Gym etiquette would be that you are wiping off the equipment as you go. There should be wipes throughout the gym. If you get or move weights around please put them back where you found them. There is nothing more frustrating than coming in and looking for something and some person did not put it back in its place. Don’t be that person! 😉
Cardio room! Yay for cardio! If I were you, I would wipe down the treadmill or elliptical before you get on it. Most people are great and clean the machines buuuuut sometimes you just never know. I would bring water, head phones, entertainment and a towel. Most places have enough cardio equipment to accommodate a 5 p.m. crowd but if not please don’t spend an hour on a piece of equipment, it is rude. Spend 30 minutes and then get off if it is really crowded. There is nothing more discouraging than someone wanting to workout and can’t because people are spending an hour on the equipment. I get that they want to get their time in as well but go at another non-peak time to do so. After you are finished wipe down your equipment for the next person.
I hope this helps some of you and encourages you to try new things! 🙂 If you ever have a question about what to expect from a class or if it is right for you feel free to email me!