How to Look Like a Pro at the Gym

Gym Etiquette for Beginners

gym etiquette for beginners
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Are you nervous about going to your new health club? Don't worry, you're normal. Many new exercisers join a new gym and then get intimidated when it's time to go. In some cases, it may even prevent them from attending. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you learn basic gym etiquette you can look like a pro in less than five minutes. And these tips will improve your workout as well. 

Don't Be Self-Conscious

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There's not need to be shy or self-conscious at the gym. You may think you stick out like a sore thumb and everyone is looking at you. But the truth is that no one is looking at you. Why? Because everyone is too busy looking at themselves.

Mirrors are everywhere in the gym - in the weight room, the cycling studio and even in workout classes.  Veteran gym-goers are usually too concerned with their own workout to notice the people around them. 

Ask Questions

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If you don't know how to use a piece of equipment on the gym floor, ask a trainer. You can ask a fellow exerciser, but you might disrupt their workout, or worse, get an incorrect answer. 

At most health clubs, personal trainers are required to spend a certain number of hours working the gym floor. That means that they make themselves available to members who need help. So take advantage of their tips and expertise.

Never Dress to Impress

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There are times when you need to look perfect. Your workout is not one of them. In fact, if you walk onto the gym floor with full hair and make up, you'll end up looking like a newbie.

Serious exercisers sweat hard. So they don't primp before the gym. Simple hair, pulled away from your face, clean skin and fresh-smelling clothes provide the perfect look when you're pumping iron or pedaling away in spin class.  

Rack Your Weights

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Nothing is more frustrating than having to search the gym floor for a specific set of weights - especially when you are pressed for time. So it's smart to always return dumbbells to their station or re-rack your weight plates when you're done with an exercise.

Share Clean Equipment

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If you use an exercise machine at your health club, keep it clean and share with fellow gym-goers. The following rules generally apply to the use of cardio or weight training equipment.

1. Don't rest or sit on equipment between sets. Someone else might be waiting to use it.

2. Wipe off your sweat after your session is complete. No one likes to sit on a sticky seat or rest on a sweaty back pad.

Don't Spit in the Drinking Fountain

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It's good to fill up on fluids at the drinking fountain. But sip, don't spit. Better yet, bring a bottle and fill it with water when there is no line behind you.  It's faster, it's easier and it's more hygienic.

Save the (Right) Spot in Class

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If you're taking a new exercise class, choose your spot carefully. If the class is crowded, don't stand in front. Those spots are often saved for class members who have attended for a long time. But don't stand in the back either. You'll never be able to see the instructor. 

Find a spot in the second or third row, slightly off to one side. You'll get a good view of what's going on without stepping on anyone's toes.

Cover Up in the Locker Room

locker room etiquette
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Modesty is always the best policy. So cover up with a towel if you want to blend in when you're in the locker room.  And always place a towel on a bench before you sit down. 

Buffer Your Body Noises

don't grunt at the gym
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If you work out in your garage, you can grunt, yell, or curse all you want. But when you exercise at the gym, keep those noises quiet. Outbursts don't make your workout look harder, they just make you look silly.

Leave the Library at Home

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Multitasking is smart, but not at the gym. Leave the books and magazines at home. Trying to read while you work out is not only unsafe it also makes your exercise session less effective. Let's face it, if you can read the tiny print in a magazine or book you're probably not working hard enough to burn mega calories. 


Know Your Limits

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If you are new to exercise, don't sign up for the 2-hour advanced yoga class. And if you've never lifted weights, don't grab the same barbell as the guy with massive biceps. Know your limits. Start slowly to keep yourself - and the people around you - free from harm.  

Make New Friends

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The best way to feel more comfortable at the gym is to connect with people when you're there. Smile or say hello to strike up a conversation. You'll be more likely to stick to your workout program if you have friends to keep you on track

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