Assume that there and rules for any gym or public place, social or otherwise. Gyms generally post their rules and “Mission Statement” on the wall. Those rules should be adhered to of course and maybe a couple could be broken.You might not know, but there are other rules that won’t be posted and that’s where this short list will help you out.
Unsaid Rule #1: Don’t be Fancy
If you’re just starting out at the gym, you don’t want to over commit. Be comfortable and work hard, don’t be a “try hard”. There is always a social element to any gym and it always varies with multiple dimensions.
Don’t worry, if you’re not into social hierarchies, you aren’t obligated to take part but you don’t want to act like a fool either. You’re there to get it done so you can get to the rest of your life. Gyms are what you make of them so just get to work and cut the fat (pun intended). This concept brings us to the next rule.
Unsaid Rule #2: Work as Hard as You Can. No Exceptions.
Respect. You only get it with hard work. Whether your into the cliques or not, you want to be the hardest working person in the room. People generally get the heck out of the way of tough work, which is really nice when you’re on a schedule. You will quell all possibility of smack talking if you’re the self conscious type. People jeering or talking smack behind your back is actually rare. No one can (legitimately) if you’re doing more than them. Go to the gym with intention, even when you’re tired.
Unsaid Rule #3: Use the Equipment Properly
“Know the rules well ,so you can break them effectively”
– Dalai Lama
If you’re just starting out, you don’t know that much. Good thing! It’s your chance to make good habits and make them stick. You might see a whole host of interesting things on social media and Youtube, but you need the basics first. If you want to use a piece of equipment and use it outside of its intended use, know what you’re doing. There’s a sea of novelty, and a small island of principles that are tried and tested. Start with the latter.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times”.
Stick to the basics. Perfect them. Achieve the highest level of competency moving your body correctly before you get into weights.
Unsaid Rule #4: Don’t Be a Hog.
Your workouts rarely need more than 7 square feet of room and you likely won’t need more than one piece of equipment at a time. The exceptions? When the gym is empty and when you have a novice level of competency. For example, if you’re doing a circuit and require a kettlebell and a medicine ball, it will make sense to combine those two in as little room necessary. A leg curl machine and battle ropes doesn’t make much sense. Be efficient with your time and with the time of people who may be waiting on you. Gym hogs get most of the hate and reprimand in any gym, so don’t be a hog!
Unsaid Rule #5: Have a Plan.
Having a plan can be as easy as “what do I want to target?” If it’s fat loss, but you don’t know how to do that, ask management! There’s a snowballs chance in hell that someone wont help you answer that question. Often you get the advice for free. Knowledgeable, smart disciplined people are everywhere around the gym. So are “ Know-it-alls”. If you run into a “Know-it-all”, take ONLY what you asked for. Once you have a plan, you relieve anxiety and gain efficiency, leading to competence.
Starting out at a new gym is a little daunting for most people. Don’t tarnish the experience by breaking these rules and the gyms posted rules. You can make it your own personal workshop if you learn and enjoy the experience. If you get caught up in emotions, you’re in for a rough ride. Gyms are crucibles. These places are where you go to route out your weakness, so when you walk out you are strong for the world. You can do it! and you should do it.
Work hard and have fun!