The Gym 101: P8: Navigating the Gym
If you are a gym hopper, travel a lot or are new to a gym, you are familiar with the experience of walking into a new place and hoping to god you don't look like a fool
Ok, actually I think we are all familiar with that feeling...
But I digress, today we are going to have a short lesson on walking in like you own the place - like you belong there because you certainly do!
Here are our goals, every time we walk into the gym but special when we walk into a new gym or unfamiliar gym:
Get a good workout
Know where you are going
Know what you are doing
Don't get hurt
Don't look dumb or lost
This is pretty easy. It's only the internal dialogue than nerves that make this part hard. Because the place is new, big and pack with equipment, it's probably also packed with some good looking fit people. Don't want to make an ass of yourself in front of all the pros!
Wrong. I have been around gyms for 15 years and I can tell you weightlifters are probably the most well mannered, sympathetic and polite. I have a feeling it's because they get out most of their negative emotion through difficult physical activity that make them so even tempered. Even most of the young men are gracious humans - it's just that the loud, rude guys are so obvious that they are hard to forget.
When you pass the front desk it is important that you walk with confidence. This means collarbone elongated and you head ans spine are like a balloon in a string, with you chin parallel to the floor.
Next, walk through the entire facility with your gym bag on you shoulder or in your hands. Don't just drop your stuff and head for the machines, trying to look past the people to see the machines. You look creepy darting your eyes around like that.
You need a tactical layout of the facility. Make note of where everything is: Cardio machines, free weights, squat racks, cables, kettlebells, ab station, open space for walking lunges, other machines.
Do this because they might have some cool equipment you want to try out. Nothing sucks more than doing a full back workout and then seeing that they have a peg board or a rock climbing wall you want to try out.
After you have an idea about where everything is, go back to the locker room. Check out if they have a sauna or a steam room. that could be a nice treat if you are going to be around for a couple of days.
So now you have done the stride of pride, gathered a tactical layout, and scoped for awesome amenities.
Now you are ready to lock your bag up, use the head and head on out to your workout! Go a head and get your normal warm-up on and get lifting.
To some of you this might seem like a pointless read - but for many, entering a new space is frightening. Honestly, you can use this in any new situation: Scope it out, go to the bathroom, prep your plan and execute it.
Learn all the basics and insider knowledge
Check out The Gym 101 Series
Part 1: Exercise Selection
Part 2: Set and Rep Schemes
Part 3: Training Splits and Organizing Your Week
Part 4: Creating Fun Workouts
Part 5: Training Around Injuries and Imbalances
Part 6: Menstruation and Muscle
Part 7: Finding New Gyms
Part 8: Navigating the Gym
Part 9: Gym Rules
Part 10: Fitness and Pregnancy
Part 11: Postpartum Exercise, Birth to 4 weeks
Part 12: Postpartum Exercise, 4-16 Weeks
Part 13: Recovery