Welcome To The Gym, Newbies! The Do’s & Don’ts

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It’s a new year and a new decade, and you’re thinking it’s time for a new you, too! (blech) Many New Year’s resolutions include the umbrella “getting in better shape” proclamation. I’m not here to pump you up. It’s hard enough for me to make changes in my own damn life or diet, so I’m not spending energy trying to get you off your ass to do something, too.

The first day after New Year’s Day is traditionally the busiest day at gyms everywhere. Well-intentioned folks with a bit of discretionary income will trek in to start the process of regular exercise. Good luck with that (see above, I’m not your trainer). I do, however, feel qualified to offer up a few things to gym newbies so that you don’t get side-eyed, scornful looks from the regular gym rats.

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  1. Don’t rest for long or stare at your phone while sitting on a piece of exercise equipment. If you’re gonna bang out a few sets back-to-back quickly with little rest between them, that’s fine. It’s not OK to sit there, playing with your phone or audio device for long. Don’t lean on equipment while talking to someone, either. We might want to actually use that torture device you’re not using.
  2. Don’t dress to impress. I can’t speak for women, but for men, just wear a t shirt and shorts (but not short shorts, see Brian’s pic above) or sweat bottoms. If you become a competitive body builder down the road, it’s more acceptable to wear tight gear or sleeveless tops. Best case scenario, that’s a few years down the road, Bunky.
  3. Try not to gawk at the hot girl or guy in the gym. This is a tough one for us men, whom I believe are genetically wired to check out beautiful woman. So, I may have been guilty of this, too, but try to keep the tongue in the mouth and limit your looks to a second or so before turning your gaze elsewhere, like to the TV’s. You don’t wanna be the creepy guy at the gym who drives off the hot girl in the gym.
  4. Anna Kinkade, fellow GLO classic rock personality, tells me her #1 pet peeve is guys striking up conversation with her during her pretty intense workouts. If you see someone’s ear buds in, she reminds us, she won’t hear you and your tired pick up lines anyway. Leave the social stuff to after the workout, if at all.
  5. Free weight users, don’t throw your weights down after a set. And don’t grunt like you’re setting an Olympic record, either.
  6. Learn from my mistakes, don’t skip leg day (again, see Brian’s pic above)
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Good luck if you’re the FNG at the gym. We all have or had to start somewhere!

Doc Watson