Dealing with January Gym Crowds
New Years has come and gone, but the resolutions many people make linger. Scientific studies reveal that most people abandon their resolutions and goals in general within six weeks. This holding true, there should be more breathing room and workout space available in packed gyms by mid February.
I hear your collective sigh of relief.
Is it not frustrating to be a constant gym member who now contends with so many novices constantly in our way or talking and resting and not actually using the equipment we are used to using almost religiously?
Yet many of us easily forget that we too were once beginners. So instead of getting upset with the crowds, try offering up some advice and assistance to new comers.
A short list might include some of these seven tips.
1. If there is a towel or weights around a piece of equipment, do not start using it.
Someone is likely grabbing a drink of water or super setting at another piece of equipment and will be back shortly.
2. If you mark your territory in the above manner #1, be sure to promptly return and complete your sets.
No one likes trying to determine if the equipment is free and worse yet having someone return much later and get upset with you for jumping in before they were done.
3. If you are done with a piece of equipment or weights, return them to the racks.
No one likes searching for needed equipment that should be re-racked. We all have limited time. Respect one another.
4. Wipe down your area once you finish.
No one likes seeing or touching your sweat let alone sharing your germs. Use disinfectant spray and be kind to the next users. Now I know regular gym users follow this tip, right?
5. Keep your cell phone and in person conversations to a minimum. Better yet save them for after your workout.
No one wants to hear your conversations. Plus people get aggravated when they want to use something and you are sitting there but not using it.
6. Do not ask a gym member for a spot, demonstration, how to use a piece of equipment or what the exercise they are doing works. Ask the paid and knowledgeable gym staff.
No one wants to be bothered while working out. Their time just like yours is limited and valuable.
7. Do not stand directly in front or behind someone on a piece of cardiovascular equipment.
People already know there tends to be a 30 minute limit, and you being in their presence does not speed up time. It only serves to annoy them, making some of them stay on longer to annoy you back. Plus people rarely know you are right behind them. So when someone jumps off upon finishing you just might get knocked down. If you also knock them down in the process it will not be pretty.
I don’t expect many people to actually share these ideas with others. However, regular gym visitors could benefit from these reminders.
In any event, it is almost February and we can all get back to our routines with less people in the way.
Please keep in mind that some of these tips are meant to be tongue in cheek. We are all different. Respect each other both inside and outside the gym.
Kyle Washburn is the National Health and Fitness Editor at Edge Publications, Inc. He earned a BS in Physiology, M.Ed in Sport Psychology and Counseling and an MBA. He is a certified personal trainer through NASM and ACE and has been training for over ten years. He is an avid triathlete, softball and tennis player, runner, hiker and enjoys the outdoors.