The do's and don'ts of going to the gym


Sometimes the gym feels like unchartered territory with a list of unspoken rules that can make you feel nervous to try a new workout or machine. Part of feeling comfortable at the gym has to do with knowing the unspoken do’s and the don’ts that aren’t listed anywhere to see. Keep these sweat sesh secrets in mind the next time you head to the gym and you'll be a cardio queen.


Come prepared.
There’s nothing worse than coming to the gym and realizing you forgot something important. Always keep your bag packed with the following: sneakers, headphones, water bottle, towel (if your gym doesn’t provide them). This way, you won’t be left with that “I forgot my headphones” feeling when you walk in. 

Wait your turn.
If you see someone get up from a machine you want to use, wait a minute before getting on it. Sometimes people do multiple sets of a workout and stand up as a break in between. This doesn’t mean they’re done yet, so make sure you wait your turn . If you’re not certain if someone is finished yet, just ask how many sets they have left. They’ll let you know and you can come back in a little bit when they’re done.

Tip: A tell tale sign of someone being finished with a machine is when they clean it off.

Wipe it down.
No one wants to use the machine you just sweat all over and you don’t want to use a machine with someone else’s sweat on it, so wipe it down when you’re done. All gyms have wipes or spray bottles either hanging on the walls or sitting in corners for members to use to wipe down their machines after use. This keeps the gym sanitary and clean for everyone to use, so make sure you locate the spray bottles before you start your workout.

Enjoy yourself.
The gym can be a great relaxation tool if you let it. Go into the gym not with an attitude of self-hate, but with an attitude of self-love! Congratulate yourself for putting your health first, and enjoy the exercise.


Hog machines.
Everyone is working just as hard as you to get a good sweat on, so don’t hog the machine. If there is a thirty-minute time limit on the treadmill, only use it for thirty minutes (unless there are other open ones for people to use). Remember how it feels when you’re waiting in line for something at the gym? It’s not a good feeling, so honor the time limits, and don’t hog the machine. Your other gym members will thank you.

Overdo it.
Sometimes girls get stuck in the mentality that they need to overwork themselves every time they go to the gym to see results, but sometimes doing more than your body can handle ends up in loss of muscle and can actually cause serious health problems. When your body gets too tired or you feel dizzy, stop. It is not worth putting yourself in danger just for those few more steps, reps, or anything else. A good workout involves one where you push yourself but also know when your body has had enough.

Wing it.
If you don’t know how to use a machine, ask. This is what gym employees are there for. Don’t try to use a machine you don’t know how to use, this could end up with you getting injured or breaking an expensive piece of equipment. Plus you’ll get more out of the machine if you know what you’re doing. 

Judge anyone else.
Everyone at the gym is there for a reason: they want to get fit, they want to feel good about themselves, or they need a break from the outside world. Keep your eyes to yourself and focus on you (and only you) while at the gym. You wouldn’t want someone staring at you the whole time you worked out. Respect people of all sizes, shapes and cultures and let them enjoy their workout. It’s hard enough getting yourself to the gym, so don’t be the person that ruins it for someone else.

Comment other important "rules" you follow at the gym below!


by Sarah Fritz | 9/4/2017