Minus a Christmas break I've been a fairly frequent gym goer now for approximately a year and although I'm not a fan of willing myself to go, it's been one of the best life decisions I could've made both for my physical and mental health. Going to the gym has so much to offer and the brand / location you pick can influence what equipment and facilities are available to you such as classes, weights, pool etc. If you've been thinking about joining the gym here are a few valuable lessons I've taken away from my time pumping iron. What kind of exercise regime do you have? What lessons have you taken away from your experience of it?
My choice in wanting to try the gym was spurred on by a number of factors for example I wanted to lose weight for my health and to benefit how I saw myself, I needed somewhere to go that was mine that I could use as an escape but I also wanted to tone my pathetically weak limbs so that I could actually lift things. Personally I'm a fan of using weights as they can help craft your body into the shape you desire plus their effect can be felt days later. Here are a few things I've taken away from my gym experience:
#01 || Switching up your routine and machines used can help keep your motivation going especially when you feel a dip
#02 || You will be looked at by other people; whether they're admiring and taking something away from your technique, just lost in thought and you happen to be in their line of sight or they could be checking out your stunning figure (not always something you want but it happens). It's not a race or contest
#03 || Everyone is at different stages in their exercise journey, judging them on your perception on how far they are along it helps no one. A lot of people of attend the gym, there are different ages, disabilities, sizes and all of them will want something personal to them from the gym
#04 || A lot of gym staff, personal trainers and fellow gym attendees are usually incredibly helpful if you're finding yourself in need a quick tune up on your technique or need some kind of assistance
#05 || One of life's mysteries is that someone people can still look absolutely stunning but you will be a frizzy, sweaty, potato of a mess (the usual state of affairs for me)
#06 || You'll recognise the people if you go at regular times but you probably won't know their names
#07 || Some folks choose to work out together, no harm in that but sometimes they can take up more than one machine by just talking for half an hour to each other rather than attempting another rep which can be an annoyance if you really want that equipment
#08 || Don't be afraid to use the mirrors to keep your form in check, it may seem big headed or self-conscious to watch yourself exercise but a wrong technique can damage your muscles
#09 || On occasion a gym session won't be a good one nor will it feel right, unfortunately not every session is a success nor is your head in the game but that's the nature of exercise and your own personal journey
#10 || Gym are not for people who want to keep their 'cool' persona
#11 || Personal space and hygiene rules seemingly don't apply to everyone, a few people will happily wander around naked in the changing rooms completely content in their skin other people noticeably sweat on the machines and forget to clean it up - these things happen
#12 || Some people will work out in next to nothing, others in countless layers and some in jeans (whilst I can't quite get my head around jeans as it seems it wouldn't be comfortable) it's about what you feel happy when you're pushing your body
#13 || It can be intimidating to enter into the 'big boy' free-weight section with gents and ladies lifting twice your weight with the huge muscles to match however everyone needs somewhere to start
What observations and advice would you give to a potential gym goer?