The 5 best pieces of gym etiquette advice that fitness aficionados want newbies to know

Getty/Emma InnocentiWe all have to start somewhere.

It’s the beginning of January, which means many people are feeling inspired to take up gym memberships after the excesses of the holiday season.

While some avid year-round gym-goers lament how packed their temples suddenly become, most are encouraging of those starting out on their fitness journeys and trying to improve their health.

And if you are a newbie to the gym-floor, there are certain pieces of etiquette that seasoned weight-lifters and cardio-obsessives alike want you to know.

In a Reddit thread, they shared their advice for those making New Year’s resolutions to get fit.

1. Put your weights back when you’re done

Free weights gymBojan Milinkov/ShutterstockAlways return your weights to their rightful position on the rack.

Whether you’re using dumbbells or plates for barbells, if you don’t want to incur the wrath of everyone else in the gym, re-rack your weights after using them.

“For the love of God, put weights back where you found them,” one person wrote. “If you’re strong enough to lift them in the first place, you’re strong enough to put them back.”

This was the most mentioned piece of advice, and applies not just for weights but all equipment, such as resistance bands, barbell cushions, and bosu balls.

2. Put your ego aside and don’t lift too heavy

Lifting weightsChris Hondros / StaffNever sacrifice form for weight.

It can be tempting to lift heavier weights than you should in a bid to keep up with the people around you (many of whom will have been lifting for years), but the chances are you’ll sacrifice your form and not only not get the results you want, but will be more prone to injury.

“Don’t start big just because your friends or everyone else is lifting big,” advised one gym-goer.

“Start small, it will be easier to maintain the routine and there’s a much smaller chance you’ll injure yourself.”

3. Don’t be intimidated

Lifting weights willpower struggleScott Halleran / Staff / Getty ImagesThere’s no reason to be intimidated by someone stronger or bigger than you.

Just because someone has bulging muscles and is lifting humongous weights doesn’t mean they’re not friendly and won’t want to give you advice if you want it.

In fact, someone who absolutely loves training is more likely to want to talk about it and share their passion, as well as have a wealth of experience.

“That guy’s hobby is exactly the thing you need to know about,” said one person. “People generally like to talk about their hobbies.”

4. No one is judging you

Tired workoutstock_colors/Getty ImagesWe all need a lie down sometimes, no one is judging you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, out-of-shape, or just starting out – gyms are generally encouraging places. Not only are your fellow gym-goers not judging you, but they will be so focused on what they’re doing that they’re probably not paying you much attention.

“Nobody cares what you look like at the gym,” one person wrote. “You shouldn’t be discouraged by feelings that people are going to judge you for being too fat/thin at the gym.

“The entire purpose of the place is to build a healthier body. If anything I always looked up to the really out of shape people who would come in and work out hard. It’s incredibly motivating to see.”

5. Don’t hog equipment

Kettlebell swing workoutiStockNo, you can’t take over all the kettlebells for an hour.

Particularly at peak times of the day, it’s essential not to hog any one piece of equipment for too long.

And definitely don’t “save” multiple machines at once because you want them all/both for a circuit. Gyms are public places, you have to share.

“You absolutely can’t reserve more than one machine at a time unless the gym is empty,” advised one gym-goer.

Read more:

The 50 fitness influencers you should follow on Instagram in 2020 to have your fittest year ever

The 15 most inspiring fitness transformations of 2019

Labelling foods with the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories sends a terrible message about both eating and exercising

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