Coming from a personal trainer, I spend my fair share of time in the gym just from training to my actual workout, which at times can be 5-6 hours a day if not more spent walking around and looking at the members and interacting with people. With this experience as a trainer, I have come to notice a lot of things that are good to keep in mind when you are going into the gym to not only make your experience better, but to also make sure that you are getting the best out of your workouts.
So, without prefacing too much, lets get started
My first job as a personal trainer was at my university where I spent many hours in the gym either working out myself, plus I had roughly 10 hours a week in the gym with clients or training new personal trainers on the ”tools of the trade”. During this time, I saw a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. Once I graduated there, I spent some time in an LA Fitness as a Personal Training Counselor, someone who sold personal training and then also was responsible for hiring and training personal trainers.
With all of that being said, I have seen a college gym along with my own personal home gym and then a big box gym, so I was able to gain a lot of insight on what happens often and what are some things that maybe we can all change about our experience.
The first and I think the most important is to always wipe down your equipment and bring a towel for your sweat!
Across the board, that was one thing I always noticed when I was in the gym. I would be waiting on clients at some times and would walk around and have to wipe down equipment because someone left it where it was. I have even had to put clients on hold so that I can wipe something down before we can even use it. Not only is that unsanitary for people coming in wanting to use it and could run the risk of affecting someone’s health, but it also is rude to an extent. If we leave the gym how we saw it, that makes the jobs of personal trainers and also fitness staff easier so they are not always cleaning up for people.
The second thing that I have noticed is making sure to limit the equipment that you are using.
There is more than just you in the gym at any given time. By all means, if there is not a lot of people in the gym you can disregard this and do what you need to do. However, there have been many times that I have come across members using one piece of equipment and then getting done on it and walking all the way to the other side of the gym to use another piece of equipment. With that, there will be people wanting to use these things and it causes confusion as they may not know your intentions and they jump on the machine thinking you are done.
The third thing is to be mindful of other people.
So that we do not spend too much time talking about one individual thing, I will try and group a few here. The first one is to be mindful of people wanting to use the equipment that you are either resting on or just using. Phones and all of that can come later, but if there are people wanting your machine making sure to keep the rest times and phone times at a minimum will provide better results for you and then also allow other people to use the equipment too.
Next, we know that everyone sweats. I am probably the worst when it comes to sweating, but when this happens you start to get some BO. While you may think that it either is not you or that you are the only one that can smell it, I can promise you that you are not. This is coming from someone with experience with dealing with that. Making sure we have some deodorant in our bag will help to limit that smell and make the experience better for you and the other members.
The final thing to be mindful of is the noise level. Many times I have seen powerlifters and bodybuilders throwing down any weight that they use, screaming at the top of their lungs, and cussing up a storm. While we can understand a little grunting and making sure to get the weight up or making sure that we complete a movement, there is a limit to where we should be. This provides us with what we need to complete the movement, but also making sure that other people enjoy their experience as well without screaming or slamming of weight.
To finish this all off, as a personal trainer I have seen my fair share of unsanitary equipment, loud noises, and people taking too long on machines. While there is a time and place that these things can be done, for most gyms that have some sort of personal training or that are more commercial with older clients, the loud noises and slamming may not be the best.
Now, while what I am saying may be taken to be targeting the younger population, I do want to say that I have seen all ages do these things. From younger kids sitting on machines that other people are wanting to use to older adults wearing revealing clothing that disgusts the members of the gym. There are people of all ages that cabin benefit from looking at this and making changes to their routine.
Not only will these changes help to make the experience of everyone else better, but it will allow for you to leave feeling as though you were still able to accomplish what you wanted to while making sure that you are leaving the gym in a place to where the next people can come in and work to get the same results as you just did.