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Gyms - what you should/need to know - first timer (kind of)


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So today I was talking to my neighbour. Turns out he is going to try out for the police next year and has been going to the gym, working out both there and at home, in general trying to get fit/fiter. Which is how we got talking about me and how I workout at home.

Long story short he has my number and said he would call this week so I can go with him to the gym.

I have only ever been to a gym once, it was to do a kick boxing class with my sister. We walked in, did the class, walked out. I have no idea what is ok (ok maybe I know you should put the weights back, but that's it), what's not ok and what to look out for. In other words I am clueless.

What do you take to the gym? What do you do with your stuff once at the gym? Do you carry it around with you? Do you take a towel? How do you find your way around? They have toilets right? Showers? Change rooms? What's allowed/not allowed

Please help me. Any help/tips I would be greateful for

STR – 24.45, DEX – 13.50, STA – 23.50, CON – 21.40, WIS – 27.65, CHA – 4.50
When the sun comes up, you better start running - Thomas Friedmen
Epic Quest - Current Challenge - Twitter - Goodreads - Fitbit - blog

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Some of that depends on the gym.

The gym out here in Afghanistan provides towels, and has cubby holes to put your stuff in. Slightly paranoid about my Oakleys, Nike Free Runs, VFF (depends on what I am doing) or my identification getting left behind/stolen w/e

I did a trial member ship at 24 hour fitness and I do recall them having showers and restrooms. Don't recall about the towels, but I would think so.

I would bring a log book (if you are doing weights), a towel (just in case), perhaps a small gym bag to put stuff in (keys, log book, shoes, change of clothes, lock if they have lockers), water (better than paying for theirs), music (if thats your thing).

Since your going with a neighbor that goes, ask him about the facilities and what he would normally bring. He can probably be fairly helpful if he knows your goals, etc.

As for etiquette, I would say ask before using a piece of equipment/bench/whatever if it looks like someone might be using it. You might also mention to your neighbor that your a total noob (I had my room mate who is a gym rat walk me through the machines and exercise) when it comes to working out in a gym and could use any and all pointers.

Best of luck!

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Level 2 Elven Ranger

STR - 7.2 Dex - 2 Sta - 7 Con - 4 Wis - 3 CHA - 4

"Do or Do Not. There is no try."

"Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up ."

Round 2 - Faster, Stronger, Leaner and more Pious?

Lefeux's Ranger Conquest

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Interesting, do people take towls to wipe down the piece of quipment they use or is it just to wipe off sweat?

STR – 24.45, DEX – 13.50, STA – 23.50, CON – 21.40, WIS – 27.65, CHA – 4.50
When the sun comes up, you better start running - Thomas Friedmen
Epic Quest - Current Challenge - Twitter - Goodreads - Fitbit - blog

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I know the gym out here has a bleach mix in a spray bottle and paper towels to wipe down the equipment afterwards (good etiquette and sanitation). The towel can be used to wipe sweat off of, I tend to lay it on the bench when I am sitting/laying on it.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Level 2 Elven Ranger

STR - 7.2 Dex - 2 Sta - 7 Con - 4 Wis - 3 CHA - 4

"Do or Do Not. There is no try."

"Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up ."

Round 2 - Faster, Stronger, Leaner and more Pious?

Lefeux's Ranger Conquest

Workout Log

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What do you take to the gym? What do you do with your stuff once at the gym? Do you carry it around with you? Do you take a towel? How do you find your way around? They have toilets right? Showers? Change rooms? What's allowed/not allowed

Please help me. Any help/tips I would be greateful for

I take a small towel, a water bottle, a pouch for my phone that wraps around my arm, my phone, headphones, and keys. I take it in a bag, and leave my keys and the bag in a locker. The lockers at my gym don't lock. We're meant to provide our own padlock if we're concerned about safety. I don't bother.

I use my towel for equipment seats to avoid having to use their stinky disinfectant spray stuff as much as possible. If the gym has spray bottles and paper towels, you're expected to wipe down the equipment after you use it (seats, bars, etc - anything that your body touches).

When you get there, take your time to walk around before you get started. See what facilities they have and if anything isn't clear (which change rooms belong to each gender etc), just ask the people at the desk. You should actually get a tour when you first sign up in good places.

Our change rooms have toilets, sinks, showers, a sauna and the lockers. People get changed in the toilet cubicles annnd also right in front of everyone... Depends on their level of confidence I guess haha!

What's not allowed... Hmm... I know in my gym you have to have a towel with you at all times, but I can't really think of much else. :)

Padawan Adventurer: Level 23 STR | 2 DEX | 2 STA | 2 CON | 4 WIS | 4 CHACurrent Mission: Preparing for the Trials"I'm the one with enthusiasm. You're the one with experience, which I'm looking forward to learning from." - Ahsoka Tano

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Definitely take a small towel with you for wiping down machines (as well as wiping sweat off your forehead). You need a water bottle; most gyms will have a fountain you can refill it from.

Take as little else as you can. If you want music, get a lycra armband for your phone or mp3 player and some headphones; otherwise lock your phone and wallet in your car or a locker. Get a lock for the locker, unless it's a real small gym. I used a combination lock so I didn't have to carry my keys, but you can put the lock key on a pin or chain and carry it that way.

Of course, take a change of clothes if you have to shower there. And realize that you're probably going to see a lot of naked people of the same sex.

A lot of gyms have trainers onsite to help you out. Ask for a quick tour; most gyms don't charge for that.

HALF-OGRE
Level 3 Ranger / Level 1 Sexy Grandpa

Str: 10.75 Dex: 11 Sta: 9.25 Con: 7.5 Wis: 6.75 Cha: 5.75

"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right nowâ€. ― Zig Ziglar

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Thanks for all your tips, I am going to the gym today, and I am reading up on the 6 species you'll encounter in a commercial gym article posted over on the blog earlier this year

STR – 24.45, DEX – 13.50, STA – 23.50, CON – 21.40, WIS – 27.65, CHA – 4.50
When the sun comes up, you better start running - Thomas Friedmen
Epic Quest - Current Challenge - Twitter - Goodreads - Fitbit - blog

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Just an update. Those who follow nerdfittness on twitter may have already seen this as it got retweeted, but like I said, I went to the gym yesterday, I felt a little lost, but I think that had something to do with the fact that not only had I never been to this gym before, I had only been to a gym once before for a class and didn't look around. Lucky for me I had my neighbor showing me around. For the most part I just did what ever I wanted, but he did show me how things were done. I did feel a bit of pressure to use the machines, by both him and the lady working at the gym, but I didn't end up using any. We went to the free weights room. To start with, it was just us two, than two men walked in and started working out, followed by two more guys who were closer to my age. This meant that out of 6 people, I was the only girl in the room, I did not back out which I was happy about.

STR – 24.45, DEX – 13.50, STA – 23.50, CON – 21.40, WIS – 27.65, CHA – 4.50
When the sun comes up, you better start running - Thomas Friedmen
Epic Quest - Current Challenge - Twitter - Goodreads - Fitbit - blog

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Being the only girl in the free weights area can feel weird sometimes, but for the most part I feel really awesome for doing it. Some woman feel self conscious about it, but if I ever catch a guy glancing at me I know it's because what I'm doing is awesome, not because I'm being judged for not lifting as much as he probably can. One thing I like people to know is that the guys in that area are almost always really nice and helpful. When I first started I couldn't lift some plates a guy had left on the smith machine, so I asked the closest guy that was resting if he was using the machine, and since he wasn't I told him I couldn't lift the plates off and could he help me. He happily obliged and said sorry for whoever had rudely left them there. So don't be scared if you ever have to ask a guy for help. Now, though, I can take off those 50lb plates no problem, and I feel really bad ass when I get to do it in front of the guys.

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Every gym is different but here is a little link: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/mastering-gym-etiquette.html. Trainers and members hate when new people show up at the gym and blindly leave a path of destruction and act rudely. It's not your fault and it is great you asked, the gym culture is very distinct and varies a little from gym to gym. Good luck.

Race: Mul (Dark Sun, AD&D)

Profession: Battle Monk

Level:1

Str/4 Dex/3 Con/4 Wis/2 Cha/2

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Have you been going back again?

My tips:

Don't interrupt someone in the middle of their set. If you want to talk to someone (e.g. to ask if they'll be finished soon on their machine/barbell), wait until there's a pause.

Definitely take a towel (a frood always knows where his towel is). Lie it flat on the bench to lie on, when doing bench press. You can also hang it over a barbell (e.g. on a squat rack) to show you haven't finished yet, if you need to wander away briefly to get a drink or rest between sets. Wipe any sweat off machines/seats after you're finished.

If you see someone's left their water bottle/towel/notebook next to a loaded barbell, have a look around to see if someone might be coming back soon - someone is probably in the middle of their workout with that machine still.

Don't do bicep curls in the squat rack, or other exercises that don't actually *need* a squat rack (the big metal cage-like thing). Some people hate that with a passion that burns like a thousand suns.

Put weights away when you're finished.

If you see someone resting, its OK to ask them to spot you on your hardest sets of bench press (where you're worried you might fail to get the weights up again).

Give people lifting free weights a nice wide berth, when you walk past. Its really unnerving if someone walks too close when you're lifting, and obviously not good at all if someone bumps you.

Try not to drop the barbells or clonk them down too loud. Faux pas.

Try not to grunt too loud when lifting (this one is tricky!)

And for fun -

I love that video, and yes I have been back, I went on Wednesday, my friend my a session with a pt, so I was left to do my own thing. I went to the free weights room and I got a bit out of place, ok it was more like really out of place, and uncomfortable. This time I didn't have my friend with me, and when I walked in there were already 4 guys in there and I passed a 5th coming out of the door. That is still yet to put me off the free weights rooms, as I'm going back today, though now it's a case of get in, do whatever I plan to do and get out or at lest till I get more comfortable in there

STR – 24.45, DEX – 13.50, STA – 23.50, CON – 21.40, WIS – 27.65, CHA – 4.50
When the sun comes up, you better start running - Thomas Friedmen
Epic Quest - Current Challenge - Twitter - Goodreads - Fitbit - blog

Link to post
Have you been going back again?

My tips:

Don't interrupt someone in the middle of their set. If you want to talk to someone (e.g. to ask if they'll be finished soon on their machine/barbell), wait until there's a pause.

Definitely take a towel (a frood always knows where his towel is). Lie it flat on the bench to lie on, when doing bench press. You can also hang it over a barbell (e.g. on a squat rack) to show you haven't finished yet, if you need to wander away briefly to get a drink or rest between sets. Wipe any sweat off machines/seats after you're finished.

If you see someone's left their water bottle/towel/notebook next to a loaded barbell, have a look around to see if someone might be coming back soon - someone is probably in the middle of their workout with that machine still.

Don't do bicep curls in the squat rack, or other exercises that don't actually *need* a squat rack (the big metal cage-like thing). Some people hate that with a passion that burns like a thousand suns.

Put weights away when you're finished.

If you see someone resting, its OK to ask them to spot you on your hardest sets of bench press (where you're worried you might fail to get the weights up again).

Give people lifting free weights a nice wide berth, when you walk past. Its really unnerving if someone walks too close when you're lifting, and obviously not good at all if someone bumps you.

Try not to drop the barbells or clonk them down too loud. Faux pas.

Try not to grunt too loud when lifting (this one is tricky!)

And for fun -

I love that video, and yes I have been back, I went on Wednesday, my friend my a session with a pt, so I was left to do my own thing. I went to the free weights room and I got a bit out of place, ok it was more like really out of place, and uncomfortable. This time I didn't have my friend with me, and when I walked in there were already 4 guys in there and I passed a 5th coming out of the door. That is still yet to put me off the free weights rooms, as I'm going back today, though now it's a case of get in, do whatever I plan to do and get out or at lest till I get more comfortable in there

STR – 24.45, DEX – 13.50, STA – 23.50, CON – 21.40, WIS – 27.65, CHA – 4.50
When the sun comes up, you better start running - Thomas Friedmen
Epic Quest - Current Challenge - Twitter - Goodreads - Fitbit - blog

Link to post

Great tip Athena. Funny story all the gyms were closed over Chusuk(Korean Thanksgiving) so we went to Namsan Mt. which has a little outdoor gym. I was doing some timed Bench Presses and in between sets(30 secs.) I sat up. A man came over and started to move the bar as I was sitting on the bench! I yelled, "get the Hell out of here you idiot!" but all I could do is laugh. People in Asia have the worse gym etiquette in the World bar none!

Race: Mul (Dark Sun, AD&D)

Profession: Battle Monk

Level:1

Str/4 Dex/3 Con/4 Wis/2 Cha/2

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