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Gym Etiquette for Weight Loss Resolutions

by on January 19th, 2009

Seeing as it is that time of year where every person under the sun comes out to fulfill their desire to lose weight and get in shape, I’d like to point out some observations that I’ve made this year and years prior. As I go about point these things out, you’ll have to forgive me if I sound anything but positive because I truly do respect all human beings regardless if they are devoted fitness participants or not.

At this time of year everyone feels a sense of being able to clean off the old slate and set new goals. It is truly motivating to see people working diligently toward a goal of improving their physical aspects which ironically enough tie into their most inward sense of well being. It is through the power of our minds that our bodies cooperate. If our mindset is in the right place, anything within that spectrum of thoughts will be possible. If we don’t “think” it’s possible than it surely won’t be. That’s why this time of year can be an amazing beginning if we could only stick to what we set out to do.

On the humorous side of things, I have made four primary observation in the past week about the New Year’s Resolution Gym madness that I think everyone can relate to. As time goes by I will have more to comment but for now I want all of you to know that you’re not alone if you have felt the effects of any of these things.

Observation number one: the problem of “gym” parking.

I find it very funny when a member bursts through the door frustrated that they had to walk so far to get into the gym considering the excess amount of cars in the parking lot due to what I call the “new year resolutioner’s rush.” Didn’t anyone tell these people that walking is part of fitness and so they should be glad they had to walk the extra distance because now half their workout is done before they even get to the front door?

Observation number two: the problem of implied ownership.

Many people who attend a gym year round get annoyed with the abundance of “new” members joining “their gym” in January. It’s like they’re walking around saying, “Who is the new guy and doesn’t he know that’s MY treadmill at 5:30 pm every day?” We all need to remember that it’s a good thing to have new people around. That means financial survival of the place that we love to call our gym home!

Observation number three: the grunt wars.

Like a dog marks territory you better believe you will have the guy next to you trying to make himself the new and improved mark on the gym floor. This forceful marking comes in the form of “the grunt.: No it’s not rut during deer hunting season, but pretty close. The new guy grunts louder than the guy who’s been there forever which sends him into a frenzy of making sure he is still known as the dude nobody is going to mess with in this gym. It’s OK in the end though, somehow nature has its way of establishing a subconscious ranking among the gym goers. Eventually mutual respect is met and all is well and normal.

Observation number four: what is this thing and how do I use it?

As a personal trainer I really feel for the newbies that join because learning how to use equipment at a new gym can really be uncomfortable and intimidating. It’s hard enough to get motivated to walk through the gym door for some, and it’s even harder to add the “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing” face to the whole thing. I admire that leap of faith to use a piece of equipment that has no clear instructions. Many will use it properly, and nobody can tell how “green” they are at using it. Then again some will use it clearly improperly and everyone will know “that’s the new guy.” Before I became a “fitness professional” I was so afraid of the image thing that I would go to the gym at 4:30 am just to exercise with the older cats that way I wouldn’t care if they looked at me funny for not knowing what I was doing. Even as I progressed I still had to hire a trainer to workout with so I knew exactly what I was doing. Not to mention I needed somebody to keep me accountable for showing up every day. It took me 18 months of personal training before I was ready to go off on my own. At that point I then went to get official education about exercise technique and the principals of bio-mechanics.

To end all of this on a very positive note I can promise all of you that there will be some amazing life changing transformations that will occur out of all this. I see it year after year. Some people really do find success and change their lives for good. I know because I too am one of those people who stuck to it, and to this day I enjoy the fruits of my hard work by simple means of good health, ease in movement, and a relaxed state of being. Secondly, I’ve made this new found joy my line of work, and so I’m able to share this wonderful thing called “fitness” with all of you!

Best of luck to you all!
Kristy Medo

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