Don't be left out!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

5 Tips for the New Lifter

Are you new to the gym?  Do you fear the weight room?  Do you feel like you don't know what you're doing?  Are you unsure of where to start? (Do I sound like one of those infomercials with black and white depressing photos?)

Don't worry!  I'm here to help!

I've spent a lot of time in the gym, and sometimes I forget that not everyone already knows that the squat bar is 45 pounds, how to adjust the height/incline of benches or the proper way to re-rack your weights.  Surrounded by guys and girls walking around in cutoffs with their shaker bottle it can be easy to be intimidated but that's why I came up with five tips that are sure to keep you from looking like a "newbie" in the weight room.

1. If you don't know how to use a piece of equipment- ASK.  Please, please don't just hop on the the machine and take a guess. Most gyms are staffed with wellness coaches or personal trainers who would be happy to help show you how equipment works.  Honestly, when visiting a new gym even I have to ask sometimes.  There is no shame is asking for assistance.  Besides, I don't want you to look like this guy….

I'd never, ever make fun of someone new, trying their hardest but this just can't be a good idea.

2. Don't curl in the squat rack:  Squat racks are for squatting...and good mornings...and barbell lunges…and overhead press.  Ok, they're for more than just squatting but they are definitley not for bicep curls.  Most gyms only have a few squat racks and it's considered best practice to reserve the squat racks for exercises (like the ones I mentioned above) that can't be done else where.  Ask yourself, "Can I perform this exercise safely somewhere other than the squat rack?".  If the answer is yes, MOVE!

3.  Put your weights back:  I mean exactly what I just said.  Use them and put them back where they belong (not necessarily where you found them).

4.  When loading a bar use the least amount of plates as possible and stack them from biggest to smallest.  While it isn't technically wrong to use two five pound plates instead of one ten pound plate, just trust me one this one.  It looks better and you will too. When you add weight, stack the plates by putting the largest (heaviest) one on first and follow from there. Unless of course, you workout at a fancy places with rubber weights that are all the same size then you're set!

5.  Walk into the room like you own it:  When all else fails, fake it till you make it.  Walk into that weight room with confidence.  I promise you, you aren't the only new lifter in there and even the people who you think know what they are doing do things wrong from time to time.  Put your head phones in, keep your eyes up and own it!

If you don't have a sense of humor we can't be friends.  
While I could spend all day writing a post on proper gym etiquette, what would you add to the list to help out a new lifter?  

1 comment:

  1. Great info and love the touch of humor to make a point. My husband does that all the time. Makes me laugh and gets his point across :)