I got an email from a person who says that they want to join a gym but…..
“I won’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t want to look stupid”.
you might expect a wisecrack from me right off the bat,
but the truth IS, a lot of people worry about the exact same thing…
I know I DID;
I think just about EVERYBODY who is about to walk into a gym for the first time has similar concerns.
Hey, take it from me…
I’ve been in gyms from Charlotte to Bangkok –
— and there’s one relative constant —
For the most part, people who go to gyms are some of the nicest, helpful-est people you’ll ever meet.
Oh sure, you’ve got yer anti-social types (cough, cough..) like me,
— but I’ve never been mean to anybody in the gym,
( I’m just kinda .. err.. uhh.. shy)
(yeah, that’s it – shy)
I’m just not the kinda person that’ll just strike up a conversation…
But if you ask me a question, I’ll try my damnedest to help you.
And most people are a WHOLE LOT nicer.
Nobody’s gonna judge you, or make fun of you, or leer at you…
That’s just your own insecurities trying to hold you back.
Sure- knowledge is important.
But you know, there’s really NOT an awful lot for you to have to know right off the bat-
If you want to get a trainer to help you, there’s almost always one available,
The machines are all clearly marked with instructions,
There’s always a muscle head in the weight room who will be thrilled to show you how to use free weights if you’d rather,
And there’s a mess of books to show you proper form and give you workout plans….
(—- MEN: I recommend you start with Delavier’s “Strength Training Anatomy”…
— LADIES: Head for the cardio area, or read Delavier, too !)
Arnold’s “Encyclopedia of BodyBuilding” is also very good- and very thorough.
Think about it:
the gym is a place where EVERYBODY has something in common-
wanting to get and stay fit,
beautify the body,
civilize the mind,
get some needed healthy exercise,
— WHERE ELSE would you find so many people with the same interests?
And, since you see the same folks day in-day out, it’s obviously a good idea for everybody to play nice!
This person was also worried about ‘being looked at’ …
(you know…. THAT WAY..) ;
EVERYBODY gets looked at –
but NOBODY gets STARED at…
we have some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen working out in my gym,
and no-one STARES at them or bothers them…
–if anyone DID, the muscle-heads would THEN have an excuse/someone to mess with;
so that never seems to happen.
Sounds fair, doesn’t it?
Listen, don’t let the fact that your body isn’t perfect keep you from joining a gym-
No body IS perfect; and everybody there has the same challenges and the same goals you do.
We got a guy who’s 400 pounds-
he comes in every day about the same time I’m there….
— and he works out as hard as he can… mostly on cardio as you would expect.
I admire him and his courage to overcome the difficulties he faces –
and- HE WILL OVERCOME THEM.. because, as he said to me the other day,
“I didn’t put this weight ON overnight, and I ain’t ‘spectin to take it OFF overnite either.”
Questions? Just ask!
“I’m new to town, and I don’t know anybody here. Do you think joining a gym would help?”
Yes, I very much do believe that it will.
I’m not saying that the gym is a place set up for socializing.
But, an awful lot of it goes on.
Even a big dumb anti-social musclehead like myself has ten times more friends at the gym than anywhere else.
It’s that thing about common interests again.
You just naturally have more in common with people who like to do the same things you do.
It’s easy to talk to people in the gym… especially in the cardio area and the classes.
I find people on bikes and treadmills to be very chatty… ’cause they’re probably bored outta their minds. I hate cardio for that very reason– it’s deadly dull.
If you’d like to meet some new people, start there.
It’s not just fitness fanatics you’ll meet either.
It’s funny how diverse a crowd you get in a gym… you could be running next to a doctor, or a bartender, a cop or a stripper.
It makes the whole deal so much more interesting and fun.
Is it well worth a coupla bucks a month?
One more email: What chance have I got hooking up with a girl at the gym?
I dunno. But I can tell ya one thing.
If you’re nice, polite, go regular, work out reasonably hard, and clean up after yourself, there’s a very strong chance that some female type at the gym might take an interest in ya.
If you’re a guy, there’s a kinda etiquette you gotta learn.. but I’m pretty sure your mama already tried to teach it to ya.
Your outward demeanor will have a lot of impact on this, too.
If you want to improve your chances of being noticed, take a class.
Classes are often 80% female… but heed this warning–
If you think you’re gonna go into one of those classes, show off and outlift the whole class….. STOP.
Do yerself a favor- Don’t try it.
Those women who take those classes will kick your butt all the way back to Saskatoon.
They take those classes all the time- and they’re used to the higher volume and intensity.
As for your chances, well….
Both my brother and my best friend met their wives at the gym.
Whether that fact goes to talking you into – or out of – joining a gym….
……….. well, I guess that’s somethin else entirely.