Most of us have entered the gym and really have no clue what we are doing.  It draws us in with bright flashing lights and a promise that if you just walk through these doors that the unwanted pounds will fall off and your muscles will resemble those of Arnold's if you simply pick up a few weights.  The gym is a funny world and can be a scary place as well.  So whether you are 15 and or 65 and you walk in for the first time, you are most likely going to have a bit of anxiety.  Do I look funny?  Am I doing this right?  Where am I supposed to feel this?  Am I getting hurt or is this how it’s suppose to feel? These are all normal feelings and to expect yourself to understand how to lift just because you watched pumping iron on TNT last Thursday night is a bit of a stretch. 

Now with all these challenges the gym can be a sanctuary, a place to take care of yourself, to better yourself, and frankly, a place to be around other people who are driven to be healthier.  I don’t have a ton of time to spend in the gym and it allows me to spend time with one of my best friends each week while we get some heavy work done.

Whether you are new or old to the gym it’s important to be respectful and work in harmony with those around you. Here are five things to remember when you are at the gym.

1. Be Aware

Notice if someone is waiting for a piece of equipment you are using and see if you’re able to have them work in if you are going to be using the machine for a while.

2. Dont Be an Ass

Listen bro, I get it you can bench 400lbs and are one of the biggest people in the gym or maybe, just maybe, you walk around like you are the biggest person in the gym with a pissed off look on your face scaring little children and anyone who dare look your way.  Smiling never hurt anyone and being friendly to others that share your space is the human thing to do.  Finally, throwing things for no reason just makes you look ridiculous.  Olympic lifting is made to have weights hit the floor and I’m a huge fan of it.  But trying to dent the floor to show everyone how much testosterone you have would fall into the category of you being a jack ass.

3. Stay off Your Cell Phone

This is your time to work on yourself, to unplug for one hour, and to get some work done.  Walking into people because you are rushing to tell your boo that you love them for the 25th time can wait for 55 more minutes. 

4. Dress for the Gym

I understand that you could meet your potential partner in the gym.  It happens; I mean it’s even happened to me. However, in respect to those around you and for your own safety make sure you dress for the occasion.  Now I’m no fashion expert so I’m going to stay in my lane on this one. 

- Shoes: Make sure you wear comfortable athletic shoes.

- Make sure it fits: Clothes that are too tight or too lose can get caught or cause the guy walking by to get killed walking into something as he’s cranking his neck to take a look.  I love string tank tops as much as the next guy. That being said, some gyms your nipples hanging out are cool and some gyms it’s not. Know which one you are in.

- Make up: There is nothing more beautiful than a woman in my opinion.  A woman with layers and layers of make up on at the gym just doesn't make sense, and if you are working hard it’s going to look like you are melting. 

- Smell good stuff: Careful to not knock out everyone with your cool water bath.  Same can be said with the person who doesn't use deodorant. 

5. Know What Youre Doing

Working out is a skill and it takes some time to get good at it.  You can learn from a friend, you can learn from a trainer, or you can study on your own.  Working with someone is going to speed up the process and help to minimize you getting hurt.  There is no shame in asking for help.

Take these tips to heart the next time you hit the gym. Happy lifting!

Yours in Health,



Ben Novak


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