Gyms can be intimidating if you have never been to one before, but you can make your first time experience at a gym easier by learning gym etiquette and by asking questions. Do not be afraid to approach people or talk to staff if you have any questions regarding how to use equipment or which exercises or machines are used for what type of workout. These questions can potentially help you prevent injury.
When you first start going to a gym, here are a few things you can do to make the transition easier for you.
Take a Tour
Most gyms will offer a tour to new member, but if they do not, ask for one. Someone that works at the gym should be able to take the time to show you around and explain the facilities available. If they do not offer this to new members, take a tour before you start working out. Jot down questions to ask and make sure you find important things like the bathrooms and the water fountains before beginning your workout there.
Bring a Pen, Paper and Clipboard
This will be useful for jotting down questions, but it will also be handy to have so that you can record your workout. Write down things like what machine/equipment you are using, how many reps you do, how many sets and/or how long you work out on each piece of equipment. If you feel pain doing an exercise, write that down as well. If you get advice from someone on how to use a machine or perform an exercise correctly while working out, jot down that information to reference later.
Do Not Force Equipment
If the equipment is not moving in the way that you think it should as you adjust it, do not force it. Instead, ask someone who works at the gym for help. If the staff are not easily available, you can also ask another gym member to help you. They are usually more than willing to help, but wait until they have finished completing their exercise to ask as this is normal gym etiquette.
Wipe Down Equipment
One of the most important rules of gym etiquette is to wipe down the equipment after you use it. If equipment is not wiped down properly, it can become a breeding ground for germs. Most gyms make wet towelettes available for cleaning equipment, so make sure that you use them.
In the gym or the locker room, never leave your mess behind. Throw out empty water bottles, paper towels or wrappers from energy bars.