The gym can be a major place of stress and anxiety for a lot of people. We’re here to give you some tips on 8 things you should know if you workout.
You never really know why people are doing whatever they’re doing in the gym, but it may be a huge victory for them to even *be* in the gym that day. More times than not, it’s probably best to leave people be and not give unsolicited advice ♥️
One of the best things you can do in the gym is to lead by example. Move well. Be friendly. Share your equipment and invite people to “work in” with you if they ask (or seem to be waiting for whatever you’re using). Wave or nod at regulars you see. Stop and briefly compliment someone and give them a fist bump if you’ve seen them working hard.
If you’re a female, take up space. Use the barbells, the platforms, the machines, and the benches. You belong there just as much as anyone else. Even if you feel like you’re the only female doing it. You never know what other females you might be inspiring to do the same.
The gym should be for everybody. We’re all there for the same reason – self-betterment (and hopefully to have some fun as we chase after goals).
If you feel totally lost at the gym, are newer to lifting, or just feel like you’re spinning your wheels in the sand and not reaching your goals, you should check out @paragontrainingmethods.
#1: The Squishy Bar Pad Is Not For Squatting.
The barbell pad is to protect your hips from cracking into oblivion when doing Barbell Hip Thrusts.
The pad also makes for a great pretend bazooka gun and is a safe, soft option to throw at a friend across the gym. Also works great if doing Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squats onto a Smith Machine or barbell.
The pad does NOT go on the barbell when you are Back Squatting.
It will just put you in poopy positioning to try and move heavy weight, which may put you at greater risk of injury or low back pain.
#2: Don’t Be a D-Bag & Hog Machines/Equipment.
Be mindful and self-aware in the gym.
Other people have things to do, and places to be, and ain’t nobody wanna twiddle their thumbs while you scroll social media and take your sweet azz time on the lifting platform, leg machines, etc.
You knowwww how to “hit it & quit it” – bring that same energy to your gym sessions when the gym is busy!
Lord’s Work = not hogging lifting platforms, squat racks, leg press machines, benches, leg curl/ext. machines, cable machines…
#3: You Can Easily Net 2-3k Steps Per Workout.
Even if bodybuilding and strength training (rather than doing HIIT, CrossFit, etc), you can easily net 2000-3000 steps during a 45-60 min workout session.
Rather than sitting down and being glued to your phone between sets – what if you walked around or walked laps around the gym?
Don’t be weird. No need to speed walk.
Just walk and move at a normal pace. You could also make the habit of walking for 5-10 min before or after workouts.
#4: If You Gotta Swing the Weight Or Use Momentum…
… it might be too heavy.
You may get more out of the movement by dropping weight and completing it more strictly (aka with less or no momentum). We see people do this a lot with bicep curls, lateral raises, cable machine pulldowns, cable machine face pulls, etc. This might look like a rocking torso and swinging the DB to help curl weight. Or leaning back hard on the cable machine each rep).
There’s a time/place for momentum, of course (esp if doing things like CrossFit). But generally, prob wanna be more strict.
#5: Worried About Someone Jacking Your Equipment?
There’s nothing worse than when a gym bro (or anyone, really) tries to take your machine or equipment while you grab a drink, get more weights, go to take a leak, etc.
Super easy solution: claim your spot.
Place your belongings next to/onto your spot.
- Move your gym bag next to the machine or platform you’re using
- Leave your shirt or hoody on your barbell or machine between sets
- Put your phone or water bottle on the bench
- Did someone steal your equipment? Interrupt and let them know you’re not done (or invite them to work with you)
#6: Maybeeee Don’t Give Unsolicited Workout Advice.
The gym can be a terrifying & uncomfortable place for a lot of people. Especially if female, newer to lifting, and/or in a bigger body.
Keep in mind that you don’t know why other people might be doing what they’re doing.
- Maybe they’re rehabbing an injury.
- Maybe they have pain/restriction that keeps them from doing the “right” way.
- Maybe their mobility isn’t there yet.
- Maybe they’re doing their best & it’s a huge victory for them to even be AT the gym.
- Maybe their training requires them to do exactly what they’re doing.
Put your blinders on, and leave people be.
#7: “Headphones In” = Safari Incognito Mode.
Rocking over-the-ear headphones? Elite. Aka, you want to be left alone at the gym SO bad that you’re willing to endure ear sweat while you work out.
While yes, people rock their own tunes because music can be tragic within gyms. But generally, “headphones in” = the mutually understood “duck off and don’t bother me.”
If you must interrupt someone to ask a question or to borrow equipment, be quick in asking and READ THE ROOM.
#8: Random Workouts Probably Aren’t The Way.
If spending the time to work out – don’t you want to get something out of it?
Granted, every single workout doesn’t *have* to be productive toward your goals. And you SHOULD absolutely include things you love and enjoy doing.
But random workouts = random results.
You’re gonna reach your goals faster if you have a structured program and progressive plan to get you there.
Need A Place To Start?
Our Paragon workouts are evidence-based and backed by science. You can choose to work out for 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes per day. We have workouts for all goals and levels of lifting experience. As well as the option to still include things you love (whether that’s running, Olympic Lifting, or riding your Peloton).
All of our programs at Paragon cycle through different exercise periodization phases, including hypertrophy (building muscle), strength, and metabolic cycles. So as far as goals go, you might have more options than you think!
Physique Programs = strength training and bodybuilding workouts for those who want to look their best.
Physique workouts are also our preferred choice for our pregnant/postpartum mommas, those burnt out on high intensity, and/or those working to improve their health and hormones. Choose between 45-Min Physique, 3-Day Physique, 4-Day Physique, and 4-Day DB-Only Physique.
Performance Programs = for those who love combining lifting with other modalities.
These programs are for our Runners, CrossFitters, Olympic Weightlifters, Military, those that love Peloton, etc. Choose between Strength Metcon, Cardio/Lift, or DB Cardio/Lift
DB Programs = workouts that require a minimum of 2-3 pairs of DBs.
These are great workouts to do from home, while traveling, and for those with access to less gym equipment. Choose between DB Physique, DB Cardio/Lift, and 30-Min DB Quickie.