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Gym Rat Challenge: Try a Little Tenderness

Updated on February 25, 2015

Crowds Can be Fun Sometimes

Be Nice to the New People

For many of us gym rats, February marks our second month of tolerance for gym newbies - the people we believe have purposely placed themselves in our ways to drive us insane during the first quarter of each year. We fume to ourselves and others that these neophytes should stay in the slow lane, use headphones, wipe off the equipment, hold their phone conversations outside, and stop taking up the premium parking spots closest to the entrance. (Hmm. Don't we go to the gym to get some exercise?)

This is not a nice way to treat people who have actually held to their New Year’s resolutions more than a month. They deserve encouragement to turn their aspirations into lifestyles, not ridicule. They are attempting to change old habits, which are hard to break, and create new habits, which are no easier to create.

Gym Rat 30-Day Challenge

It’s time for us veterans to cut these newcomers some slack and try a little tenderness. Stop being the mean girls or guys.

Following is a 30-day challenge for us gym snobs:

  1. If someone asks how you do it (stay fit), make eye contact and say “I just keep coming back.”

  2. If you see that person a second time at the gym, make them feel welcome. Smile (with your eyes too) and acknowledge their presence.

  3. Most classes get crowded this time of year. Accept it, give up a bit of your personal space and make room for others.

  4. In classes that occasionally require a partner, offer to be the new person’s. Don’t let him/her be the last picked for the sports team.

  5. If you see someone clearly doing something that could cause an injury, gently offer a correction by saying “Can I show you a different way to do that so you don’t hurt yourself?”

Old habits are hard to break and new ones hard to create. Let me know how you are doing in a month.


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    • MichelleCRobinson profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Washington

      I agree about keeping your opinions to yourself on most occasions. Nobody likes a know-it-all. I'm just suggesting that trying to help someone avoid injury might be worth the risk of a possible rebuke.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      3 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I'm one of those gym goers that hates January snd early feb for the influx of newbies so tend to go underground this time of year- i'll hit the gym at 5 am

      Show people a different way!! You tell a serious looking bloke in the gym that one and see what response you get- i coach performance (i don't mess around with personal training and weight loss- i leace that to others pushing grneric routines on clients and laugh internally that simeones paying them for it!!) and if you give someone some direction in the weight room they'll counter with some snide remark. For men the gym can be a bravado thing even if technique is obscene so often best keeping yourself to yourself and concentrating on your own workout as much as you would like to help someone.


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