My least favorite season is upon us, not just because I am The Grinch. I don’t just dislike Christmas and all of that overblown nonsense. I don’t like New Year’s either, the date changes every day so changing the year behind it by 1 number is just annoying on paperwork for the first 3 months. Time is relative to me so a day seems of little importance. I don’t even care about my birthday. People ask “well, how does it feel to be ….” A lot like yesterday to be honest.
I hate New Years because of the inconvenience of a large flood of people taking up space in the small gym I go to, when most of them will be gone before March. For 3 months there are even more people taking up space and equipment and looking at their phones instead of working out.
Understand my frustration, it is not that they are taking up space in my little overcrowded gym that gets me. It bothers me because they are only doing so transiently. I love new gym members! I actually really do. I love seeing people take control of their life and take responsibility for their health; it makes me smile.
While I physically do not look like the most approachable person on the planet, I absolutely am at the gym. I know people are often afraid from whatever insecurity when they come to the gym. They are too fat, or too skinny, too inexperienced so they don’t feel comfortable around people who think they know what they are doing. I love the people who don’t know how to “work out” and look at the equipment like it is terrifying. I love that you are there to try to be your own master. I love to help new people at the gym feel more comfortable. I want you to succeed even if we have never met before, I welcome you because you have made the first hardest step. As long as you don’t interrupt mid set, I am glad to answer questions, help you understand something or anything else I can do to help you take charge of your fitness.
Here is my problem:
As the New Year fast approaches, it's natural to feel a bit excited by the prospect of leaving behind the old year and beginning anew. In fact, research shows that about 60 percent of us get so excited by this prospect that we take the time to make New Year's resolutions (sadly, only about 8 percent of us actually achieve them). Some studies are more positive and say only 80 percent of them fail, but that is still a crazy number. Roughly 55 percent of New Year’s resolutions were health-related, such as exercising more, eating healthier and getting out of financial debt, according to the science journal, The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. According to Strava, the social network for athletes, most New Year’s resolutions end by January 12th. That is incredible; no resolve at all.
In my personal experience I have noted the gym phenomenon goes something like this. The first week of January we experience a rush of new members; in fact gyms cater to this event and have sales and promotions to encourage this free money. People sign contracts then either just pay it out without use or buy it out for the most part. Free money with almost no wear on the equipment or space; they bank on it. By the end of January we have lost half the “new members.” By the end of February we have a quarter or less of the New Year’s People. The first decent day of mild warmth in early spring (usually mid-March) removes the last half-hearted committees. The end of March usually leaves us with 4-6 percent of the original New Year’s people and a few of them will taper off by summer. If I had to put a number on it, depressingly, maybe 2 or 3 percent will make a real go of it.
This is what annoys gym goers like me. We are absolutely accepting of the mild inconveniences of a fuller gym. A lot of us are glad to help you learn and become more comfortable, no one wants to see you get hurt and we all actually would love to see you succeed.
We just don’t want to do all that if you are going to quit, we don’t like sharing for a few months if you are just going to walk away. You just interfered with our workouts for no reason then.
Let me help you if you are going to come to the gym this New Year.
Don’t waste your money or time if you are not all in.
If you are not sure about being all in, figure out why you are not sure. Do you really want to do this or do you feel pressured. If you don’t want to, you won’t.
If you want to but are unsure about what to do, look up some really beginner friendly content on YouTube. Megsquats, Athlean-X, omarIsuf and Brain Alsruhe have some great beginner stuff and are good channels with real, quality content.
Don’t be nervous, everyone walked into the gym for the first time sometime.
No one is going to pay that much attention to you unless you come half naked, then you will get attention whether you want it or not. (pet peeve, ladies if your ass is hanging out of your shorts they are too short. No lift requires it, wear a tank top over your sports bra, it will not interfere with your lifting. Guys, a tank top, not a stringer and bike shorts are not outerwear.)
If you need help, find someone who is not trying to impress anyone and moving decent weight. Wait till they are between sets and politely ask your question. We are glad to help but remember we are there on a schedule as well, so don’t expect a personal trainer.
Don’t be self-conscious and try to ego lift. “Heavy weight” is relative to your experience and size. (A big guy that weighs 250lbs moving 200lbs on squats is not as strong as a 125lb person moving 200lbs.)
If you don’t know it all, understand that there are a ton of people around you who are probably doing it wrong as well. Just because they move the weight doesn’t mean they are doing it right.
Being a beginner is fine.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable if you want change.
Be courteous, observe and follow gym etiquette. If you watch you will learn. (You can also Google good gym etiquette.)
Clean up after yourself.
Don’t be a statistic; if you want to improve come to the gym, if you don’t, then don’t bother taking the space. Here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2020 based on A.I> predictions based off the last 4 years.
1. Actually doing my New Year's resolution
2. Trying something new
3. Eat more of my favorite foods
4. Lose weight/diet
5. Go to the gym
6. Be happier/better mental health
7. Be more healthy
8. Be a better person
9. Upgrade my technology
10. Staying motivated
3 out of 10 have to do with health. Maybe you are doing something else other than health but let me offer this advice. If you need an occasion, you are unlikely to follow through. Take control of who you are and the life you lead now.
Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!
The Fallible Man