Be Nice at the Gym This Month

As we all know, January tends to be a month that brings lots of new faces to the gym- maybe they’re New Years Resolution goers or maybe they’re semi-regular gym goers who have been on a holiday hiatus. Whoever they are, for us avid, consistent gym goers it can bring a certain level of, shall I say… frustration. I mean that in the nicest way possible, too! It’s not that we don’t want you there, because we do! Everyone who loves the gym and working out and working towards being healthy and fit wants others to share in those feelings. But, when our spots are taken, our machines in use and the gym has an overall crowded feel, it can frustrate us.

“Ugh. I hate the gym in January. It’s so crowded with people who won’t be here in another month.”

“That girl is totally in my spot… who does she think she is?!”

“I swear, if a January resolution goer takes my spot in spin…”

… the list goes on, right? Last year, I shared some tips for surviving the January Rush, but this year, I’ve got a different thought going into the January rush. That thought is to be kind to the new goers. To help them in the class with the weights and other equipment. To introduce yourself. To make them feel included and better yet, to not make them feel like they are unwanted.

For these “new” gym goers, the first few experiences could make or break their thoughts on the gym and could send them home even faster than the end of January. If they feel unwelcomed, they’re going to have a negative experience which may just justify why they don’t “belong” at the gym. But guess what- they DO belong at the gym! Everyone does. Whether you’re old, young, fit, need to get fit, have injuries and limitations, etc., we ALL have the right to go to the gym and get healthy and fit.

So, I challenge you this month- and for the next few months- to smile. Say hello. Offer assistance. Learn their story about what brought them to the gym and share your story. Because you know what? Maybe it’s not the actual act of working out that stops people from enjoying the gym experience. Maybe it’s the fact that they feel lonely and not welcomed. Ever thought of that? Personally, as an instructor, my biggest goal is for new members to feel welcomed and included in my classes- to feel like they have the right to be there and that I want them there.

I’m excited to see lots of new faces at the various gyms I teach at this month! I hope that we can all give the new people a positive welcome and encourage them to make fitness a lifelong journey… a 12 month journey, year after year. And lastly… remember that we were all new to the gym at one point, too, so give these people a chance!

Questions for you: What’s your approach to the January rush at the gym? Do you welcome people or do you get frustrated? What’s something you can do this year to make people feel welcomed?

13 thoughts on “Be Nice at the Gym This Month

  1. Aunt Sue says:

    Having just signed up for his 32nd year of membership at the “Y,'” UG says to tell you he can totally identify with the “New Year Resolutioners” issue. He also says they’re mostly gone by mid January. (I’m sure he’s always very nice.)

  2. Amber says:

    I agree! I think it’s nice if anyone wants to better themselves, even if it’s only for a few weeks. At least it’s something. I mainly just stick to walking.

  3. Dana says:

    Awesome thoughts, and thanks for helping me think of this perspective! I haven’t actually been frustrated by the new people, mostly because I’m so invested in my own workouts. BUT I think two things: I can absolutely do more to welcome others, and I also noticed you doing an amazing job keeping to this goal yourself yesterday! I noticed you in particular really helping one new woman and I really admired that. I actually always appreciate kind corrections from instructors and know that when I go into a new class and don’t know what I’m doing, it’s nice to have attention so that I don’t feel like I’m completely lost!

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      Thanks, Dana- I’m so glad you were able to get some takeaways from this post. Ever since writing it, I really have been so much better about being open minded and warm welcoming to new members. Thank you for the kind words from my class last week- means so much to me!

  4. Angela says:

    New people tend to change the culture of the gym and everyone gets unfriendly and hostile in January, new members and regulars. Everyone starts hoarding weights under their bench. Generally the regulars don’t do that. We work in, we get along, we’re mindful of those around us. Or maybe I don’t notice it because you don’t have five people sitting on three sets of weights at the same time. I love that people come to the gym, I’m sad for them when they toil away on a treadmill without breaking a sweat and then quit in a couple of weeks because they don’t see results.

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      Angela, new people certainly do change the culture of the gym and it’s hard when it interrupts our flow, but the thing is, the newer members probably don’t even realize they’re interrupting us! It is hard to see people quit because they’re not seeing results when you know they aren’t working to the level required in order to see results. Hang in there!

Share your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s