Specifically, January in the gym. Or, out on the roads (if you’re a runner), in the pool during lane-swimming sessions, or in your favourite exercise class/bootcamp session.
Social media this week is full of whinges, whines, and passive-aggressive memes about “newbie” exercisers. The problem? Apparently they are all about to arise from their sofas (where they’ve been lazing for the past 20 years whilst us fit-folk have been #beastmode 24/7). And they’re about to have the audacity to venture into our gyms.
That’s not all! They’re going to mess things up for us for a few weeks in January (you know, using the equipment and possibly not knowing how to load a bar properly) and then they are going to GIVE UP AND GO AWAY AGAIN! (Why could that be… ?)
These gym-newbies are thus a dual source of sustenance for the gym community’s elitist comments and holier-than-thou attitude. Firstly, they turn up at the gym never having been before (remind you of anyone… like… you? And me? And indeed everybody?) Then they fail to stick it out (because, of course, they haven’t got the commitment and willpower you have. It could also be that they were put off by that sense they had of not being quite welcome. Or perhaps, just maybe, it’s because the gym isn’t for them after all).
Well, I hate this time of year. Not because of the gym newbies. Because of the attitude of gym “oldies” who posts memes like this one, and write stuff on Facebook, and then crow with I-told-you-so glee when the newbie isn’t there any more in February.
I get it, I do. It’s annoying when you turn up to squat, and all the squat racks are taken. It’s frustrating when the weights are all out and strewn around the floor. It can be irritating when you really want to use a certain pair of dumbbells and they’re being used by someone who doesn’t look like they know what they’re doing.
But I really think we need to get over ourselves.
Worst case scenario: you are doing your final workout before a competition. Or you’re someone who makes money from your sport/physique, and you can’t do the exact workout you wanted to do.
I can’t imagine there is ever a situation where there’s literally not one thing you can do in the entire gym that day. If there is, I guess you need to talk to management and tell them they’ve been ambitious with their new sales targets, or need to re-invest in kit.
Here’s what I hope I’ll be doing if any new folk decide to join my gym in January.
- Say hello and/or wave (depending on the Headphone scenario)
- Introduce myself
- Ask if they’re new (because I’m terrible at remembering people I’ve actually already met)
- Ask if they’ve come from another gym or if this is their first go in a gym environment
- Tell them amusing stories about the gym dog
- Tell them to let me know if they need a hand with anything
- Say goodbye and hopefully see you again soon
It’s really not difficult. I was new to the gym, once, too. I still feel unsure and a bit intimidated and nervous if I go to do a brand-new sport or type of training. And I just think it’s nice to be nice.
After all, what’s the alternative? Whingeing about how people are lazy and can’t be bothered to do anything about changing their weight, health and fitness… ? Oh wait… our industry tends to do that, too. 😉
What are your thoughts on the January gym-influx scenario? To what extent is your training affected? Have you posted that ^^^ meme and do you plan to unfriend me on FB now? 😉 (bye)
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.