The gym is a scary place at the best of times. There’s the grunting hard men, the “athletes,” the hoarders, the Insta stars, the socialites and the people who always know way more about everything than everyone else
And then there are the weights and the machines – terrifying contraptions…
So, it’s pretty understandable why newbies get so freaked out when they go for the first time.
Like why does that guy look like he’s about to kill his reflection? Or how on earth does that machine actually work? Does that girl know her leggings are see-through AF when she squats?
Anyway, it’s a disarming experience and unfortunately loads of first timers are really put off ever going againbecause of that initial shock. And yes, shock is the right word here because some sights are, quite frankly, outrageous…
So, to help get you through your first time gym sesh, we’ve come up with the 10 most common things you’ll notice as a newbie, but don’t worry, soon you’ll be a gym pro and shocking the life out of other newbies.
Some may refer to these foods as “bad foods” or “fattening foods” or even “forbidden foods”.
I would disagree, as no food should be labelled as “bad”.
It’s the circle of gym life…
1. Mirrors. Mirrors EVERYWHERE
As a newbie it’s perfectly acceptable to wonder if all those mirrors are there as some sort of
After all, there’s a reason why you’re going to the gym whether it’s to bulk up, slim down or just get CV fit and the last thing you want is to spot your sweaty face (or sweaty other parts) in all
The most important thing to remember about this is that while you may notice yourself in every shiny reflective surface, no one else will be looking – we promise.
They’re all too busy looking at themselves in the same shiny reflective surfaces thinking the EXACT same thing as you.
2. Leggings are ALWAYS seethrough
Yes we know you’ve spent ages bending over in front of mirrors to make sure you won’t be showing the world your knickers when you squat, but you will.
Even the squat proof leggings aren’t fully squat proof. You’ll pick up on this pretty quickly.
The thing is there are some fab brands out there whose leggings are more squat friendly than others so do your research before you gym.
3. Someone will ALWAYS try to give you advice
The seasoned gym goer can spot newbies a mile off. Why? They usually have a deer in the headlights look about them when they pick up a dumbbell.
Most people will let you get on with business, but some have this incredible need to dole out, often unwarranted, advice based on the latest article they read in this months edition of
Unless they’re a qualified PT with happy clients, then feel free to ignore anything they say.
That’s not to say seasoned gym goers don’t know their stuff, but it can be pretty intimidating
for a newbie.
Our advice, get yourself a PT to show you the ropes first.
4. You will genuinely think WTAF every time you go to the gym
There are some serious sights when you hit up the gym. A guy will ALWAYS be doing some sort of fancy martial arts in the corner.
Another will be screwing his face in excruciating pain on a foam roller and there will be the girl who spends her entire time there taking selfies.
BUT, it’s all good! What they’re doing should have no impact on what you’re doing. Each to their own. Hey, at least they’re there keeping themselves fit and healthy.
5. People either talk loudly or not at all
There is no happy medium to conversation in the gym. For some, you’re there for one thing and one thing only – to train.
For others it’s the most sociable place on the planet and they must talk very loudly to make sure everyone knows, yes even the granny on the arm bike, what their plans are for the weekend.
You too will soon fall into one of these categories (note, no one likes a loud mouth…).
6. Cutting in
“Can I cut in?” it’s a disarming phrase to be met with but it’s an essential one you must learn
as a newbie.
Basically the person asking this question is wanting to bosh out their sets in between yours while you rest. This is perfectly normal gym behaviour. It prevents the hoarders from hogging benches and encourages you to workout harder.
7. The music is rubbish
Unless you’re a big, big fan of listening to trance like all the time, you’re going to hate
Worse than that is when the gym forgets to turn on the music and you can hear all the sounds of the people working out around you – that’s exciting. So bring your headphones and zone out to Adele if you’re so inclined.
8. Passive aggressiveness is normal
Whether When someone comes up to you and asks “are you using the squat rack?” when you’re clearly standing in the squat rack with weights on the bar, it’s a not so sly way of saying, “seriously? Hurry up I want to go home and this is the last exercise I need to do.”.
Everyone does this in the gym. Some people just give you side eye but it’s normal. After all, they want to go home and curl up in front on the telly just as much as you do…
9. People take selfies – get over it
Whether you love Instagram or hate it, the fact is people will take pictures of themselves in the many, many mirrors.
Again, it’s all good. Who cares? What matters is how well you workout.
10. Everyone has been a newbie
After the initial shock of your first gym session, the next time you go, you’ll no longer be the gym newbie and someone else will have that wide eyed fear look about them.
So, when you’re resting between a set and thinking to yourself “why am I here?” just remember everyone has been where you are and use him or her as motivation to get to where you want