Secrets to surviving the crowds of gym newbies

Australia Day has passed and everyone is now back to work.  February also sees an inevitably influx of newbies into your gym.

On one other hand, those New Year’s resolutioners can be, well, super annoying — especially when you have to wait to use your fav machines, deal with people who don’t understand gym etiquette or get shut out of your beloved cardio class.

On the other hand, it can add a contagious fresh-start energy that pushes you even harder than usual.

Don’t have quite the same positive attitude? Here are some tips on how to keep your calm when the February gym-goers threaten your workout bliss.

1. Breathe deeply

When you see someone on your machine or get shut out of a class, it’s easy to feel annoyed.  The only way to calm your mind is to slow it down — and the most effective way to do that is by taking big breaths.

2. Help a newbie out and take them under your wing

Offering to help a newbie can transform the way you look at the February influx. It’s easier than you might think to become a mentor. If you see someone using a machine incorrectly, don’t just watch in horror — share a tip.  Help them and you will feel great too.

3. Have a backup plan.

Another great way to swap anger for acceptance is to shift your focus.  When you know the gym is going to be a madhouse, have a few workout options in mind before you walk in the door. It might even be an opportunity for you to mix up your usual routine which could lead to great results.

This could be the perfect time to get out of a training rut. Think of ways to do your workouts that don’t involve machines. Functional moves using bands and bodyweight movements are all great ways to sneak in a workout when the gym is so busy that all the machines are taken.

4. Bank on extra-long sessions.

Embrace the fact that your usual workout is likely going to take you a little longer than usual when their are crowds. You might have to show up to your favourite Spin class extra early, for example, to ensure you score a bike (I always get a chuckle from my instructor for being super early! You may need to plan on an extra 10 minutes to get through your weights routine because more people are using the equipment. Planning on longer-than-usual sessions can help prevent frustration.