What to Expect When You Join a New Gym (commercial health club)

Joining a New Gym: What to Expect and How

to Survive This Fitness Jungle


Keys to make it smooth as possible


Take a few steps away from the mirror and db rack – no need to stand directly in front of the db rack to stare at yourself in the mirror. Take a few steps back so other lifters can get to the db's and you don't look like a tool.


Don't set up a ton of equipment and take up a ton of space- you can do supersets (dips and pullups) but don't try setting up multiple sets of dbs and other equipment and taking up a lot of space.

This is an amateur move. Do your one movement. If you want to do supersets then be aware someone might jump in on your machine or bench when you move to the next exercise.

If you are moving at a good pace and people see you are a man on a mission then it's less likely someone will jump in on your superset but if you are dicking around and barely breaking a sweat people may not notice you were still using the other piece of equipment.


Spot someone, help someone out – if someone asks you for a spot, (usually for a bench press attempt) ask them what they need.

If they need a lift-off, how many reps they are doing, if they want you to touch the bar or if they want you to let them fight for it.

Being a good spotter takes some work. It's not just stand there and say “all you bro”. Do it right and earn the respect.


Clean up your bench/machines – don't be that guy that's so lazy and ignorant he can't wipe down a bench after leaving a pool of sweat on it.

Music at Commercial Gyms is LAME

Bring your own music – mp3 player commecial gym music is awful. You don't want to be stuck trying to get pumped up and listen to some boy band at full blast.


Keep in mind no one cares what you are doing- everyone is busy staring at their body own body in the mirror – don't worry about anyone else,what exercises they do, what kind of form they have etc. 'that guy has big traps and does upright rows so I better do them' .

No, you are different and your body requires different training.

Never model your training after anyone else even if they are the biggest baddest dude in the gym. Learn from them but don't copy what they do. They may have 20 years experience and you may have 1 month.

Sacred Space?

No curls in the squat rack! There's no reason to do this. Just do curls with the curl bars or duumbbells. Leave squats for the squat racks. It's a sacred space. Keep it that way.

All Work and No Play?

Make friends but come to train

You're at a new place so it feels awkward. You don't know anyone. Make a friend or two.

You don't need to become best buds but have that one or two guys you see and chat a minute with about the gym or training and then get to work.

No need to turn it into a social hour but it helps when you need a spot and to feel more like you're at home in the new gym.

Avoid Peak Hours If Possible

Final tip- stay away from the gym at peak hours if possible. 4-7 pm monday through weds is a super busy time at commercial gyms.

If you're new and you go at peak time you may walk right out there door or end up on a machine you didn't intend on using and getting more frustrated. That's the last thing you want when you get to the gym to train.


If you need energy before you get to the gym, I made a cheatsheet with 12 Tips to give you a boost. Go HERE FOR ENERGY BOOST