How to go to a Gym – Top 5 Tips for Beginners

How to go to a Gym – Top 5 Tips for Beginners

Today I want to shift the gears from talking about supplements and workouts, and bump over to good habits and general life stuff.

I know, sounds boring right? I’ll try not to be too dry and preachy because we all break the rules sometimes, and nobody wants to feel judged. There’s no shame here at The Quest for Fitness, only a desire to improve.

So with that being said, what this article entails is a simple list of 5 tips on how to go to a gym, of course written with the total beginner in mind.

If you already know all of what I’m throwing your way, then good for you! Keep up the great work, and feel free to provide any additional tips down below in the comments section. Help us grow as a community of health conscious individuals.

Let us get right into it!



5. Wiping off your Benches and other Equipment

I feel like I really shouldn’t have to say this, but again we’re from all walks of life and it’s for the purpose of education. So here I go:

Wipe down your benches when you’re done sweating all over them, please. I even asked politely as a gesture of good faith.

In most gyms and fitness clubs that I’ve been to, there’s stations set up throughout the main floor where the cardio and weightlifting equipment usually lives. At these stations is typically spray bottles and paper towel. Don’t be shy, try it out if you haven’t.

If you’re like me, there’s sweat everywhere by them time i’m finished my sets or cardio session.

I often think “would I really want to use the machine if it looked like this upon arrival?” and we all know the answer is no. So for the sake of good hygiene and being polite to the other members, tidy up after yourself and keep the cycle going.



4. Don’t hog the equipment

Now this one comes down the conditions at your particular gym more than anything, so this will apply to some more than others.

Typically there is some basic set of rules that get posted at each and every place of training and fitness. In said rules, often times there will be one relating directly to equipment usage. It may be something like “30 minute maximum on the equipment”.

I use that one because that’s what it says at my current gym. But I’ve been to places that had no such rules, but you’re usually still expected to play fair.

Even if you’re the biggest and baddest of all the bodybuilders, you’re still just one person. And without your fair shot at the right equipment, you wouldn’t be able to get the results you wanted either.

Trust me, I’ve seen the bench press section during rush hour. Some days you have to totally rearrange your program while you wait for a spot to open up, and some days you just don’t bother because of the crowd.

Anyways, I feel I’ve lingered on that point for long enough that you get the point. Just try to make sure you’re not wasting time on the machines and spoiling the fun for others.

None of this is to be confused with resting between your sets, which is an essential part of lifting of course. Just wanted to mention that before I moved on.


3. Avoid Staring, Glaring, or being otherwise overbearing

Now this is both a funny and somewhat uncomfortable topic to discuss depending on who you ask. And that’s totally to be expected, because our interactions as individuals are unique to who we are and how we carry ourselves – even at the gym.

And i’m not just talking about pretty women getting harassed with all the staring or leering that takes place at some fitness clubs. It’s often men on the receiving end as well, going to show that nobody is immune to such behavior.

I sometimes see people of completely average builds getting made fun of for being “weak” or being otherwise not impressive enough looking. How lame is that eh? We were all there at one point in time, fighting to pack on muscle or burn off that dreaded belly fat.

Of course we were! Do you think all those shredded six packs and exploding biceps happened by accident?

Haha, not usually anyway. Generally a lot of work goes into the mix, and it can be a very long and drawn out process. Credit goes to the ones that take the time to get there, for sure. Those bodybuilder types that spend endless hours at both the gym and in the kitchen deserve props no doubt.

But again, you had to start somewhere. And that somewhere was probably a whole lot less impressive, no?  Lastly, it goes without saying that you wouldn’t have benefited from some kind of bullying along the way.

Nobody needs that – so let’s keep it cool in these holy places of training. Smile, be polite, don’t stare and point at people bending over, and focus on the workout.


2. Be Wary of taking Pictures and Videos

This is kind of a touchy issue depending on not only who you are, but what gym you go to as well. Particularly the rules they have in place.

The gym/club that I currently go to is quite strict on the side of recording. There are signs all over the facility that either say “no phones in this area” or “no pictures or videos”. Some things make a lot of sense, such as the locker room and changing areas.

Taking selfies where people are trying to get changed is in poor taste.

But on the main floor where all the work is done, I find is where those rules may not be regulated in such a stern fashion. I see it all the time on Twitter and Instagram, people take selfies or recording their workout right in the middle of a public gym. I’ve even seen people do video calls while doing their cardio session!

Let’s not start putting the exercise second while at the gym.

But If that’s not an issue at your chosen stomping ground, then this might seem a bit beneath you. All I can say is, just watch out for random people ending up in your camera shots. Some get really feisty over it, even if it’s just a simple whoopsie. I just want to help you to avoid stepping on that landmine.


1. Don’t Bite off more than you can Chew

This one is doubly important if you’re doing all your training alone. I definitely recommend having a training partner with you whenever it’s an option, for reasons not just limited to safety. Think of the morale too!

But let’s get back on track. The point I want to hit home, as I often find myself preaching about, is indeed Safety. It’s easy to get that pump going right to your head, and you’re ready to move mountains now because of it.

But are you really?

It’s quite easy to get yourself an injury, accidents happen. And sometimes they happen at the worst of times – like in the middle of your bench press set. ‘Cause that’s what you need, some part of you folding while you have hundreds of pounds hoisted directly above you.

And only sometimes can you see these injuries or mishaps coming. Otherwise, crap happens and you aren’t at fault. But if you do find yourself treading dangerously close to overdoing it with any kind of free weighted equipment, be conscientious of the people around you at least.

In fact, just last week during my free weight training I witnessed two young men recklessly swinging their weights around this one guy who was just trying to get through his dumbbell presses. Poor timing could have easily led to a collision, then an altercation after that.

Pardon my rambling.


So let’s wrap this up.

I hope here in the end I was able to provide some helpful information on how to go to a gym with my Top 5 Best Tips for Beginners.

The article was directed more so at total newbies looking for some basic info to get started, but if the more veteran members learned something than that is just extra awesome, really.

And like I mentioned before, if you have information or even stories of your own to share, drop them off in the comments section down below. Thanks as always for reading!

– Tyson

12 thoughts on “How to go to a Gym – Top 5 Tips for Beginners”

  1. Hey Tyson,
    Great article, and I can relate to a lot of the issues that you raise here.
    My own big problem is with people who sit on a piece of equipment, usually the one I want to use, and go through their phone for 20 minutes picking out their music before they get on with actually using what they’re sitting on.
    Nice to see an article reminding us all that we shouldn’t be leaving our manners at the door when we visit the gym.
    I’m looking forward to reading a lot more from you,
    Best wishes,

    • Heya Judy, thanks for popping in!

      I really just wanted to make sure that people had at least these little tidbits of info going into their new gym experience. Or if they’re already guilty of anything discussed here, that the post might be of some use ironing out bad habits. Gyms are like the holy ground of self-improvement to me, and being able to share it with others means that we should be considerate, and keep good habits in style.

      I’m all about finding the right tunes for my workout, but sheesh, just get something to make noise for you if it’s that hard to decide, haha.

      All the best,

  2. Hi there, this is a good read for newbies to the gym, useful tips! I’ve worked out in the gym on the odd occasion and #5 was probably the one that most applied to me as my time tended to be off-peak. I tended to prefer the group classes at the gym though so those were mostly what I did. # 1 is crucial though in all scenarios as I work out at home so I make it a habit to practise safety first. It doesn’t do me any good if I get injured and have to hold off working out anyways.

    • Hey there Tamika, welcome to the site!

      I totally get what you’re saying, and #1 is something I have been guilty of more often than I ever should have. But that’s why I write down these things now, and make record of my journey – for myself and others to learn from.

      And very good point on the injuries! Better to cut a workout short, or even skip a day, than to push it and get an injury that can cost weeks or even months.

      All the best,

  3. Great post. Isn’t amazing how many people aren’t knowledgeable about these common gym considerations. Or, they just don’t care. Like gawking and staring. Sometimes, it’s downright embarrassing having someone stare at someone else near you. I’m there to exercise- not to be see or be seen. Also, even though there’s signs up, people still end up taking their phones out and snapping pics. One guy had it out in the locker room for a selfie. And, I guess he didn’t realize what is in the background because he got photo bombed by a bunch dudes at the urinals!
    Thanks for sharing. Hopefully, more people will be aware of how the gym is a shared space and respect others.

    • Chris buddy, that’s exactly the point I want to nail down here, thank you!
      In today’s age of technology, you can literally be streaming every second of your entire day (including sleeping!) no matter where you are, and for the entire world to see. It’s so easy to do too, even kids have cell phones that have instant access to the internet, YouTube and whatnot.
      But some things are still sacred, in a manner of speaking. Locker rooms, changing areas, public bathrooms, etc. have no need for cameras. Straight up.

      I can’t help but laugh at the thought of that guy getting photo bombed though, lol.

      Thanks for stopping by, Chris!

  4. When I first read the title of your article I thought, “maybe I’ll find some ways to convince myself to finally go.” Haha. While your article wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be, it was still a good read. Whenever I do go to the gym, I always feel uncomfortable without a workout buddy to show me the ropes. Your article has a lot of good tips for beginners like me who want to try, but don’t know where to begin. Thank you.

    • Hey Kenny!
      Sorry for the confusion, haha that surely wasn’t my intention. However I will be doing more written pieces on good workout programs and other general useful knowledge for the average gym-goer. The site is still very much in its infancy, but eventually it will be full of free information and resources for you folks to grow from.

      Thanks for being part of something awesome =)

  5. Hi Tyson. Great tips. The one about selfies and general phone use is important. I, for one, don’t want to end up in heaps of random photos all over the internet. This is only ever ok if it is my choice. Many people these days don’t seem to have a concept of privacy!
    Cleaning up the equipment after use, and not hogging it are also tips many people would benefit from listening to. There is nothing worse than wanting to use a bench only to find that t is still covered in someone else’s sweat!

    • Hey Andrew thanks for the reply,

      Yep I totally agree and this whole post is simply based on the kinds of interactions I’ve had in the past. And some things I was guilty of when I first started at a big public gym, to be honest.

      I think some just need a light reminder of what they can do to make the general quality of life better for all.


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