We all know who the meat heads and the girls that are absolutely jacked are in our gym don’t we? I mean, we may not know them personally, but we all know the dudes that look like they’re an upside down weeble wobble. They’ve skipped leg day since 2011 and their legs look like they’re going to crush under the pressure of their massive upper body that looks like it could pick up a truck.
And while the meat heads are not our focus, we all know these guys are really bad about showing off, they do max reps all the time without assistance, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one of them warm up properly.
I’m sure I’ll get a hater e-mail from a meat head telling me I’m “so wrong”. Which is fine. I’m a trainer, I know what I’m looking for and they’re entitled to their wrong opinion.
Okay, enough of being ugly.
Here’s my point. I love my fellow gym goers; I really do! To be honest, those men and women have worked so hard to get to where they are!
BUT! Gym safety is huge. And those that have been in the gym should do a better job about being a good example of what good fitness looks like.
More people have been hurt in the gym by simply not using their brains in regards to choosing the right gym, good warm ups, weight training properly, and showing off.
Yep, I’m looking at you, meat heads. Don’t show off. It’s not cool.
Although, we girls can show off sometimes too, but more on that in a minute.
Let’s walk through this overview of gym safety together.
Gym Safety Tips #1 – Staffing And Locked Doors
This is a big one. One of the big things right now is 24 hour gyms that are open every single day of the year. Which to be quite honest, is amazing. You can literally go workout anytime that you want.
This is exactly the kind of gym I work at and take my clients. Big 9,000 square foot gym and it’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
There’s no longer the excuse of not being able to get to the gym before it closes. Because, I’m willing to bet, that close by, you have a gym that is open 24 hours a day.
Here’s the kicker. 24 hours a day, well, you know what my grandma always said? She said nothing good happens past midnight.
Basically what my Grammy was saying is that it’s typically not safe late at night. While I don’t encourage late night escapades at the gym, if that is more your mojo make sure that your gym has locked doors.
They may not be staffed 24 hours a day, but having doors that lock and can only be opened by members is huge! The last thing you need to be worried about while you’re working out is if some weirdo is going to pop up in there and decide to be weird.
Another big thing is staffing.
I’m always a fan of staff being there. Maybe because I once was a gym staffer and I loved talking to people in the gym. But staff can be a really big deal when it comes to safety and ensuring that people are using good gym etiquette.
I wouldn’t say a gym staff is a requirement for gym safety, but it definitely is something that I would consider!
Last quick thing. Before you sign onto a gym, look at the equipment.
Check the dumbbells, the barbells, and the machines. Just a quick glance over looking for cleanliness, sturdiness, and good upkeep.
Dirty gyms can carry with them diseases and infections. Like gross diseases and infections. It’s as simple as that.
Gym Safety Tips #2 – Always Warm Up
Alright, so you have your awesome new gym, you’re ready to start your workouts.
Always warm up. This is where a lot of girls get hung up, because they aren’t quite sure how or what to warm up.
Here is my general warm up and it takes about 10-15 minutes, then I go right into my workout:
- Swift Walk on Treadmill for ½ of a mile
- 500M-1,000M Steady Row
- Foam Roll
- Non-weighted movements of whatever is in my circuit for the day (example: air squats if I’m doing weighted squats, arm circles if I’m working on pullups and overhead, etc.)
You’ll probably notice that I did not say stretch. I despise stretching for warm up. I compare stretching cold muscles similar to that of stretching a cold rubber band. It doesn’t work very well does it?
Nope, sure doesn’t.
Your warm up does not have to be complicated at all. It simply needs to be moving your entire body in a paced fashion to warm up your muscles.
Gym Safety Tips #3 – Never Do Any Kind of Maxing Alone
My girls that are clients and my girls on Instagram (which, by the way, had to start a new one, because some low life hacked my old account! Oh well, go check it out!) know that I am a huge advocate for weight training for girls.
I’m a firm believer that weight training will sculpt your body in ways that cardio can only dream of doing. Do I believe in Cardio? Well, duh. Of course! We have to work our heart, it’s a fact of life.
There is however, more to cardio than 20 life sucking minutes on the elliptical. But I digress, back to the point at hand.
If you decide that you are going to be a renegade and workout when there is no staffing at the gym, I do not suggest doing any kind of maxing.
Let’s say your gym never has staff which a lot of gyms are moving in that direction, grab a girlfriend and you both pick a day that you’re going to lift heavy and work together. Because if you’re maxing and you get hurt, you need someone that can call 911!
Some gyms have a button that you can wear around your neck and if you get in a compromised situation while you’re alone, you can press that button and it calls 911 to come to the gym.
Bottom line for this section is to not be dumb. Oh don’t be offended, you know that lifting that heavy on your own isn’t smart.
You’re a smart girl, so use your noodle to your advantage! 🙂
Gym Safety Tips #4 – Don’t Show Off
Oh yeah. I’m going here so just buckle up.
Sometimes when we aren’t sure of ourselves we tend to over complicate the situation and we end up showing off when we have no business showing off.
Case and point…. I was doing a workout that had box jumps in them. I knew that I was getting tired and I needed to start stepping up instead of jumping up. Well, I didn’t. My legs got too tired and I missed and fell.
Thankfully, I didn’t scrape the front part of my shin completely off but it did hurt not only physically but my pride as well!
So, if you’re going to try a new exercise or even a new machine, practice it first. Practice the move without weight or practice the machine with a low amount of weight.
Please, for the love of kettlebells don’t end up being one of those viral videos of people showing off at the gym that hurt themselves.
Leave the gym each time with your dignity in tact.
Now, while the first point might seem a little bit off topic, it really isn’t. It’s number one for a reason and it’s going to stay number one. Before you can start working out in a gym, you have to find a good gym, right? I’m sure you have a gym membership already, but I would ask you to ensure that it is meeting all of your needs and that it is a safe place to continue your workouts!
Remember, warm ups do not have to be complicated nor do they have to be boring. Warm ups should always be light and easy full body movements. It’s called warm up, because you’re literally warming up your body for a difficult and taxing 45 minutes to hour.
Which leads me into maxing. While this isn’t a super hot topic for women unless you’re a competitor, it is something worth discussing because it can lead into so many different things.
I’ll give you an idea when it comes to maxing. I only go for max weight a few times a year, because bulking up isn’t my goal. My goal is to be cut and look like I could kick someone’s butt and 1-2 rep max isn’t the way to get the look that I’m going for.
3-4 rep max is, so I apply the same principle. I am smart about it.
Let’s touch on showing off one more time.
Remember this with me… Your worth is not defined by what someone else thinks about you in the gym. It’s just not. It really is that simple.
I think that when we feel the need to show off in the gym, we’re looking for the approval of complete strangers. Why is that? We don’t know them. It’s not like they pay our stinking bills.
Don’t let the approval of complete strangers make you compromise your safety.
I know… A lot of us know these things, but you know what? It’s worth the reminder.
Alright, enough about this. See you in the gym!
Oh! One more thing, we’re always taking gym selfies, right? When you post your gym selfie to Instagram, tag me in it so I can comment and cheer you on!
*Be Sure to Pin For Later!