14 ways to make a gym session more productive
1 - Remember why you are there. Although it may be tempting to pop along to the gym for the latest eye-candy, please remember that your membership fees would be better spent getting you into shape!
2 - Keep things quiet-ish. Nothing annoys gym-goers more than the guy/girl in the free weights area that sounds like they are going into labour.
3 - Keep your water bottle filled-up. Any reputable gym will have a ready supply of chilled water, and you don’t want your workout interrupted by a light head and dizzy spells. Good hydration is chapter 1, page 1, line 1!
4 - Sort out your tunes. Your brain is a crazy thing, and you never know how your hormones will react to a real ‘get up and go’ tune. You could run that little bit faster or lift that little bit more with the right songs lined up.
5 - Accept a spot when it is offered. Unless you are being hit on, most experienced users offering you a spot will be doing so as they are genuinely concerned about your next lift. Please also be careful about offering a spot - many male egos have been destroyed by a beautiful girl performing a monster lift!
6 - Experiment with your gym schedule. Every gym will have its own ‘busy’ time, and you may need to try a few different sessions to see when things are quiet. A quiet gym will allow you to complete your sets faster on multiple pieces of equipment.
7 - Don’t treat the gym like a coffee shop. If you see the same people constantly standing around and chatting, you will begin to understand why they show very little signs of progress. The most productive gym sessions will never be a completely social experience.
8 - Leave the buttons alone. If your half-hour on the exercise bike includes five minutes of adjusting the speed and gradient, you may need to ask an instructor for advice. Choose a set programme and stick to it for the sake of your own workout, and sanity!
9 - Bring a towel, or take some of your gym’s disposable tissues. When you see towel-less exercisers acting like a human sprinkler system, it actually makes everyone’s workout less productive with too much time spent wiping and polishing.
10 - Ditch the supplement and take an espresso. There are many studies that have shown that a shot of espresso pre-workout as just as effective as a number of potentially harmful supplements. Free coffee at the gym? Even better!
11 - Embrace your smartphone. Modern smartphone fitness apps are mind-boggling. If you want to know when your cycling efforts have taken you from London to the moon, you are in luck!
12 - Buy your protein drinks away from the gym. Although they are usually laid out conveniently behind the reception, you will often find that most sports drinks are significantly cheaper online.
13 - Observe basic weights etiquette. If you are someone who leaves their disused plates scattered across the floor, the chances are that others will follow suit. Set a good example and it should be better for everyone.
14 - Don’t become paranoid about your appearance. See that guy with the chiselled torso the girl with the perfect bottom? They were also in your position once upon a time!