1.) Have a plan: There is no better tell-tale sign that someone is new to the gym environment than when they are wondering around aimlessly thinking what exercise to do next. Avoid the indecision by getting acquainted with your gym layout, and plan your routine first. Carrying a notebook with you shows due care and attention, and later on your routines will become second nature.
2.) Don’t fall into the ‘all the gear, no idea’ bracket: You’re not fooling anyone by turning up to the gym with fluorescent running trainers, bright runners gear, gloves, a protein shake and a towel draped around your neck. The key to looking like a pro is to get the basics right…yes, there is nothing wrong with wearing the cutting edge clothes, but some of the best athletes in the world prefer to appear understated. Go for a plain t-shirt with some knee high shorts and ankle socks, and if your lifting heavy…for goodness sake don’t wear cushioned trainers, this will compromise stability and absorb some of the force. If you have to, go bare foot or opt for a solid soled trainer when lifting.
3.) Don’t try to be the centre of attention: Anybody that is serious about training will go to the gym to do just that…train! Granted the gym is a sociable place, you’re surrounded by people with whom you having something in common with, a passion for fitness, but business is business, so if you’re at the gym then do what you’re supposed to do…train! There is nothing that screams ‘bro’ more than a herd of pretty boys taking a lean on the squat rack while they talk about their latest night on the town.
4.) Leave the beach balls at home: Yes, you might have just completed a set of lat pull downs and are thus feeling rather chuffed with yourself, but your lats might not be at the stage where they are forcing your arms out to the side…so why walk like you’re carrying a couple of invisible beach balls under each arm? I like to call it the peacock stance, i.e. spreading your wings to give the impression of size and stature, but it’s not fooling anyone. Take it from me, to avoid looking like a ‘bro’ leave the beach balls at home and wait until you really have to carry two slabs of meat under your arms instead, aka your lats!
5.) Don’t be a ‘bro it all’: No one likes a know it all. You may have read Men’s Health this week and are therefore brimming with cutting edge information, but the truth is if people want to know how to do something they’ll either find out themselves, or they’ll ask. Yes world wars showed how we do like to muck in and help a fellow Brit out, but if someone is paying their gym membership each month the same as you are then let them do what they want to do. Granted, you may have struck up a friendship with someone and therefore feel comfortable enough to share some of your experience, hey, someone might have even asked you for advice. If this is the case then of course, share some of your experience…but be humble with it, don’t spend the next 15mins trying to convert them into you.
When in doubt remember:
Unless you’re specifically asked, keep your advice to yourself. Your view of what's important to you does not equate to what's important to someone else. Beware of people telling you that you 'should' do anything. That's them imposing their rules for living their life, and their life only.
DISCLAIMER: By no means am I trying to be a ‘bro it all’ in writing this blog, I am merely offering my opinion on a contentious issue that is, let’s be honest, rife in every gym and fitness environment. Don’t be a ‘bro’, just say NO!