So here is the thing, this is a lot of opinion, but decently accurate opinion. Take it in, weigh it, see if you’re a culprit and get your stuff together. Only you, can help against Planet Fitness one nice gesture at a time.
The stereotypical gym rat are people that many of us are probably annoyed by, but for those newer to the gym or can’t “get to your level”, they are the exact reason places like Planet Fitness exist. These are things that many do, some without realizing, that hurt the gym perception. Are you guilty?
Acting Like You Own the Gym
I know that it can be part of a mentality for getting work done, where people will puff out their chests and strut around like they’re King or Queen Gold’s. But that persona you’re carrying around can be completely intimidating to someone who has never stepped foot in “your” arena before. You don’t have to drop the act, but a smile wouldn’t hurt from time to time.
Staring at People Who Don’t Know What They’re Doing
Don’t be a douchebag. If someone is doing something absolutely wrong, you can tell if they are newer or not. The rule is typically not to interrupt someone in their workout or volunteer your opinion, but you know when bad form is dangerously bad. Staring at someone in the mirror or making a joke of the nube in the corner keeps them from feeling comfortable and can drive them out of the weight room and into Fitness Planet’s loving, pizza wielding arms..
Someone who is just getting their bearings is far less likely to ask you for a dumbbell they need that you’ve been hoarding. I won’t care less about asking you because you don’t need to superset with 5 different size dumbbells anyways, but the chick who is lifting for the first time…not so much. She’ll quickly migrate closer to the elliptical and feign a workout on a machine she can’t really figure out because she felt so completely out of place over in your world.
The Excessive Dropping of Weights and Yelling
Its common knowledge now that this stuff is a gym no no, but here is a thing you may not have thought of…your noisy proclamations of lifting aren’t just annoying, they can be down right intimidating. Most people don’t venture into the weights area because they don’t think they belong. Period. Imagine being a lifter and entering a ballet class. Your thump thump thumping feet will make you stand out and feel pretty uncomfortable. Same can go for a chick who is curling the pink 5lb weights, while you’re over there dropping the 45’s (85’s for our boys) constantly.
There’s More Judgey Talk Than You Realize
There are plenty of people who keep to themselves when they lift, but we all know that once you develop gym buddies, you spend a few minutes here and there discussing different things. I myself have been at the gym talking about some crazy guy who almost killed himself the other day, or some ridiculous chick who had the stupidest routine ever. Yeah, I’m only talking to my friend, but a person who may already feel a little out of place who hears that will make the assumption that she’ll be the ridiculous chick you’re talking about tomorrow. One is much less apt to exit their comfort zone when they think they’ll be judged for it.
Planet Fitness Only Wants You Through the Door
Don’t get me wrong, I rightfully detest PF like most should, but if none of the previous examples give reason, here is the number one: Planet Fitness only tries to get you through the door. There is little to no commitment. Even the price is about no commitment. No commitment means no pressure. The stereotype of Gold’s Gym and others is that you’re there to get in massive shape. Planet Fitness is more along the lines of, “get in the shape you want, or whatever”. That probably isn’t their tagline, but it should be. Yes, they serve pizza, yes they hate on actual lifters. But they do those things to remind their clients that there is absolutely no pressure to work your way up the DB rack. We may not be able to stand that fact, but those who felt out of place everywhere else probably do.
It isn’t your responsibility to make everyone feel comfortable, but you do have to remember that you want people to stay. Represent your community well.
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