Four ways to look cool at the gym


I’ll admit it, after 30 years of body building and martial arts, I have spent a disproportionate amount of my life in gyms. I know what’s “cool” and what’s not, at least in this one arena. Over the years, I have had many patients that were intimidated by the thought of going to a gym because they were overweight, thought that they were too old or were afraid of looking like a neophyte. No need to fear. Following these simple dos and don’ts will have you looking like a seasoned pro in any gym.

DO wipe down your treadmill, Precor machine, stationary bike, etc. Many gyms have paper towels with a sanitizing spray next to the cardio equipment. It’s a statement to the world: “I am a hygienic and considerate person.” Sexy.

DON’T leave your machine dripping with your body secretions. It’s not a plant, it doesn’t need to be watered. Gross, dude.

DO work out with a trainer. It screams to the world, “I am willing to spend some money to not get hurt, have good form and learn some exercises that I would never do on my own.” Seriously, trainers rule. A good one will help you identify your goals (weight loss, flexibility, muscle gain?), diagnose any imbalances and asymmetries in muscle groups and push you further than you would do by yourself. Even if you can only afford a session or two, have the trainer put together a workout that you can continue on your own. Personally, I have had the same trainer for the past 7 years, in which time we have never repeated a workout. Our sessions go like this: 15 minutes cardio, 30 minutes weight lifting, 15 minutes laughing hysterically over our lives’ adventures for the week.

DON’T struggle through exercises with bad form because you never really knew how to do them in the first place. This is how people get hurt.

woman working out at the gymDO let people work in with you. If someone is obviously waiting for the same machine or equipment you are on, offer to let them get their set in while you are resting in between sets.

DON’T be that person who monopolizes a piece of equipment, or worse, the person who spreads out her towel, water bottle, exercise diary over several pieces of equipment so they can stake out the machines they wants to use. It’s like the human version of a dog peeing on stuff to stake claim. It screams to the world, “I think my workout is more important than yours.” Ewww! Another manifestation of this behavior spreading out all of your personal belongings, lotions and potions over the tiny little bench in the locker room that all the women who have adjacent lockers have to use. Reign it in girlfriend!

DO be conscious of your breathing. When lifting, exhale during exertion. For example, if you are doing a bicep curl exhale as you are bringing the weight up and inhale as you are releasing the weight down.

DON’T be the one who grunts, groans, primal screams when lifting weights. Maybe in a gym that caters to Olympic power lifting you can get away with it, but in a regular gym us regular people look at each other and roll our eyes!

Dr. Lonna Denny, D.C., is the owner of the San Francisco Spine Pain Relief Center, a Denny Chiropractic Corp., and specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. “Relieving your pain, increasing your game!” If you are in need of a San Francisco Chiropractor, please call our office at 415-775-9100

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