The Busy Gym Survival Guide
Get Results, Even When Your Gym Is Busy, With Our Step-By-Step Guide.
You have your gym membership sorted and your brand new programme loaded and ready to go.
This will be the start of something amazing. So, with your new workout gear on, you make your way from the changing rooms to the gym floor.
What could go wrong?
As you enter the gym area you are met with a slightly less violent but equally busy scene from WWE…
With your favourite kit being used, your enthusiasm and confidence slowly drain.
Whilst a busy gym can be frustrating, upskilling yourself on how to not just survive but how to thrive in this environment will ensure that you still achieve all your fitness goals.
Read on to find out our top tips for thriving in a busy gym…
How To Thrive In A Busy Gym
When the kit you want to use is already taken, it is understandable to think ‘is this really worth the hassle?’
Although it may feel like the whole gym is watching you on your first day back, everyone returning to the gym will have the exact same feeling. So you are not alone.
However, if you do decide to give in to frustrations like this then you say goodbye to that goal you had of lifting your bodyweight in a barbell back squat or mastering your first pull up.
So if we agree that stopping is not the solution then what can we do?
Well, aside from practising a little patience and understanding, here are our top tips for navigating a crowded gym:
Be Flexible With Your Workout
I know, I know, the thought of doing your bigger compound lifts anywhere other than at the start of your workout sounds like a cruel joke, but hear me out.
If the rack is in use and you aren’t going to get on it for at least 15 minutes, is it really worth standing around until then? That’s another 15 minutes onto the end of your workout.
Instead, could you skip to the next exercise and come back when that piece of kit frees up?
I know the programme says you should do squats first, but…
The programme is written with the ideal order in mind. It should not be viewed as the only way.
Instead, be open to trying a different order if needed. The goal should be to complete the workout for that day. The benefits of sticking to the exact order pale in comparison to whether you complete the programme or not. By doing this and being flexible, you will save a lot of time and stress.
Pick The Right Programme
A lot of programmes are not created considering how someone will implement it in ‘insert name of popular health club here’.
Programs such as starting strength, 531 or Juggernaut are all great programmes, however, they require almost a full 60 minutes on a rack. This is not always feasible for a large number of us.
If you need to wait to get on a rack initially then this 60-minute workout could easily become longer.
Not to mention the awkward interactions you have with every member that has to wait on you finishing barbell set number 19.
There is nothing worse than being on the gym floor reading your programme about what you are planning to do and thinking…
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Instead, when you are selecting a programme or putting your own one together, visualise yourself going through it in your gym.
As good as a programme may seem if it isn’t feasible or it’s going to be too time-consuming to execute then it is not good for you.
Our Free 7-Day Strength Challenge was created with this in mind.
No illogical supersets that has you running from one end of the gym to the other. No workouts that have you waiting for a rack only to set up camp for the next hour. Instead, we have planned a programme for people that can be implemented in any gym and still get you stronger. Click HERE to get started.
Use Your Voice
This one may seem obvious, but just asking ‘hey, are you still using that?’ or ‘hey, I was just wondering if you had many more sets left?’ can make a world of difference to your workout.
No more wondering how long a piece of kit will be used or assuming someone will be using it for an age. Just asking means 2 things:
You find out how long they will be using that piece of equipment for and;
If you are having to wait for them to finish you have also just made it known that you are next in line. It is likely that they will seek you out when they are done.
The ironic thing is that if you are the one using a piece of equipment that you know is popular, then having someone just ask is much better than you feeling awkward that you may or may not be delaying their workout.
And who knows, you may even make friends or at least build some rapport that will serve you well in the future.
On a side note, if you are new to a gym a great way to get comfortable with the environment is to ask for an induction.
Gyms can be busy and the kit you want can often be taken, this does not mean you should stop training and cancel your membership.
Instead, before and during your next gym visit you should do the following:
1) Practice some patience and understanding.
2) Change the exercise order if needed to use what is available at the time.
3) Follow a programme that can be easily carried out in any gym.
4) Use your voice and communicate with your fellow gym comrades and work together instead of against one another.
To find a program that will not be easy to use in any gym, but is also guaranteed to get you stronger try our Free 7-Day Strength Challenge.