It is commonly thought that going to the gym and working out will create a positive result on your health, performance and life in general. However, what often gets overlooked is having the right mindset, etiquette and approach to attending the gym.
There are a lot of quotes from famous people on how showing up is the hardest part and is the key to success. Now obviously showing up is critical when it comes to anything, but if it’s the hardest part, then chances are you're not training or working very hard!
Here are my 10 ‘standards’ or rules that will ensure your success in the gym:
1. Be clear on what you’re aiming to achieve
Having a crystal clear target will help develop the course of action or program in the gym. Knowing where point A is (start point) and where point B is (target/goal) will uncover the steps and work required.
2. Have a plan and stick to it
Randomly stringing together different exercises without a proper structure or program isn’t a recipe for success. It might get your step count up and burn a few calories, but no structure will soon lead to stagnation after a period of time. It’s like driving without Google maps, you might get somewhere but it won’t be where you want to be! You can get some inspiration from attending one of the many fun and challenging group exercises classes available on Privilee. I personally enjoy GearUp, a CrossFit-style class at Engine Health & Fitness Gym, HIT Training at SEVEN Gym and Xplod Body at OOMO Fitness Studio.
Treat the gym and your training with respect. Showing up late to a class, wearing the wrong shoes, skipping the warm up and being on your phone will impact your results and safety. Be early, tie up your shoes, ask questions and put your phone away. If you want serious results, then you’ll need to have a serious approach.
If they dont have it, bring a towel, water bottle and wear appropriate gym attire. Wipe your sweat and put your weights away. Use the mirrors to check your technique, not to fix your hair. On Privilee, many of the amazing hotel gyms like the Sheraton Grand and Fairmont Dubai provide free towels and water bottles - so you can enjoy the little luxuries during your workout!
It’s impossible to hit it out of the park every time you’re in the gym. There will be days where it's hard and there are factors out of your control that will see a drop in performance. However, making sure you maintain effort is a good habit to keep.
6. Make the hard choices
Don’t stick to the exercises or parts of the program you’re good at. The greatest yield usually comes from working on your weak points. Make yourself uncomfortable and look for areas that need improving.
7. Don’t ego lift or take it easy
Both can be detrimental to your results and even dangerous. It’s easy to get competitive with people in the gym and can often lead to pushing beyond your capabilities and increasing the risk of injuries. If you’re working out with someone less experienced, don’t fall into the trap of working at their level.
8. Look good when you lift
This doesn’t mean having perfectly blow waved hair and coconut oil shimmering from your muscles! Rather make each rep, stride or movement look as good as possible. Being meticulous with form helps with the right execution and sequencing of muscles. Looking good has function!
9. Offer help and be humble
If someone is doing something wrong or needs help, then be charitable with helpful advice. Don’t use this as a green light to shove your ideas down other peoples' throats. Helping others will have a profound effect on your own mindset and can reinforce things that you might have just learnt. Be humble and open to criticism for improvement. A second set of eyes can see things that you might not be able to see. Take every opportunity to improve.
10. Enjoy and celebrate success
There is a feeling that you get after completing a hard workout or knowing you have overcome something that is hard. Savour and enjoy this feeling! Be proud of every little milestone and achievement. Small things add up to big things over time.
Remember, after a tough workout you can relax and enjoy the sunshine and hang out at one of the many pools and beach clubs on Privilee – like one of my favourites, the Conrad Dubai or the newly launched Jumeirah Zabeel Saray!
Don’t forget to check out the app for more information on fitness classes and gyms near you, or check out the fitness timetable here
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