By Justin "Bunk" DeVane
When I took my first CrossFit class I remember one question coming to my head, do I even belong here?
Gyms in general, no matter the modalities used, are an intimidating place for everyone. From weights to barbells, to machines you haven’t seen, and all those fit people standing around. All of these factors can cause many of us to have trouble even walking through the door to the gym.
But once we walk in, what are some things to look for to figure out if it’s a place for you? Here are three tips I always tell people to look for.
1. Are the staff and members friendly and welcoming?
I don’t mean they are selling friendliness. Do the coaches, trainers, and other members seem genuinely kind and happy to see you there. If they look annoyed, don’t say hello immediately, or seem to be putting on a fake face. It might be time to get out of there.
2. Is the facility clean and safe?
In today’s world, cleanliness is of utmost importance when choosing a gym. Look around when you get there. Is equipment put up orderly, is it clean, and does it look like the members and staff care about the treatment and cleaning of the equipment.
Is it safe should probably be right up there with cleanliness. Especially in group classes, you should be asking do we have enough room to do this? Over packing a class can be something you see, make sure to look for it. Also, are the coaches/trainers actually coaching or watching the members. If the coach cares more about drinking coffee or checking their phone, you need to move on.
3. Do you like the vibe?
I know this one sounds crazy, but every gym has a vibe. Some are competitive and some are not, so decide what you are looking to have in a gym and look for that vibe. Family oriented, competitive minded, or just a place to workout where everyone keeps quiet. Find your vibe and go for it.
The quick answer to the question above is of course you belong. Everyone belongs in a healthy lifestyle world, however everyone has to find the gym that works best for them. Look around and find that gym that makes you feel comfortable.
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