If you want to be a bodybuilder, then at some point, you are going to need to start attending a bodybuilding gym. For many future bodybuilders, this is actually one of the hardest steps to take! You're not sure about the culture or the etiquette, and you don't want to stand out as the newbie. So, how do you go about fitting in when you're new to the bodybuilding gym? Here are a few tips to guide you.
Schedule a couple of sessions with a personal trainer.
Whether or not you ultimately plan on working with a personal trainer long-term, it's a good idea to schedule a couple of sessions with one when you're unfamiliar with a bodybuilding gym. The trainer will have a better idea of the types of workouts you would benefit most from. They'll also show you where in the gym certain equipment is located. They'll also make sure you are using it properly. After a couple of sessions, you may decide to part ways with the personal trainer and train on your own, but you'll at least feel comfortable and confident in the gym's basic layout and in the use of the equipment at that point.
Yes, you are there to sweat and get a workout. However, that does not mean you should show up in baggy old sweat pants and a stained shirt. To bodybuilders, especially, dressing neatly at the gym is a sign of respect — for the other gym-goers, and also for your own body. You don't have to buy high-end clothing straight off the bat but do show up in clean, fitted shorts or tights, and a well-fitted top.
Ask to work in.
If you want to use a certain piece of equipment, but someone else is doing sets with it, then proper etiquette is to ask that person if you can "work in." Basically, this means that you will do a set, and then rest while the other person does a set. Then, you'll do another set, and so forth. Standing around and waiting for someone to finish with equipment when they are clearly doing sets will make you stand out. Working in is very much the way of the bodybuilding gym!
If you follow the tips above, you should find your way around the bodybuilding gym and feel like you belong there in no time. Train hard, and you can accomplish your dreams.