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Photo by Mariah Wilson

How to look like you belong in the gym

By Gayathri Peringod, January 16 2018 —

Feeling bloated? Want to work off that holiday weight but terrified that people will realize you’ve never stepped foot in a gym? We’re here to help. I went to the gym at least twice last year and I’ve only been kicked out once, so I know what I’m talking about. Here are a few tips on gym etiquette that will make you look like you’ve been pumping iron since you were five.

 

Avoid overpowering scents:

This refers to two very specific types of scents. The first is the overpowering scent of body odour that you’re probably familiar with from traumatic flashbacks of junior high phys-ed. The second is the copious amount of cheap cologne that you’ve doused yourself with to mask the B.O. As a rule of thumb, if you see people violently coughing when you walk past them, it might be time to ease up on Axe Body Spray® and start investing in a real deodorant instead.

 

Travel light:

It’s important to carry only the bare necessities to the gym. Personally, I like to bring my water bottle, earbuds, phone, packets of chips, Coke and ‘hang-in-there’ cat posters in a small suitcase to keep me motivated and hydrated during my workout. Anything more is ill-advised — after all, nothing is more embarassing than looking out of place at the gym.

 

Dress appropriately:

Turns out, wearing your cutest six-inch pumps and matching halter top to the gym is a no-no. I learned this the hard way. Instead, find and wear your baggiest hoodie and worn-out sweatpants, because comfort is key. If your personal trainer tells you to wear something else, ignore their jealousy. You do you, fam.

 

Warm up properly:

If you don’t want to draw too much attention, then you probably shouldn’t be having heart attacks on the treadmill. Start slow and work your way up. Take a small nap on the floor next to the treadmill before exercising. From my experience, sleeping for half an hour before and after a 10-minute workout is enough to adequately prepare your mind and body for the physical strain it’s about to undergo. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard.

 

Stop worrying:

If it helps, no one else cares what you look like. Chances are half of the people around you are only there to try and keep their New Year’s resolutions and are as new to this as you are. Strut confidently with your torn sweatpants and family-sized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. You’ve got nothing to lose.  

 

This article is part of our Humour section.

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