Why Patience in the Gym Is Essential

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Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Friday October 23, 2020

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Gyms may have begun to reopen in your area in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, don’t expect to find too many available treadmills. Many people are jonesing for the opportunity to get back into their fitness routines. 

That’s only one reason why patience in the gym is essential. Exercising a bit of restraint while pumping iron helps prevent injuries all around. Plus, you don’t want to be “that” person — the one who is always huffing and puffing from frustration, not exertion. 

1. The Battle for in-Demand Equipment 

Even before COVID-19, many facilities posted signs reading “time limit 20 minutes” on high-demand equipment like ellipticals and bikes. With social distancing as the new normal, many locations have staggered “do not use” machines between operational ones.  You can bet that demand will increase. 

Additionally, you might find more of a crowd than you anticipate. Cabin fever is a potent motivator. If you find that the cardio machines fill up quickly, jot your name on the signup sheet as soon as you arrive. You’ll burn more fat by doing your weight training first, anyway. 

2. Some Folks Embrace Intervals

HIIT — high-intensity interval training — helps people amp their cardiovascular fitness quickly. One study revealed that 27 minutes of such activity three days a week has the heart-health benefits of 60 minutes of traditional cardio five days weekly. 

However, this style of training means performing 20 seconds of movement coupled with 10 seconds of rest. For this reason, it’s best not to hog machines during HIIT workouts and stick to the mat.

3. Others Need to Learn the Ropes 

If you’re a seasoned gym rat, you want to hit it hard and go home. However, remember that everyone is in a different stage of their fitness journey. Those who are just starting may need additional time to perform their exercises correctly. 

Additionally, you might run into folks who are working with a personal trainer. It’s generally not accepted practice to interrupt a training session. However, if they and their coach seem to do nothing but chat for several minutes between sets, you can politely ask to work in a few with them. If they indicate they are nearly finished, find something else to lift while you wait. 

4. You Need to Take COVID-19 Health Precautions 

You might be tired of the novel coronavirus, but your exasperation doesn’t mean this nasty germ has disappeared. Please don’t be the person who ruins things for everyone by refusing to follow the rules. Authorities have reopened and shut down gyms before, and they will again if they deem things are too risky. 

If your facility mandates masks, please comply by wearing one. It may be more challenging to run on the treadmill, but it’s better than being denied facility access. You can always take your cardio outdoors if you feel stifled. 

Furthermore, it was rude to leave messes behind before the recent pandemic. Now, it’s a health hazard to cough or sneeze and not mop up after yourself. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and immediately dispose of it. Then grab a sanitizing wipe from the nearest station and clean the equipment. 

5. Haste Makes — Accidents 

You heard the saying “haste makes waste.” When it comes to having patience in the gym, though, it prevents accidents that can land you on the disabled list. You only recently returned. It’s far better to wait a few minutes than to end up on the sidelines with a broken bone. 

Many accidents occur when you don’t pay attention to your surroundings in your rush to finish your reps and sets. In facilities with equipment pushed relatively close together, you could suffer a severe blow to the head if the fellow using the Smith machine starts their reps before you load your squat rack. 

Make sure you secure all free weights to the bar before you start lifting. Remain aware that other exercisers may not see you in their peripheral vision, and give them ample space. It maintains social distancing and prevents accidents. 

6. Form Is Crucial to Results  

If you lift with improper form, you could likewise suffer injury. Unfortunately, in your excitement to get back to your old routine, you might get sloppy. Exercising patience in the gym reminds you to slow down and perform each motion correctly. 

Likewise, improper form could result in doing a ton of work without achieving the desired results. Who wants to waste their time?  

7. You’re Not the Only One Jonesing 

You’ve heard the advice a million times, but please — practice additional kindness by showing patience in the gym. You’re not the only one dying to get back to your previous workout routine. 

Keep etiquette in mind when running into old buddies. You haven’t seen your best gym pal in months — but the bench press machine is not the place to chat. Instead, plan to meet at the smoothie bar afterward and leave the equipment free for those looking to pump iron, not socialize.

Have Patience in the Gym — It’s Both Essential and Kind 

As you return to the gym after the COVID-19 shutdowns, please treat your fellow exercisers kindly. Exhibit patience in the gym, and everyone will enjoy fun and fitness.

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