4 Ways to Cope with the January Gym Rush

Group of individuals in a group workout setting on bicycles

It’s that time of year again. If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been mentally preparing for the onslaught of “resolutioners” to infiltrate your gym.

It’s a war-torn, dumbbell-littered battlefield where only the most patient and driven survive. Among the masses, you see an assortment of gym-savvy vets mixed in with the newbies. Somewhere in-between are the gym “acquaintances” who have been prepping for their big January surge after last year’s resolutions didn’t go quite as planned.

No matter what kind of gym-goer you are, the January rush has an affect on ALL of us. Here are some things to focus on so that EVERYONE can get the most out of their fitness experience.

1. Put Yourself in their Shoes

Busy studio with a lot of eager gym goers

If you’ve been going to the gym for awhile, and feel like “these people are invading my space,” that’s ok, I hear ya! However, remember that everyone starts SOMEWHERE. Even if you’re frustrated with feeling like your “home” is getting invaded, you truly don’t know the story behind all the new people making the decision to join a gym. For them, the new year marks a fresh start to battle something bigger than just going to the gym or not. Lethargy, shame, injuries, fear, intimidation, food issues, or depression are just SOME of the things these “newbies” are battling. So while you might feel annoyed, these people are trying to conquer something MUCH bigger than a crowded gym space.

2. Hustle

By now, we’ve come to grips with the fact that the gym is going to be busier than an ant colony on a sugar hill. Why not use this as an opportunity to make your workouts uber-efficient? ‘Round my club, I have something I call “Hulk Hustle.” It means you get to the next exercise like your life depends on it (for some of us, it does). You move like you’ve never moved before. If you cut out the lollygagging (including time spent complaining to your friends about how all these people are going to be gone in a month anyway) and hit that NOS button, then everything will run like a well-oiled machine! Cut out the extras and GET TO IT. Have a game plan and run it like you’re auditioning for “most efficient gym worker-outer.”

3. Consult with a Trainer

Trainer helping to weigh proud gym member

I’ll admit, I’m a little biased. But that won’t stop me from sharing this truly helpful hint. If you’re new to the gym, intimidated by the swarm, and are afraid your anxiety is going to get the better of you, then contact your club and see about meeting with one of their personal trainers! Meeting with a trainer for the first time is usually free, so at the very least you can ask as many questions as you have, as well as connecting with a knowledgeable source who can be your go-to for any questions in the future! At most clubs, you can work with someone who can design a program for you, show you around the gym, and be an “I’m with them” comfort source when feeling like a salmon swimming upstream with a million others.

4. Smile

Sound corny? I promise you this tip is by FAR the most important. Nothing makes the situation worse than a bunch of Sad Sallys and Angry Adams ruining the potential for ANY fun at all with their sour grapes face, snippy remarks, and exasperated sighs. A smile is infectious, and ALWAYS puts you in a great mindset (fake it till you make it) and makes you the better person in a situation rife with potential for negativity. If everyone followed this rule, the gym would be such a happy place!

The chaos that ensues at the start of each new year can be rough. Remember that we’re all paddling the same boat and rowing to the same shore. Lead with compassion, not frustration. Don’t expect others to be courteous, efficient, kind, and understanding.

Lead by example.

Group of gym member happy after accomplishing team workout

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Josh is a massive weight loser. A journey that started when he was very young and battling depression, eating disorders, and bullies. His life’s mission is to always have an arm outstretched to those who are looking for a helping hand. He leads with the most important tools he has: heart and soul.