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The 15 Stages of Joining a New Gym

Whether you're a gym regular and your stomping grounds have been infiltrated by resolutioners or you're a newbie ready to make this your transformational year, this is the prime time for gym-goers. Let's not forget the struggles that come with navigating a new sea of treadmills and free weights—even when you're an experienced workout queen.

1. You wander around helplessly trying to figure out where all the equipment is.


And this happens for like months, because things seem to move around on their own.

2. But then you realize the gym has every piece of equipment you ever wanted.


Including every cable machine attachment you could dream of.

3. But you also have to scope out the snack situation.


It's best to know your nearby snack options ahead of time for when hangriness strikes.

4. And then you go through all your data in the first few days working out because you keeping forgetting (or are too lazy) to ask for the WiFi password.


If you can't stream heavy metal, hip-hop, or EDM playlists to fuel your workout, is there even a point in going?

5. Making new gym friends feels like the first day of school.


It's always good to have a designated spotter—or just that girl you wave to in the free weights.

6. But you also quickly figure out who the resident creepers are.


At first it's like, "oh, people are so nice here!" but that quickly becomes "avoid making eye contact at all costs."

7. You have to take every single yoga/spinning/boxing etc. class until you find your favorite instructors.


It takes a few awkward Zumba gyrating sessions and some weirdly stressful yoga classes to find the instructors that you just ~flow~ with.

8. And, of course, you must find your favorite eye candy (AKA motivation).


Whether it's a girl crush with envy-worthy spin class game or a muscular guy that makes you want to lunge a little deeper, just say yes to motivation.

9. You get to know the "regulars" and all the ...interesting workouts they do.


Sure, you can use leg extension machine that way. You do you.

10. And you have to navigate the locker room "culture."


Is it the kind of place where people walk around naked, or keep covered up? Is the sauna a mum zone, or the hot spot for gym gossips?

11. Which includes finding the best selfie spots.


It can't be too crowded and, obv, lighting is key.

12. Then there's figuring out how to work the showers so that your don't scald yourself or freeze your freshly worked muscles.


That is NOT the direction for off.

13. Of course, you must make friends with the front desk personnel who can totally vouch for your dedication.


Either they think you're crazy for coming in every morning at 5:30, or they're amazed.

14. And you figure out the little gym quirks you hate.


Is there a reason NO ONE puts away their 150-pound dumbbells? And why are there 25 treadmills, but two squat racks? Also, why is the ceiling so short? My head literally just brushed that vent.

15. And all the things you love.


No one seems to go into this little corner, so it's the perfect spot to zen out and for a post-workout stretch.

Because once you finally settle in, it feels good to call this place your workout home.



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