Gym Rules

File this under the “I wish I had written it” category: Jason Gay from the Wall Street Journal’s “funny because it’s true” 27 rules for being successful for all the New Year gym warriors.

Now, I am still relatively new to the fitness world and I am probably guilty of breaking several of these rules. At any minute I could make the decision to stay in bed instead of working out on a Saturday morning, and the next thing I know I haven’t seen the inside of the gym in six months and my membership fee is now just a monthly donation to the Jewish Community Center.

But this article is great no matter where you fall on the gym spectrum. If you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, below are some of my favorites of his “rules.”

4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading “The New Yorker” and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.

8. There’s also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn’t here today…there he is, lurking by the barbells.

11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.

12. Nope, that’s not a “recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate.” That’s a chocolate bar.

14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that’s super tough!

19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it’s hard. If you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself, you’re at brunch.

27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.

I would like to add my own as well: Either join the Zumba class or walk on by. Peering into the class while a bunch of Jewish women between the ages of 30- to 75-years-old (it’s the JCC people!) are doing their best Shakira is creepy.

Onlookers aside, Zumba has been a great way for me to balance my personal training sessions and other resistance/weights-focused workouts with some fun cardio. I’m not a runner and more than 10 minutes on the elliptical machine has me bored to sweat tears.

As anyone who has done Zumba will tell you, don’t worry if you’re slow to pick up the choreography. Zumba is all about staying in motion. More often than not, I’m on the wrong foot, the wrong hip, or even the wrong song. But it doesn’t matter. I’m still moving. I’m sweaty at the end of it and I barely notice an hour has gone by.

But whatever it is you choose to do to get in shape, just remember rule No. 22 from the article: Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you’re basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.

What are your fitness goals for the new year? Any gym rules you think should be added to the list?


19 responses to “Gym Rules

  1. These rules cracked me up. I’ve taken a few Zumba classes and I loved them, but I’m still intimidated by gyms. I think I’ll stick with tap dancing and walking the dog. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Shary. Yes, I am still initimidated by gyms too (which is one reason I love classes because they aren’t as gym-ish), but I’ve also found myself slightly motivated by them so I’m going with it! If I could tap dance or had a dog, I would probably prefer that however!

  2. Goals:
    – Lift weights instead of thinking about it
    – Go to Zumba with you and get my dance on
    – Go to Zumba with you (oops did I already list that) 🙂
    – Go to yoga more consistently (Dallas Yoga Center)!
    – Get a dog and walk it!

    • Oh, we would dominate that Zumba class!! Let’s do it. Then we can be the cook kids of the Zumba class 😉 Awww, your dog will be so lucky! Thanks for reading.

  3. Pingback: A Hilarious Look at Gym Culture «

  4. Read the article also this week and laughed out loud. I see a lot of rule breakers on a daily basis. My fitness goal this year is to end the year 10 pounds lighter, run a half marathon (in 4 weeks!) but spend less time at the gym and more with the fam — after all, that’s what’s matters.
    PS: Have taken Zumba exactly one time. “nuff said. 😉

    • That’s awesome! Good luck on your half marathon and its training. I like your goal of spending more time with your family than the gym — that sounds about right! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. If you think more than 1 minute about your gym clothes, you are not a real gym work-out person. It’s old gym shorts, a ratty t-shirt, and shoes. Rag towels and water bottles. IPods. And yes, having to look at thin ladies (why are they here today?) and very hairy sweaty men. Not cute. But you can leave pleased with yourself!

    • Haha, I totally agree with that rule! Though I do often think to myself if I am wearing the same thing that I wore last time and the time before. I know no one cares or is looking at me! And yes, leaving pleased with yourself is the best reward. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Caryn, oh my goodness, this is definitely an “Oh my goodness” post! hee hee! The zumba photo just cracked me up. And the rules? I love them! I’m afraid I shall think of them if ever my voluptuous butt makes it to the gym. Although, maybe I should just lay off the fries and skip the gym all together! hee hee! 🙂

    • Haha, thanks Bella for your comment! Yes, I wish I could control myself with food and then I wouldn’t feel the need to go to the gym. But alas, I can’t. However, I try not to worry about it too much and just enjoy life!

  7. BAHAHAH! I might have to borrow your borrow. These are hilarious…and, so true! Of course, getting healthier is one of my resolutions, too. I went to the gym 5 times last week and definitely saw all of these acts committed. Too funny!!

  8. I love these rules, Caryn! I stopped going to gyms several years ago (mainly after Sophie arrived). Probably another reason I have not lost all the weight. But that’s beside the point. But I remember those people in the gym very well. They are everywhere! Fitness goals for this year for me include just getting back in the saddle and exercising regularly again. I’m taking it week by week and I achieved my goal of doing two sets of 20-min workouts both Saturday and Sunday. I am scheduled to do one tomorrow and one Thursday. And as always, I feel so good afterwards that I wonder, why don’t I do this more?!

    • Thanks Leah. And congrats on your fitness goals and accomplishments so far! I walk a very tenuous line with working out and I completely agree with you that it is all about week by week. In this new year, I am setting realistic goals for myself of working out at least three times per week. It’s not that much, but enough to make me feel good and usually leads to more. We’ll see. Good luck with your goals!

  9. So funny! I also like number 23– Everyone sees you secretly racing the old people in the pool. I sooooo used to do that back in the day when I swam for exercise and i thought no one knew!
    I laughed over your comment about the 70 year old Jewish women shaking like Shakira. There are several old ladies at my gym who I swear are pole dancers somewhere. They can really move…

    • It’s crazy how spot-on the rules really were! Yes, I agree, there are definitely some older women at the gym that can (and do) or shake their hips and run laps around me. It’s pretty motivating actually. Thanks for reading. I was glad to see your blog back in action!

  10. This is so funny. I am not a gym goer, I brave the weather and walk outside. But can still laugh at gym-goers.

    • Thanks for stopping by Jodi. I think it’s great to get outside and exercise — I wish I did that more often and have no excuse not to since it’s 70 degrees where I live this week!

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