The 10 Commandments of the Gym
4 min read
Did you know, exercising is very much like a religion, and like all religions there are commandments to follow (written, unwritten, or otherwise). It’s important to have codes to live by as they promote discipline, order, and accountability in an otherwise chaotic world.
Without having a look, how many commandments can you guess correctly?
1. Thou Shall Respect the Gym
It goes without saying that the gym should be respected, hence why it’s the first commandment. However, what some people may not realize is that this respect goes beyond the building itself; it stretches onto the equipment, facilities, members, and staff of the establishment.
2. Thou Shall Leave Your Pride at the Door
What this means is that when you arrive at the gym, you’re going to have a workout that’s focused on exercising with correct form, and done to the best of your current abilities. You’re not there to impress other people, or flatter your own ego, because that can lead to harming yourself by trying to shift weights or do routines that are presently – (don’t worry, you’ll get there someday) – out of your abilities.
3. Thou Shall Come to the Gym Prepared
Have all your items ready in a bag and don’t waste time trying to figure out what you’ll be exercising. The minute you enter and put your bag down, you should already know: what body part you’re working, the exercises you’ll be doing, and which machines or weights you’ll require.
Knowing what you’ll be doing will save you so much time. Depending on your routine and end goals, on average you should only be at the gym for 45 to 90 minutes.
4. Thou Shall Warm-up
The older you are, the more important this is. Cold muscles invite injuries, therefore it’s best to warm-up, get blood flowing and loosen tight muscles. Especially if you’re exercising in the morning. A good margin to aim for is to warm-up for 5 to 15 minutes.
I’m guilty of not taking this commandment seriously myself, where I’ve gotten injured twice on the same muscle for training cold. So, take care, you’ve been warned.
5. Thou Shall Not Leave without Putting in Maximum Effort
You’ve joined a gym for a reason, right? You’ve managed to haul your ass into the building, right? So, don’t stop there!
Put in the work required to make your dreams a reality. If you’re true to your goals and put in the work, you’ll be rewarded in kind, so don’t leave that building without knowing in your heart that you’ve given it your all. Keep the excuses for another day, and Just Do It.
6. Thou Shall Keep Hydrated
Water is your best friend. This cannot be stated enough. Its importance remains constant in and out of the gym.
7. Thou Shall Not Endanger Yourself or Anyone Else
Unless you’re experienced (or otherwise qualified) don’t attempt any exercise that may bring harm upon yourself or someone else; don’t spot someone who is handling weights you can’t (and don’t ask someone to spot you if they clearly can’t handle the weights you’re using); and if you’re feeling unwell then it’s better to stay home and rest.
Live to fight another day, I always say.
8. Thou Shall Rest and Nurture Your Body
Your body is a temple, so treat it as such.
It’s often said that your body does most of its work outside of the gym and that’s because that time outside is spent refueling (eating) and resting/repairing (sleeping) the body to perform optimally during the next workout.
9. Thou Shall Not Neglect Diet and Nutrition
I believe exercising is half the battle, and the other half is how you eat.
What people need to understand is that “dieting” doesn’t necessarily mean going on a weight loss journey, or even regulating your food intake. “Dieting” is all encompassing; it means monitoring your food intake. Whether that means reducing the number of calories you eat or increasing them, targeting specific nutrients or foregoing others, or even changing the times at which you eat. They’re all parts of “dieting”.
10. Thou Shall Aspire to be the Best Version of Yourself
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be you.
A lot of us are at the gym because of an ambition or two, and some of us might even have certain individuals in mind of who we’d like to look like. However, at the end of the day we’ve all been dealt different hands in life, and so your genetics will impact results. When exercising, instead of worrying over what you lack that others have (a round ass, wide/slim hips, a thigh gap, rock-hard abs, or a killer V-taper …) think about what you’ve gained that you previously never had before.
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Focus on your journey; kick ass, and be the best version of yourself.