Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Rules Of Induction

Already I've joined 2 gyms in my quest - The Everyman Olympics (see Post 1 new comers), thus bringing me to a current lifetime tally of 6 gyms that I've held membership with at some stage or other. Thanks to the madness of health and safety rules this means I've also had to endure 6 different gym inductions.
Yes, in the 15 years that there have been between signing up to the first gym to the most recent there has been some considerable progress in the development of sports equipment and yes, I understand that such establishments need to cover themselves in the event that you suffer injury due to poor use of the facilities but in all honesty only once has a gym inductor thought to use common sense and ask me whether I'd ever joined a such a place before. Thus sparing us both the time it would take to ascertain whether I know how to run on a treadmill or follow instructions which are clearly labelled on a weights machine.
Clearly with the 'vast' experience I have of signing up to gyms (ok the follow-up on my part of regularly using them hasn't been so hot I'll grant you) I'm in a good position to advise you on how to handle such situations. So for what it's worth, here's my guide to The Rules Of Induction.

Wear Comfortable Sports Gear
I recommend slightly loose sports clothing and good fitness trainers (sneakers to our cousins from across the pond).
Too tight and you're in danger of ripping them at the seams when trying certain apparatus or growing out of them quickly if building muscle bulk is your thing. Plus, sweat will show straight away should you get put through your paces by a bored instructor.
Too loose and you'll literally run the risk of getting them caught up in the treadmill or other cardio equipment.
Size up?

Pay Attention!
Not listening to the induction instructor could lead to injury; such as a twisted ankle or even a ruptured testicle, so listen up and make sure that if you don't understand an instruction that you ask! Once you're left to use the gym of your own free will the gym dude may be too busy chatting up the aerobics instructors to ever help you again.

Ok so what do I do now?

Hold Fire On The Flirting
Think! You're a new comer so take a mental step back and before you try flirthing with the fitty on the exercise bike, think!. She may well be with the meat head watching from the loose weights section.

'I like the smell of your sweat'

Don't Be Bullish

The gym dude will want this to be over with as quickly as you - they'll have much more pressing things to do; like catching up on the game (showing on one of the many tv screens) or checking themselves out in the mirror.

Don't try to impress them - you'll just look like a twat.

Be Honest With Your Goals

It's perfectly ok to say that you're just joining to lose your beer belly and get to see fit girls sweat up close. The gym guy or girl will have seen hundreds of people of all different shapes, sizes and abilities and knows that it takes years to become a beef. They won't mark you down for having a realistic target.

Still got a shit taste in shorts.

The Right Gym For You?

Remember the induction is not just a chance for the owners to ensure you don't later sue their arses for letting a complete beginner use the highly dangerous equipment which resulted in your accident without being taught how, this is your opportunity to make sure that this is the right establishment for you!

Make sure this gym's a place where you'll feel confortable exercising...

'Looks like it's just you and me today Duke'...'yeah my names not Duke'...'Whatever Duke, lets do 20 more and hit the showers'

Additional Extras
As well as the main gym there may be other exercise options available to you so make sure you check out the other facilities on offer, they may be of interest. And you wanna make sure the whole place is up to scratch before you part with your hard earned cash. Spinning Classes

Erm're supposed to actually use the bikes!

...or Aerobics Classes (standards can differ from place to place)

Warning: The Women's Institute may frequent this venue.

Jackpot, sign me up!

Included within your membership fee there may even be the use of a pool or sauna, if so, ask if you can see them...


Basic Facilities
I'd also recommend that you check out the basic facilities that you'll be using every visit. The changing rooms, lockers and the showers - you want to make sure that you like the place, the people and that you fit in!

Run for the hills!

Somewhere to park your bike?

When you're certain you're happy with the place be sure to set a date to come back and start using the facility for the first time.

You may even want to get a personal fitness programme worked out with a staff member after the induction.

Believe me I know how easy it is to say you're a member of a gym just because you pay for the proviledge, so get out there and actually use it!

Of course now you've had your induction don't deny yourself the reward of a drink in the gyms dedicated refreshment area after with your new friends... you did remember to check they had one at the start, right?!!

As I keep mentioning, YOU can get involved in The Everyman Olympics.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  • Suggestions or tips you have on which sports I should base an event on
  • How I can make the challenges realistic to the real thing
  • Where I might find facilities to use (I'm based in the UK but happy to travel for the adventure!)
  • Stores where I can get good deals on sports equipment and kit
  • OR even if you're available to play against me or in some of of the team events!
Anyone who helps will be mentioned on the blog.
(Who knows it may even make a book)
You can contact me at
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