Fitness gyms provide an environment conducive to fitness, socializing and learning new things. Offering access to equipment and facilities not readily available elsewhere as well as providing a social space where members can come together in harmony.
Visibility was identified as a crucial factor in both positive and negative experiences for larger-bodied people at gyms, which includes clothing, competition and mirrors.
Gyms exist primarily to motivate members to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle by providing equipment they cannot replicate at home and training benefits that encourage frequent returns.
Squat racks are one of the key pieces of gym equipment. Equipped with safety bars to prevent injury and providing space for performing deadlifts or standing shoulder presses.
Gyms must provide their members with a variety of dumbbells for exercise. This may include both fixed and Olympic barbells in weight ranges from 20-200 pounds.
Ellipticals and treadmills are staples of cardio equipment, being easy to use with low impact exercises. Gyms also often offer incline trainers which increase difficulty of workouts; some even come equipped with metrics and sensors that monitor performance and give users feedback about their results.
Stretching is an effective way to increase flexibility and reduce injury risk. Static and dynamic stretching both provide these advantages; the best type for you depends on your individual needs and goals.
Stretch your ITB (iliotibial band), which runs along the outside of your leg from hip to knee. Stretching this can prevent a painful condition called IT band syndrome.
An effective starting point is walking or jogging as a form of warm-up exercise to get blood flowing and make muscles more flexible and pliable, before moving onto more vigorous activities like sprinting, box jumps and hurdles.
Locker room etiquette is especially crucial in gym locker rooms. Showering, changing and grooming in public can be awkward; especially if other members don’t understand your space. Things could quickly get awkward for all involved.
Some facilities provide separate locker rooms for men and women with lounge areas for a more relaxing environment, and individual shower cubicles for privacy and security. Clean towels may also be available for members to use after their workout session, providing another opportunity for germs, bacteria, viruses and fungus to proliferate in these spaces. Maintaining such an area’s hygiene can be a real challenge due to body heat and shower steam acting as incubators of pathogens such as bacteria. FitRated found in its recent study that free weights contain 362 times more germs than toilet seats, and treadmills had 74 times more germs than faucets in public restrooms. To combat this problem, some health clubs use an inventory control system in which each cabinet receives its own unique barcode which is then scanned each time members check-in to their facility.