In a crowded gym, it’s still possible to get a great workout in! However, you have to be flexible and keep in mind that it might not be the perfect workout and you might not be able to do what you had originally planned.
The moment you see the equipment filling up you have to act fast. One of the first steps to take is to claim your ground. You don’t have to completely change up your game plan, but you do have to be willing to switch things up a bit.
Take a look around and identify an open area or bench that you can work at. Then mark that spot as your own. Lay down your towel, gym bag, sweatshirt, water bottle, etc so others know this is your area and it is reserved. You can also do this with a particular machine and mark it as “in use” with a personal item if you’re going back and forth between exercises. It’s an unspoken gym rule that if your belongings are placed on or next to a machine, it’s in use. So, be strategic as to where you place your items.
Once you have your territory claimed, begin to formulate your plan B. For example, if you were planning on using the leg press machine, but can’t seem to get a set in, you can still train legs, you just have to take a new approach. Change it up and do squats or deadlifts with dumbbells! You could also use your bench to do step ups, box squats, and much more.
Again, you don’t have to completely abandon your gameplan, you just have to be willing to pivot a little. Having an open mind and positive attitude will always help when hitting the gym.
Remember, you are working closely with others who have the same objection as you – get a good workout in. So the more you are willing to shift and be flexible, perhaps use free weights versus your favorite machine, the better workout you will achieve and still be able to maximize your time.
Also, it is extremely important to pay attention to all the ways that germs and cooties can be spread while in a gym, especially now. You are working extremely close to others and need to be aware of how and when you are most susceptible to catching a virus or bacteria.
The number one way to avoid getting sick is to keep your hands off of your face! Germs can only enter your body and make you sick if you let them in. This can only happen through your mouth, eyes, ears, and noes. Never, I repeat, never touch your face or head while at the gym. Bring your own sweat towel to wipe your face and neck with.
Also, pay attention to what side you are using. Do not lay your towel print side down on a bench and then pick it up and use that same side to wipe your face. Gross! Try and dedicate one side for your body and one side for equipment. It might not be perfect and you can still get sick, but it definitely can help!
Also, be sure that you are using the disinfectant spray or wipes before using the equipment. Do not trust that the person before you cleaned up their own mess. Be sure to wipe down the handles and grip area on dumbbells and barbells too. Most people spray down the benches and mats, however miss the one place that everyone touches and grabs.
Next, wash your hands immediately after your workout session is complete. Take a quick trip to the bathroom and use soap and water. It is more effective than hand sanitizer and will help prevent you from transfering the germs into your car and spreading the “gym love” to the rest of your family.
Also, change your clothes and/or take a shower right when you get home. Avoid wearing your gym clothes around your house or sitting on your furniture. This will also help prevent transferring and spreading any bacteria and viruses you may have picked up while getting your workout on.
This article was first published on LinkedIn follow me over there for more useful tips.