Welcome the New Year Resolutioners at your Gym

Welcome the New Year Resolutioners at your Gym

New Year Resolutioners

I wrote this post 2 years ago about New Year Resolutioners and after reading all the moaning about resolutioners on facebook, it looks like it’s time for a refresher post. 


When I see new people at the gym, I love that people are taking the first step to their resolution. The new crowd of people also annoys the old hardcore people who view the resolutioners as a temporary annoyance. 


I get it. The swim lanes are all occupied during your usual swim time and you have to wait. Or there are people everywhere getting in your way when all you want is a few weights/machines and to be done. Or you have to park way down at the gym and walk in on cold wintery mornings. All the treadmills are occupied and *gasp* some by people who are slower than walk speed. 

Why does one get put out of joint so much when there’s a crowd in your space? What makes my continued training any more important than the resolutioner’s new found interest?

Oh, it’s the non following of the “etiquettes” that bother you? 

Why do you assume that all resolutioners are jerks and if they only cared more, they’d learn about etiquettes and rules?

Let me tell you – when I was entering that gym nervous and petrified (and not fit), all I wanted to do was disappear so no one would see me. Etiquette was the last thing on my mind! None of that confident strutting between machines, none of that brisk ‘get my job done’ and leave. I did not even ask the instructor how to use machines because I was too nervous! Even now, I will not move from my safe little corner of the gym. Sorry, not sorry. 

So instead of letting the resolutioners bother you, how about you truly welcome them into your space; not just with an outward smile but also with intent in your heart

Love seeing resolutioners!
Plenty of people at my gym and having to wait for a treadmill – LOVE it!

Here are some things that you could do that might help curb your annoyance and help welcome new members.

1. Anticipate that people who might not know the proper etiquette.

Why not take this moment to educate them? If they are sitting on the machine doing nothing, the same machine that you have been waiting to use, why not ask them if they need help or if they are done so you can use it? This behaviour has nothing to do with resolutioners, IMO. 

2. Be prepared to be slowed down or change your plans if you can. 

It is super inconvenient, when you only have from 6:30-7:30am to spare or when you are trying to squeeze it all in the lunch hour. But why not tweak things a bit? Instead of waiting for the treadmill, hop on the bike or rower. Try some free weights instead of the machines. Maybe you will unexpectedly find something that you hadn’t tried before.

3. Don’t shame people. Don’t videotape or take photos to mock at people.

It is never ever funny to mock at people at the gym for what they are wearing or what they are doing. Leave them be and take your own selfie.

4. Don’t be that person who complains about resolutioners

What gives us right to judge someone just because they happened to start on January 1st? Why do we assume that just because they started on January 1st, they are likely to quit in a few weeks? 

Hey – I started a clean eating body reset on January 1st encouraged by my awesome friend Carrie, my resolution is to stick it out for 30 days. Despise me all you want and go ahead and assume that I will not keep with it and that you will find me in March curled on the couch with an extra large bag of potato chips. 

5. Treat resolutioners like you’d want to be treated if you were one

When someone shows up at the gym or laces up their shoes for a run, their intention is to get better or to a goal, not to mess around with your schedule. Unfortunately, most of the time this doesn’t happen. Even if that person you encouraged or said hello to quits in a few weeks, they would’ve had an experience positive enough to maybe try another time. Maybe on their nth try it will become a habit. Do everything in your power to give them the opportunity to succeed.

I was a new year resolution runner 7 years ago (except I started on Christmas Eve, close enough) and without the friendship and encouragement extended to me by some amazing people(Andrea, a new marathoner, Spurgeon the ultrarunner), I never would’ve continued down this path. 

Who knows, you might be the one spark that keeps them there. One day they’ll pay it forward just like you are paying it forward now. 

When did you start your fitness journey/re-journey? Were you a New Year Resolutioner? 






I’m linking up at  Friday Five 2.0 – Running on Happy and Fitness and Fairytales


(Visited 155 times, 1 visits today)
  • Th is is a nice spin on the typical complaining my gym is too crowed …even though it is lol you are so right…do unto others! It is important.

  • We had a similar post today. It is easy to get frustrated with newbies at the gym. As you said, everyone is at a diff place in their fitness and there is space for all of us

  • Nicole Renee

    Everyone has to start somewhere! It can be annoying for the regulars, but try to be helpful rather than frustrated. Great refresh!

  • The Accidental Marathoner

    What an awesome post! Too bad everyone isn’t this welcoming…not just in the gym, but in all walks of life. I can remember being a newbie in my current job a full 30 years ago and not many people were welcoming. My first week there, someone named Nancy (who probably left the job a year later) invited me to lunch with ‘the group’. I have never forgotten that!

  • Nicole

    I love that you have name for them – resolutioners!! I only workout outside or at my house so don’t have to deal with this!

  • Michelle@Running with Attitude

    Great post – it is so easy to get frustrated with resolutioners – I totally runfess to whining a bit about them this week.

  • You know what I dislike? When people video others doing something wrong, silly or over the top. Really, that person doesn’t need that and WHY do we have to share it on social media over and over. Not cool folks!

  • I love this post and it’s such a good reminder that everyone has to start somewhere! We’ve all been beginners in some way or another!

    Have a great weekend!!!

  • I think gyms should post a “how to welcome newcomers/resolutioners” poster like this in the gym space for regulars to see. No matter when you start, you are a newbie at some point, in someone’s way, taking up their weights/machine/swim lane. People definitely NEED to be reminded to BE NICE to each other sometimes. If the gym/fitness center embraces newbies openly, then maybe the regulars will too!

  • This is a great post, and not just for the courtesy to be extended at the gym, but anywhere. Everyone deserves respect and consideration. I’m actually headed to the hubby’s gym in the morning, it’s a “free” day for guests (and potential new members). We’ll see if I can remember any of these points when I’m in the “newbie’s shoes 😉

  • I think it’s always important to be kind to new people at the gym. It’s takes a lot for them to get there in the first place. Each time I try a new type of workout, I always feel like such a newbie.

  • When I belonged to a gym, I used to loathe working out in January. But come mid February, I’d have my gym back to myself. It’s a shame that people don’t stick with it. But to take videos or shaming photos–that’s just plain mean!

  • Great post and great food for thought! Personally I visit the gym less in the first 6 weeks of the year to give the new people a chance to acclimate. Every gym I ever belonged to requires an orientation that teaches new members how to use equipment. You’re right though: The etiquette issues are not confined to the new members only.

  • Zenaida Arroyo

    #3 irks me! I once saw an Instagram photo of a blogger making fun of a guy at the gym. I cannot remember what he was doing but he was mocking him. And this blogger gets offended and annoyed when people call HER out!

  • I totally agree with you! Although, and maybe it’s just because I am a seasoned gym go-er, I do tend to observe what the etiquette is if i join a new gym. I still feel like a newbie at my gym (started in July) so I do my best to get to know the regulars as soon as I recognize them as such! I think it’s great that people want to start WHENEVER they want to start and I will support them as much as I can!

  • This is such a great reminder! Everyone has to start somewhere!

  • Rachel

    Preach it, sister!!!! I’m just happy people want to be fit!

  • Toni Church

    I think its great that people are getting out there and trying to better themsleves, so will change and some will fail, but everyone deserves a shot.

  • Love this!! We all have to start somewhere, right? I was once one of those nervous new gym goers, so I joined a bootcamp with people a lot like me. It gave me the confidence I needed to go to a traditional gym and not care that I was “new”!

  • Kathryn Thayer

    I’m with you on the “treat others as you’d want to be treated” rule. We were all gym newbies at some point.

  • I’m not a gym goer right now, but I think it’s great that people start working out as a NY resolution. Sure, some of them won’t keep it up, but some percentage will find an activity they love and keep doing it.

  • Love this post and I totally agree! It is wonderful seeing people happy and getting fit…no complaints here 🙂

Comments are closed.