It’s that time of year again folks, the New Year has come and now is the time for New Year’s resolutions! While some individuals strive to drop a gruesome habit or seek determination to eat healthier, a majority of resolutions are to head to gym and developed the fittest physique one has ever seen.

However, before you or your friends high-tail it to the weight room, there are a few important tips to keep in mind when getting “swol” at the Integrated Wellness Complex on campus.

Mind Your Manners

 First of all, the biggest thing to remember is to put away weights and other equipment when you’re done. Always clean off equipment, whether you’ve been lifting, doing crunches on a mat, or working cardio on the elliptical. Bottles of disinfectant and purple towels for wiping down can be found throughout the gym. Spray and wipe thoroughly to stop spreading germs, especially in flu season! It’s only common courtesy.

Start Your Workout Right

 After sitting down with Emmanuel Orebayo, one of the fitness staff members at the IWC, I learned a lot on how to achieve fitness satisfaction. Orebayo said the first thing anyone should do before every workout is stretch. While it may seem like a waste of time to some people, stretching for 5 to 10 minutes can improve your workout and keep you safe from injury.

Choose the Workout that Works for You

 When I first began lifting at the IWC, I found myself focusing more on the types of workouts rather than the tempo of the lift. However, Orebayo told me to focus on the tempo of the lift. That way, you’re able to determine the amount of tension exerted on your muscles. Rather than adding too much weight and increasing the risk of injury, choose a substantial amount of weight that is comfortable for you.

Maintain a Safe and Respectful Environment

 Since safety is a big factor in the IWC, newcomers in the gym should feel comfortable correcting people who aren’t using proper form while lifting. You should always give advice in a respectful manner. Try suggesting minor tweaks they can make to maximize their workout and to complete their work out safely.

By giving advice in respectfully, hostility is decreased in the work out environment. And if you ever find yourself being corrected by someone, don’t get angry with that person. Be open minded and learn from the other person while taking their advice to heart. Always remember to lift safely, and don’t be afraid to ask staff members for help on form or technique. Don’t know how a certain machine works? Ask!

Workout for Yourself

 While getting back into the gym grind, I have tried a few of these tips with success. My advice to any gym newbies, don’t be intimidated by others. You are at the gym to work on yourself just like everyone else, so don’t feel like you need to put on mind-boggling amounts of weight to fit in with everyone else in the weight room. Remember to work out for your own personal benefit, don’t lift to show off. If you’re trying to show off in the gym, you could end up injuring yourself anyone who rushes to your aid.

Understand that you may not see results right away. Orebayo said that building muscle mass takes time. Often the end results don’t typically show until week four or five.

Warriors, enjoy the luxury of the Integrated Wellness Complex and achieve your goals, one gym visit at a time!