1. Some of these machines look like torture devices.
If it’s your first day in the gym and your experience level isn’t the highest, you may look at a piece of equipment and think, “is this the day I die?” Well I hope not, but you do you, I guess.
Fitness equipment comes in all shapes and sizes, and some of those shapes are ridiculous. I’ve gotten used to them, but maybe to others, a leg machine may look like it’ll put you in a wheelchair. Regardless, once you’re on it and use it, things just click. Or maybe a trainer at a big-box gym will get off his ass and help you. I wouldn’t hold my breath.
2. You’ll smell things on yourself you don’t think is humanly possible.
Let’s face it: you’ve sweated before and it’s smelled terrible. Sometimes you run to the shower and get fresh and the world is right again. But if you’ve ever been in the gym, you realize that there are places on your body that athletic clothing fits into that you wouldn’t wish that smell on your worst enemy on your worst day.
If you could fit the smell combinations of ass, armpit, and the things in creases you didn’t know you had… well, a few hard-core workouts at the gym and you’ll know. I’d recommend washing your gym clothes separately, using laundry detergent, loads of softener, and some liquid Clorox with stain reducer. That may stave off smells. Or just burn your clothes in a fire outside the gym. That’s on you.
3. There will be moments where visions of your death seem viable.
I will never condone working out outside of your known physical capacities. Until you’re experienced enough to know your capabilities and are comfortable with the elements inside a gym, you should work out at 60% capacity. However, even playing it safe there will be times you really, really want to kick it up to 90% effort. And you know what? Kudos to you for kickin’ that ass.
Yet if you go too hard too quickly, there will be ramifications: safety issues, injury, and you may feel like dying. A high heart-rate may make you reconsider your life decisions and you’ll probably regret not calling your mother to tell her goodbye. Alas, if you’re hale, that’ll simmer down and you’ll probably question why the hell you ever decided to do that in the first place. Eventually, you’ll plan moments like those. Weirdo.
4. Grunting and cussing.
One day, when your 135 pound bench-press moves to 185, and your deadlift changes from a light tap to shaking the dumbells out of the rack, or your 9 minute mile becomes a 5, you’ll reach a point where you’ll make noises like the mating call between two wildebeests. Regardless, you’ll eventually shoo them away and stop thinking about that first time you grunted and thought, “Holy crap, Ethel over on the treadmill probably thinks I’m a turd now.”
Seriously, we’re all on this fitness journey together. If you’re pushing yourself and another gym-goer respects it, they’ll probably kindly wait until you’re done sounding off, smelling terrible, or looking wide-eyed and afraid to tell you, “Buddy, you just killed it.” And damn if that doesn’t make it worth it.