A Letter to my Fitness Community

My first fitness love is running, but in the last few months I have fallen in love with my Body Pump class.  I love that in just one hour I can do strength training for my whole body.  On average there are 12-15 people in the class until this week…when there were 30!  As I was waiting for class to begin I overhead a couple of the regulars quietly wondering how long the class was going to stay this full.  And that’s when it hit me…that was entirely the wrong response!  And so I wrote this letter to my fitness community to address our gyms suddenly teeming with “New Year’s Resolution-ers”

A Letter to my Fitness Community
Dear Health and Fitness Enthusiasts,

If your gym is anything like mine it has been more crowded than usual the last week or so.  While you might usually be able to find a treadmill when you stop by the gym after work it may have been more difficult than usual the last few days.  In years past this has really annoyed me and I’ve often thought, “Don’t come and take up space at my gym for a weeks at the beginning of every year!”  As I scrambled to try and find the equipment I wanted to use I would just remind myself that I would only need to put up with this busyness for a weeks…a couple months at most.  By the time my birthday rolled around in March they gym would be back to its usual level of busyness.

But this year I realized something…

What if we were more welcoming?

It takes a lot of courage to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new and I can’t imagine how it feels to try something new only to then be met with glares and stares.  If you have limited experience at the gym it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out how to work some of the machines, how much weight to use and understanding gym etiquette.

So instead of muttering under our breath about how crowded the gym is this time of year and remarking about how long we think these new people will stick it out, let’s smile and help them feel welcomed to our fitness community!

Here’s to having a gym still filled with people in April!



  • Seana Turner

    I love this idea. Trying to do something new is very difficult, and to feel like the more experienced people are wagering on the date of your failure really doesn’t help. Everyone needs some encouragement when they are pursuing a new goal!

  • Katie@LifesNextBigStep

    I love this. In my opinion, we all had to start somewhere. Whether it was January 1 or some other time throughout the year, we were all a new-gym-goer at some point, and we all need support to help us to KEEP going so we don’t have to start over again. I love meeting new people at my gym (I do CrossFit so it’s a bit more personal, class-wise) and try to make everyone feel welcome…it’s something we should all strive to do 🙂

  • Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black

    You make good points. I do commend people for making the effort to go to the gym, but the realist in me knows a majority of them won’t stick to it. I definitely haven’t been rude to the resolutioners (at least, I hope not!), just huffy to myself (and maybe a snarky post on Facebook ;)). I don’t belong to a gym anymore, but if I do join one again, I’ll adjust my attitude when January 1 rolls around. 🙂

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      It can be easy to make snarky comments on FB and to friends (I’ve done it!) because often times the resolutioners don’t last at the gym but I’ve begun to wonder if we could help them stick it out

  • Lucie Palka

    Thanks for the reminder. A bit different from your situation, but in my last blog post I talked about being annoyed by the seniors walking side by side and over taking the running lane on an indoor track. Perhaps I should applaud them for staying active instead!

  • Jen @ pretty little grub

    I love this! I completely agree. The gym can be a scary place for a lot of people but the world would be a better place if we were all more active so we should be friendly and help out the newbies not get annoyed or make snarky remarks.

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      The world would definitely be a better place if we were all more active so we should be all about encouraging each other to do that!

  • AmyC

    I’m not a gym member anymore, but I hear people complaining about the crowds at theirs. It makes me sad to think that someone might stop going because they felt the judgement from the regulars.

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      I think that’s great and I hope more people adopt your attitude because you’re right…we were all newbies at one time!

  • Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories

    Great letter! I am exactly one of those who fizzles on their exercise goals two weeks into the year. I usually feel out of place at a gym though I used to go all the time in good ole college days. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday linkup.

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      I think it’s so important to find a gym where you feel comfortable! I joined my first gym when I was 16 and I recently switched gyms because I realized I had outgrown the atmosphere (a little bit like a meat market lol) of my gym…and now I am loving the gym again!

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