How To Workout In A Crowded Gym

Whether you are a veteran at the gym or nearly a beginner it doesn’t matter, you want to stick to your workout routine.

It is any fitness enthusiasts worst nightmare. A jam-packed gym with no equipment available. This time of year especially it is a problem, with an influx of New Year ‘s resolution gym goers looking to workout, it can be hard to push out your normal workout routine to the letter, especially if it requires circuits or giant sets.

Not all hope is lost though, there is a way. Here are my personal suggestions to top-level training whilst battling a crowd.

1) Prioritize, Then Substitute

Supposing the day you go down the gym you have five movements in your workout. Instead of strategizing how you can hit them all, think about which one or two are most important, sometimes this way of thinking is needed.

It is good to be flexible with regards to your routine, say squatting is non-negotiable today, then do your squats. But be prepared to substitute other movements and weights as necessary. If a certain piece of equipment is being used then maybe do a different exercise first and come back to it.

If you can’t get access to your favorite gym equipment straight away don’t worry, there are alternatives.

If keeping your exercises in check is an absolute must, use different exercises that work the same muscles or adjust your weight and rep scheme. As an example of this, if the set of 25s that you use for dumbbell curls is in use, consider going up to 30s for fewer reps or even down to 20s and do more reps. Be inventive, creative and patient, nearly every exercise has an alternative.

2) Get In The Zone

Just put your headphones on and do the best version of your planned workout you can, you can’t always escape the crowds but it is no excuse to skip your workouts completely.

If having a lot of people around you is keeping you from training at a high level, consider this an opportunity to practice your focus. In the long-term, you’ll become mentally stronger because of it. Turn up your music, get in the zone and you can get a great session done even if you have to freestyle some of it.

3) Take A Class

It can sometimes seem like there is never a break in the January madness but most gyms have certain days that are busier than others, once you know the pattern you can use it to your advantage.

Even in busy January it is still possible to get the results you want.

Try a class on the days where the weight room is going to be a lot busier than usual, like on Mondays and Tuesdays this can help you to fit in fitness despite the crowds.

If you have been considering spinning or yoga on a more regular basis this could be just the opportunity you are looking for, everyone else is making fitness resolutions so why don’t you?

Carry out your normal strength-training plan later on in the week when there’s less of a fight for equipment.

4) Lend A Helping Hand

It is all too easy to gym newcomers in January as competition but you can actually use it as an opportunity to help someone you see struggling or performing an exercise badly, help them out instead of complaining about the gym for the whole month, the January rush is what you make it.

Working out in a packed gym can be a challenge but it is also an opportunity to help somebody else to learn, stick with fitness and make a lasting change. A few kind words can go a long way, make a difference to one person today and it may even help you long-term when you need a spot further down the road.

5) Go Where The People Aren’t

If you find the weight room full but your gym also features a studio area that isn’t being used by a group fitness class. use it for a circuit-style workout. Bring a fixed-weight barbell to the studio and you will be able to do all the moves you need to in order to get in a full-body workout session.

Make sure you are still getting a good diet outside of the gym to ensure you get the best results.

You could also use this as an opportunity to focus on the machines that most people avoid because they are tough, things like rowers or stepmills. The best thing is that few people will be in the studio, you won’t have to worry about the distraction of others around you or fighting for gym equipment.

6) Build Your Day Differently

It is no mystery that the end of the day after work is the busiest time at the gym, consider altering your daily routine if that time is difficult for you. The reception area of the gym will have a pretty good idea of the peak and low hours on the weight-room floor, so put their knowledge to good use and train when the gym is low on members.

If you can be flexible, change the time you go to the gym, I have often heard people saying they mean to start working out at the gym first thing in the morning or on their lunch break, so get into that habit now, the best part is you will avoid the after-work crowds and you can free up your evening.

Bodyweight sets are great to supplement your main workout.

7) Add In Bodyweight Supersets

Supersets are a great way to maximize intensity and do more work in less time. It is sometimes tough to get machines and you are forced to wait so it messes up your workout plan. Don’t let it, be flexible, use your body and tailor your workout to the crowd.

I personally do this by performing bodyweight movements while I wait for a machine or piece of equipment. These are a few you can work into many settings:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Bench dips
  • Bodyweight row
  • Hamstring curls (on your back using a stability ball or face-down with your feet under a lat pull-down pad)
  • Calf raises (single or double leg)
  • Ab exercises
  • Bodyweight triceps extensions (face-down, hands on a bench or bar)
  • Single or double-leg bodyweight squats
  • Flexing!

Do these in a high rep format while you wait for a machine or whilst working in and you’ll boost the intensity of your overall session, keep your head cool during the workout and hardly notice the difference at the end., things will soon get back to normal at the gym with your workouts, use the current situation to your advantage.

Click here for a workout program that will see great results when it comes to fat-loss.


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