How to Avoid a Crowded Gym
Move outdoors. Exercising outside gives you a chance to admire
the scenery and soak in natural light. You’re bound to feel more energetic and
motivated. Plus, there are activities to match every season, like ice skating
in winter or swimming in summer.
Head for home. Work out in the comfort of your own home.
Install a home a gym or pick up a few pieces of simple equipment like a jump
rope and kettlebells. Hire a personal trainer or watch exercise videos if you
Drop by weekend mornings. Most gyms look a little lonely on Saturday and
Sunday mornings. Wake up early and check exercising off your to do list before
Stay up late. Browse online to see if there’s a 24-hour gym in your neighborhood. As long as physical activity before bedtime doesn’t
interfere with your sleep, you may prefer lifting weights during the night
Leave for vacation. If you have vacation days stored up, use them
to plan an active break. Instead of lolling around on the beach, go mountain
climbing or volunteer to work on a construction project in Latin America.
You’ll return home with new skills as well as a tan.
Look for flexible work. If your boss agrees, you may be able to hit the
gym while everyone else is stuck behind their desk. Ask about flextime
arrangements that could give you a day off in the middle of the week in return
for working longer hours on other days. See if you can take a longer lunch hour
as long as you make up the hours.
How to Deal with a Crowded Gym
Take a group class. Reserve your spot by signing up for Pilates or
CrossFit. The music and camaraderie may help you to burn more calories with
Share the equipment. Bodybuilders have a tradition of asking to work
with someone so one of you uses the barbells or the abs machine while the other
one rests between sets.
Eliminate rest periods. Then again, you may want to cut out the
downtime altogether. Instead of trying to find a bench to sit on
until you’re ready for your next shoulder press, rotate between exercises that
target different body parts so you complete your workout faster.
Increase the intensity. Another way to spend less time dealing with crowds
is to increase the speed or amount of resistance. You can be out the door in
half the time.
Try something new. Observe your surroundings or ask the gym
instructors about which equipment seems less popular. You may find that you
love the rowing machine that most members have been ignoring.
Be more flexible. Navigating a crowded gym usually comes down to
thinking creatively. Be open to experimenting instead of sticking
to a rigid routine.
You can have a great workout even when the gym is
jam-packed. Adjust your timing to avoid the crowds or plan a routine that keeps
you moving when the line for the treadmill is standing still.