Pet Peeves and Unwritten Rules of Gym Life

I read a great article this week outlining some of the biggest complaints gyms receive according to some recent research. I thought they were interesting so in case you missed it, here’s the link to the article, but I have outlined some of them below.

Biggest complaints:

  1. Overcrowding: 48 per cent
  2. Sweaty equipment (e.g. people not using a towel): 36 per cent
  3. The gym being smelly or untidy: 32 per cent
  4. People not resetting or replacing equipment: 31 per cent
  5. Dirty or smelly changing facilities: 30 per cent
  6. Loud grunting from people working out: 24 per cent
  7. People showing off (e.g. flexing muscles): 22 per cent

Another article outlined some of the unwritten rules of gym etiquette. Here’s the link for that one.

10 Unwritten Rules of Gym Etiquette:

1. Bring a towel

No one wants to lie on a sweaty, smelly bench anymore than you do, so bring a towel and wipe down the equipment when you finish. It keeps the gym hygienic, particularly during peak times when gym staff don’t have time to wipe down the benches for you.

Being in a class environment is usually a little more relaxed, but it always helps to bring a towel, particularly if the class requires the use of shared equipment.

2. Wear deodorant

It’s normal to sweat when you’re working hard, but pungent body odour is enough to throw anyone off their game. Wear deodorant but don’t spray it around like it’s going out of fashion.

3. Watch your chat time

It’s nice to smile and greet people who you recognise in the gym but it’s not the place for a full-on conversation. It cuts into your workout time, distracts others who don’t want to hear about who you hooked up with on the weekend and can leave them frustrated as you converse by equipment that they might be waiting to use.

4. Don’t intimidate others

If someone beat you to the squat rack, don’t stand over them and give them dirty looks. Politely let them know that you’d like to use it after them and use a different piece of equipment while you wait for them to finish.

5. Be quiet 

A well executed grunt can help you power through a tough set, but constant moaning should be avoided at all times. Be careful not to drop weights loudly after a set and don’t blast your music so loud that others can hear your Redfoo through your headphones.

6. Don’t hog the equipment

You might pride yourself on setting up the ultimate circuit, but hogging all the equipment will automatically guarantee you gym-jerk status. If others are unable to find equipment because you’ve moved it all, you’re preventing them from getting their workout done.

7. Put your weights back

If you are strong enough to lift the weight, then you are strong enough to put it away. Be considerate and put weights back where they came from so they’re not in the way of others.

8. Sharing is caring

If the gym has limited squat racks and you see that someone else is waiting to use it, offer them to swap in with you. This means that they can do a set while you’re resting in between sets. This will only work if you are using a similar weight, but it’s always polite to offer.

9. Cover-up

This might come as a surprise to some but most people don’t want to catch a glimpse of your accidental flash. Make sure your active wear sufficiently covers your important bits.

10. Get off your phone

Your Instagram feed may tell you otherwise, but the gym is no place for selfies. Get in, work hard and give the bench or machine to someone else instead of sending snapchats of your guns.

The gym is also a great opportunity to unplug from social media for an hour. Listen to your music (or a podcast) and focus on the task at hand.

At Fit 4 Life we try and have an open and friendly environment so not all these apply, but interesting read all the same.

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff


We’re back…..

We’ve been offline for a bit, but we’re back. We hope to bring you some great articles and thoughts related to the four elements of Fit 4 Life – Fitness, Finance, Faith & Friendship. Check our blog each week for an update.

In the meantime, if you live on the North Shore of Auckland, then come and visit the friendliest gym around. Not only do we have good prices, we also offer more than you might find at another gym – free programmes, free fitness assessments, free seminars when offered, free financial planning and more.

All of our prices, times and more info are listed on our website. Check each week for our latest webdeal.

You can call us on 0800 LIFEGYM.


Fitness – Round the Bays 2011

When we opened Fit 4 Life in February 2010, I had this great idea for submitting a team for Round the Bays. It didn’t happen in 2010, but in 2011 we were organised and went for it. I signed up along with my 15 year old daughter and paid. I was committed and suddenly regretting my great idea!! 🙂

I hadn’t been doing a whole lot of walking for awhile and all of sudden about two weeks out from Round the Bays, I panicked….will I be able to finish 8.4km? My hubby and I began to walk three times a week for the two weeks leading up to the fun run, but I was super nervous. To be honest, I am not really that fit, though I am trying and I was pretty scared that I would be suffering for the whole time. My thoughts went to blisters, chafing, sore feet, wrong shoes, sunburn, dehydration and the list went on especially since I had developed a small infection in my big toe. Yuck!!

Well, Sunday morning, March 13th dawned and it was a gorgeous day. We headed down to Fit 4 Life where we met the rest of the team. Our manager, Sarah, had us all organised and we had people driving us in and dropping us off which made a HUGE difference. We headed into Auckland City and the excitement started to build. Once I was downtown and saw all the people, I began to realise that it was going to be a great day.

Our support crew - Bryce , Jason and Marlon

Before I knew it we were walking and for the next 2 hours and 11 minutes I had a great time. Our big group split up into three/four groups as we had some runners and faster walkers. I ended up at the back with a group of about five of us. It was nice being back there because it wasn’t too crowded and we could just talk and enjoy the sunshine, the ocean and the gorgeous day. Mission Bay was super fun as our “support crew” was there to greet us and encourage us to finish.

Kirstie and Lanny at the Finish Line

The last time I had walked Round the Bays in 2007 the last few kilometres seemed to take FOREVER!!! This time we reached St Heliers in a blink of an eye it felt. Guess it helped to have a group of friends to talk with. I felt so proud as I crossed the finish line and even more proud that I felt really great and could have walked further. So fun to do it as a Fit 4 Life Team and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

So, if you’re like me, Round the Bays is a great place to get your feet wet in the art of “long distance” walking or running plus proceeds go towards a charity as well. Helping yourself and others at the same time. Plan on joining the Fit 4 Life Team in 2012. We’d love to double the numbers in our team next year!!!

We all made it and look pretty good for having walked or run 8.4 km.

I can’t wait!

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff 

Fitness – Our Group Fitness Classes at Fit 4 Life

Group fitness classes are great because there’s something about having a scheduled time, that makes us get over our procrastination and get our bodies going! It is also helpful to have an instructor tell or show you what to do.

Group classes can be great for those who want to work out with others, adding that social element as we can do it with friends. They are a nice alternative to other activities like running, walking or swimming, especially if the weather is bad and it is a weather-reliant sport or activity. (Which we may encounter in Auckland!)

Personally, I like to stand at the back in group classes as I get really self-conscious about my movements. I do enjoy them once I do them a few times though, so if you are a bit shy of classes like me, give them a shot!

At Fit4Life we try to provide a casual and relaxed feel. Class sizes are also not huge, so they are not too intimidating for the different fitness levels.

Currently at Fit4Life, we have two group fitness classes going on, Zumba and K-Fit!

Many of you may already know about Zumba as it is popular in many places. It is led by our enthusiastic instuctor Careen and it is a class based on Latin-dance moves and a lot of fun. It is also for all fitness levels! Careen is an experienced Zumba instructor who makes it easy to follow and get into.  If you feel a bit ‘un-co’ at first like I did, don’t worry, it take a few tries to get into the groove. It is the kind of class where you won’t notice you are working out until the song ends- or at least not quite as much as other activities.

If you are into something of higher-intensity and up for more of a sweat, try out ** K-Fit **, our BRAND NEW class led by our own energetic staff member Kirstie. It is a full-body work out combining cardio, resistance and core

Feeling the burn during our K-Fit class

work. You will probably feel the burn but it may be a good class if you want to take your fitness to an improved level. (A few men have tried it out too and enjoyed it so don’t think that these classes are just for the girls!)

Here are our class times:

Zumba- Wednesday 6pm and Saturday 11am

K-Fit- Monday 6pm and Thursday 6pm

Free for members, and $10 for a casual entry.

Do check out our website for more details-

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Getting those kids of ours up and moving!!!

When I was a kid, we spent most of our time outside, playing with all the kids in the street and came home exhausted, dirty and happy as could be. Now that I am a mum of two (15 and 10), I realise how life is very different for my kids. They just don’t play outside as much, their friends are busier, they’re busier, there’s a lot more “hazards” to think about to keep them safe.  I don’t think we’re necessarily more responsible in our parenting than our parents, but times do change and new cautions have to be put into place. Another massive change has been the increase in home entertainment – gaming, TV, computers etc…. Lots of fun and has so many great aspects to it, but there’s a downside as well. So, if you’re like me, you’re having a challenge to get your kids up and  moving.

To be honest,  every day it’s a struggle for me to manage the busyness of life and keeping my kids active and healthy. Definitely a HUGE learning curve, especially when I struggle many days to get out for a walk or to the gym or away from my computer. Knowing that activity doesn’t just happen anymore like when I was a kid, we’ve had to be more proactive and we’re still working on it. We are not experts in getting kids active, but rather parents on a journey of trying to figure it out. However, we have done a few things to move in the right direction.

  • Family Gardening – my husband and I are not gardeners. We love looking at them and enjoy them, but we don’t particularly get thrilled by the process. However, we saw the garden as a great way to spend time as a family and get us all outside doing something active. We committed to 1/2 hour a week outside in the garden. We bought enough equipment for us all to use and got stuck into some weeding etc. It was a lot of fun, we had some sore muscles and we got to see something get done around our home. It’s not happened for awhile with winter, but now that spring is here, the garden beckons.
  • Family Housework – your kids might already have chores which is great, but one thing I’ve been doing is on a Saturday afternoon or the morning if they don’t have sports, my kids and I do housework together. It’s great for me and it also gets my kids up off the couch and busy doing something besides watching TV or checking Facebook…plus the house is sparkling clean and they’re learning useful skills for the future. My son is a pretty good toilet cleaner!!! 🙂      (Image courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half)
  • Have at least one of their after school activities be something active – we purposefully haven’t filled our lives with activities so we can sit down as a family and have dinner together etc, but the ones we do have at least one of them has to be active or sports related. Our son has swimming every week and is playing tennis on Saturdays (last year it was softball). Our daughter has Musical Theatre (dance), but has done swimming and netball as well, plus walks to the bus and to Fit 4 Life which is about a 1/2 hour walk from her school.
  • Get them into the gym – Fit 4 Life aims to be a place where families are welcome. We do want kids to be supervised, but it’s a great place to work out with your kids (showing them you care about your own health), spend time as a family and also set new patterns for their future. My daughter has really enjoyed doing some weights each week, some cardio on the Elliptical or rowing machine and going to Zumba. She is 15, but she’s never really been in a gym before and is enjoying it. Our son has his own little programme as well that he can do when we are down there. It’s fun to listen to them talk about how it went that day and improvements they are seeing. This is especially good to do if your kids are not natural athletes. The gym is somewhere they can excel no matter what their abilities.
  • Use gaming to your advantage. We were given a Wii game last Christmas and have had a lot of fun with it. I noticed that my kids are much more active playing Wii than other options and a lot of the games are sports related.They love beating their parents too!!!! If you can invest in one then it’s a great way to harness the technology and make it work for you in your goal to get your kids more active.

So none of this is earth-shattering news, but just some fun things we’ve done. We need to do more and after winter need to get back into some of these habits, but one thing I have realised is that by getting your kids more active, you as an adult becomes more active which is always a good thing especially if you’re someone who is naturally more “sedentary” like me. It also adds to your family life which is always important. We really don’t have these kids for very long so it’s good to spend time with them. 🙂

Hope that inspired you to get active with your kids or get them moving a bit more if that’s a challenge for you!!!!

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – How to increase strength and size

There is a magical thing called progressive overload.

The classic story to demonstrate this concept is the story of Milo of Croton.  Milo was a 6th century BC Greek wrestler. He once carried a four-year-old bull on his shoulders before slaughtering, roasting, and devouring it in one day. He was said to have achieved the feat of lifting the bull by starting with a newborn ox, and carrying it every day.  As the ox grew in size Milo’s body had to adapt to the extra weight.

Our bodies are designed to adapt to our circumstances.  As we lift heavier weights our muscles grow and become stronger.

It happens gradually. As we overload the muscles they adapt to the increased weight and grow stronger. By gradually overloading we produce stronger muscles, denser bone and stronger connective tissue.

If you want to talk about your program and how you improve feel free to stop by Fit 4 Life.

Jason – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Zumba at Fit 4 Life

Come and check out our Zumba classes at Fit 4 Life. We’re fortunate to have Careen as our Zumba instructor. She’s a lot of fun and brings a great energy to the class. Zumba’s for everyone – male or female, young or not so young!!! Zumba’s a great cardio workout, but you can take it at your pace.

Check it out at:

Fit 4 Life Fitness Centre

65D View Road, Glenfield

Thursdays      6pm to 7pm

Saturdays      11am to 12pm

Tuesday night classes starting in August.

Classes are free to Fit 4 Life Members and $8 for non-members (concession cards available for $70 for 10 visits)

Finance – My Little Stash of Cash

In marriage, money is something that can become a sticky topic.

One thing I’ve appreciated about our budget is that it contains a weekly allowance for both Jason and I. This gives us each a bit of freedom to enjoy some small treats and prevents quibbles about, “Why are you buying that, do you need it?” kinda stuff. (My kind and generous husband even decided to allocate me double of what he gets in our weekly allowance! :))

Because I’m the more ‘dangerous’ spender between the two of us, I have a separate account for this allowance, so it is limited to what’s in it. I know, if you see the bank statement you will laugh because it is a separate little account for not very much cash! You don’t have to do this, but it helps me. (And probably helps Jason feel safe haha.)

This means that every week I have some money to do ANYTHING I want with- a magazine, a random coffee, a piece of clothing or other fun things. I love this as I don’t feel guilty buying something that I may not necessarily need once in a while and don’t get worried that it will eat into our budget. Even though it is not a massive amount, it is still great, as I can accumulate or save up enough to buy larger items over months.

The tricky part would probably be defining what kinds of things would go under ‘allowance’. (Oh and the word ‘allowance’ might sound funny/childlike to some. You can call it something else if that word doesn’t work for you.) It is probably wise to agree on a clear definition together.

For us, the point of an allowance is to give us a bit of a breather to spend on unimportant-but-fun things we each desire, but as the amount is limited, there are boundaries that protect our overall finances. Please note that this is a minor category in the whole realm of budgeting, but I feel that this has helped us reduce some stress in handling finances within marriage.

hmmm. I initially thought to write about something a bit more exciting, like how to spend money! But I think I’ll leave that for another day…

Don’t forget though that members of Fit 4 Life can receive free financial planning so sign up today for your appointment!!!

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Gasp, gasp….I can do it!!- Getting Fit in my 40’s

Exercise and me are like oil and water!! We don’t really get along, but I’ve hit my 40’s and after a decade of having kids, raising kids and basically neglecting the whole exercise thing, I’m back in the gym. It certainly has helped that the hubby and I have opened Fit 4 Life  and I can go for free!!! The Lord knew I needed that.

I was pretty scared though. There is something about being the most unfit person in the room and wondering if you can truly do the exercises, wondering if you will be crippled with pain the next day (I hate sore muscles!!) and wondering if there will be any lasting impact from today’s puny effort. It took me a few weeks to really feel confident enough to get back into the gym, but a new weights program helped. My kind hubby made one for me and a friend. It’s been a lot of fun!! I have seen some weights go up and I haven’t been crippled by muscle soreness which is good (maybe those weights need to go up?)!

The next challenge was a group fitness class. About 6 months ago I purchased the Zumba Fitness DVDs and finally got round to working out. I actually enjoyed it!!! I was dying from un-fitness, but enjoyed it. The last time I did any kind of group class was in 1994!!!! I never LOVED them so when Zumba Fitness started at Fit 4 Life last week, I was once again filled with trepidation!!! Will I make 50  minutes? Will I look like an idiot? Will I die? 🙂

I pushed all my doubts aside and plunged in!! It was like I had just been swimming by the end because my hair was soaking, my face was like a beetroot, BUT I had a great time and even more important, I conquered a fear!! My hubby told me so many times how proud he was that I had done it ( I think he had  his doubts that I would turn up!!).  Zumba Fitness was so much fun because it really did feel like dancing and I love to dance and I had a great time doing it with friends and people I have met at Fit 4 Life.

Exercise is still not my favourite thing, I long for the day when I look forward to it, but for now I am trying to get fit in my 40’s!!!! If you’re like me and it’s been awhile since you and exercise have been “friends” come and join me down at Fit 4 Life. We want to promote a healthy fitness philosophy here at Fit 4 Life and that  means just getting up and doing something everyday….not being a ‘superhero’ exerciser!!! The perfect place for someone like me!!!!!

Christy  – Fit 4 Life Staff and fellow “exerciser”