Noob: noun a person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity…and that includes the gym.
There is no shame in being inexperienced, but acting like a stereotypical noob means something else entirely. On Call of Duty it’s using the grenade launcher, in cooking it’s using every single ingredient known to man, and at the gym, well there is quite a bit to it actually.
So read, see if you know the behaviours and take our quiz to see how much of a noob you are.
1. Using machines wrong
Many, a noob may see a machine, and like a bloke with an Ikea flatpack wardrobe, completely ignore the instruction. This is somewhat excusable by the fact that you can’t expect everyone to know everything. But many a specimen will do things like hook their feet around the lat pulldown. There is plenty of information out there, but for many a noob, they don’t seem to care.
2. Curling in the squat rack
The squat rack is for curling. It isn’t for bicep curls. If a newbie does this, they become a full blown noob instantly, and a mortal enemy of everyone else in the gym.
3. Using the gym as a sideboard
When going to the gym, you might take your phone, you should take some water, and hopefully you’ll take a towel. Bar the odd other thing like a protein shake, there is no need to bring your worldly possessions with you. Dotting your crap all around the gym, with particular focus on benches, is a common noob behaviour, and is sure to infuriate many.
4. Using your phone for your whole workout
Like many you probably use your phone for music. That’s fine. Your stereotypical noob however will use their phone to discuss the weekend, and do it in such a way that everyone can hear. Often, they will do it while sitting on, but not using, a piece of equipment.
5. Wearing the wrong gear
Very occasionally, a noob may enter dressed in a shirt, work shoes or a cardigan more suited for a lazy Sunday watching Antiques Roadshow. Inappropriate footwear can lead to injury, and the wrong outerwear can result in extra sweating, and no one wants that. Conversely, and perhaps more common, a noob may enter the gym dressed, in what seems to be, the entire gymwear section from Sports Direct. Though not “inappropriate” it does make a noob stand out.
6. Bringing in junk food and drink
Many people have seen the pictures of people eating pizza while on an exercise bike, and we all know that is bad, and the very example of a gym-noob. Less obvious, are drinks like those you often see in Starbucks; some latte concoction rammed with sugar. Yes it tastes nice, and it will give them a kick ala pre-workout, but it isn’t healthy. It’s a treat.
7. Only working on one body part
99% of the gym-noobs who want to gain muscle focus on either their biceps or their chest. You can spot them as they are invariably swinging a dumbbell up and down like it’s a rain stick in a year 9 music lesson.
8. Using everything
A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Not focussing on one muscle group is one thing, but using every machine at once is another. Having read an article online, the stereotypical noob will think that a superset means using the treadmill, squat rack and bench simultaneously. The noob, is wrong.
9. Going everyday…and telling everyone about it…all the time
It is a wonderful thing, people going to the gym. But you can tell a noob by the fact they post about it once, twice, three times daily. Possibly more. 100% more. The hardcore #fitfam members may well post a lot, and that’s great, though not everyone’s cup of tea. But all a noob will talk about is their insane gym routine. Nothing else.
10. Finding excuses in February
Not all noobs start in January, but a high percentage do. So if your new gym buddy starts disappearing in February, there is a good chance that they were a noob all along. No commitment, no long term plan, just a bandwagon jumper.
The truth about “noobs”
The truth is, a noob, though often the butt of many jokes, is just someone who is trying to improve a physical or mental aspect of their life. They may act funny, and their goals may be very short term, but they are just like any other gym goer. They want to change something, and it is up to the established gym veterans to help them.
So spot a noob, then help them. Give them some handy tips, perhaps show them this article, but don’t act like one. Ever.
If you are a noob, but need some help, then look at our guide on how to succeed in the New Year.