Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Survive the Gym

Posted by Erin McInerney

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With April finally here, and the sun (slightly) starting to make a re-appearance, the winter season may finally be behind us. Great news, right? Totally. Except when you remember that warm weather = no more bulky coats and sweaters = time to drag all your shorts and swimsuits out of the closet.

If the thought of having to go anywhere near a pool within the next few months makes you wish for snow again, fear not. With help from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Life, we have solutions for all your gym worries so you can hit up the exercise machines with confidence and be ready for the beaches that await you.

Disclaimer: this article may also serve to make all of your excuses for not going to the gym irrelevant, so read on with caution.

Avoiding Germs on Machines: Cover machine surfaces with fresh clean towels before touching. Hold folded-over paper towels in each hand before grabbing the machine’s handle/bar, or wear gloves. Use a fresh set of towels for each machine. Do not touch your face with your hands until you have washed them thoroughly with soap and water after your workout.

Muscle Cramps: Massage and stretch to increase blood flow to the cramping muscle. Rehydrate yourself with water or a sports drink. Apply an ice pack to relax tense muscles. Later, if you still have pain or tenderness, use a warm towel or heating pad or take a hot bath.

Overbearing Trainer: Feign dry heaves to prove to the trainer that you’ve pushed yourself to the physical limit. Weakness and shortness of breath may also be effective in getting the trainer to lower his expectations, but these ploys could backfire and result in ever more strenuous attempts to toughen you up.

Trapped Under Barbell: Yell “Spot! Spot!” to get the attention of others who can lift the barbell off of you. If you can move, carefully slide your body so the weight is supported by your hands above your chest, rather than over your head, neck, or abdomen.