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When you walk into the club, where do you head first? Maybe you like to hit the cardio and weight machines on the fitness floor. Or perhaps you prefer lifting in the free-weights area, or taking a class in one of our studio spaces. Whatever you love to do and wherever you love to do it, these tips can help you make the most of your, and others’, experience at Life Time.

1. Dress to move. Whether you stick to the basics or love the latest in performance wear, your choice in workout attire can affect your experience. Choose clothes that will keep you cool, dry, covered, and confident as you move through your favorite workout. If that’s an indoor cycle class, for example, consider padded bicycle shorts. If it’s yoga, think about how your clothes will adjust in poses like downward-facing dog. And if the weather outside is rainy, slushy or muddy, bring clean and dry shoes to wear during your workout.

2. Secure your belongings in one of our complimentary lockers — no need to bring your own padlock. If you want to carry a few personal items with you to the fitness or studio areas, consider a small bag like this one, as larger bags and backpacks are not allowed in these spaces.

3. Know where to go. The club has a lot to offer. To get a full picture of all your options, visit the Fitness Services Desk and schedule time for a complimentary equipment orientation to explore the cardio equipment, strength-training machines, or free weights. Junior members age 12 and older may use the free-weight and fitness floor areas, and may participate in equipment orientations as well.

4. Hydrate early and often while you’re at the club. Water fountains are placed throughout the fitness floor for your convenience, and you can bring water bottles into the studio spaces as well as the fitness floor and free-weights area.

5. Don’t forget to warm up before your workout. Spend at least a few minutes dynamically moving and stretching your limbs and joints while slowly bringing your heart rate up. You’ll expand your range of motion, increase blood flow, and raise your muscle temperature, all of which can boost performance and reduce risk of injury.

6. Maximize the machines. Even if you’re confident using free weights — and especially if you’re not — resistance machines on the fitness floor can help you perform new movement patterns, support moving weight in different directions and different planes, and supply stability to help correct imbalances. And of course, the cardio equipment is great for warm-ups, steady-state cardio, or high-intensity intervals. If equipment is in high demand, let other people “work in” between sets to minimize waiting. When you’re finished, wipe your machine down; towels and wipe dispensers are located throughout the club.

7. Explore free weights. The free-weight area offers plenty of options for fun and varied workouts using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, battle ropes, and more. Trainers are here to help — stop by the Fitness Services Desk if you have any questions about how to use equipment or if you’d like advice on proper form. Remember to re-rack your weights and put away other gear when you’re finished so that others can find them easily. Also, refrain from using chalk on the fitness floor. (If your club has an Alpha studio, however, you may use chalk there.)

8. Move and be moved in any of Life Time’s studio, yoga and indoor cycling classes — all included in your membership. You can reserve your spot in yoga and cycle classes at MyLT or in the Life Time Member App. For studio classes, plan on arriving 15 minutes early to set up your area. Be conscious of other people’s personal space and avoid entering late, which can be disruptive. If you’re sensitive to sound, ear plugs are available for your convenience. Junior members age 12 and older may participate in classes.

9. Tune in — or tune out — while you work out. Many of Life Time’s cardio machines have screens so you can watch television programming of your choice using your own headphones. Have a favorite playlist? Bring your own tunes to enjoy over headphones. Out of consideration for other members, we request that you avoid talking on your phone in our workout areas.

10. Keep your momentum going! Whether you’re working through a specific training program or just having fun exploring your options, it’s good to think ahead about what you’ll do next time you come to the club. Planning ahead and knowing your fitness “why” are key for long-term consistency. If you’re still trying to hit your fitness stride, try a new class or piece of equipment — or branch out further if your club has a pool, courts, or other health and fitness offerings. For new workout inspiration, check out all the ideas here and know that our team members are here to support you along the way.

Jill Patton, FMCHC

Jill Patton, FMCHC, is a Minneapolis-based health writer and functional-medicine certified health coach.

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