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It’s that time of the year when people are at the peak of their ‘new year new me’ phase, with only a week down the novelty surely can’t have worn off just yet, can it? For those of us who don’t bother with resolutions, it can be a mildly annoying period, with friends gushing over vegan recipes, having SO MUCH more energy without the booze and extolling the spiritual benefits of yoga. Meanwhile, the gym is suddenly packed with strangers wearing clean sneakers and snappily elastic lycra, striding the treadmills with a grimly determined intensity. Inevitably, however, things begin to settle and within a month or two normal service is resumed. Going to the gym especially can be a daunting experience for the novice, all those complicated-looking machines and lifting techniques take time to master. The last thing you need as a sweaty, nervous newbie is seasoned gym rats sniggering at your best efforts to build a solid routine, this alone could be the difference between success and failure.

So when somebody turned to Reddit for advice to help the newcomers adapt to the gym environment with the minimum of fuss, there were plenty of useful tips to make everyone’s life a bit easier. One story stuck out above the rest, however, because it shows the importance of understanding and empathy. Sure, that novice doing endless curls at the squat machine might be a bit annoying right now, but that was you once upon a time. What people need in an intimidating new environment is encouragement and support!

Here’s what people had to say about the inspiring story

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