Persons who do things in the gym that are unsafe, of no value, maddening or just plain stupid – we’ve all observed them, trained beside them, and grumbled to our buddies about them. These guys one way or another just don’t get it and are continually irritating or entertaining us – in spite of all the talk about gym etiquette and all the information available on exercise form. You’ve almost certainly noticed one, can recognize one, or you may even be one!
Here are some rules you must never break:
Do have a good attitude
Do wipe off equipment after you’ve used it
Do pay attention to personal hygiene
Do keep the weights where they belong
Depending on its facilities, surroundings and locality, every fitness center will need its own code of behavior. Here are some basic ones that will work anywhere:
Do be a good bodybuilder. Be original, support others, share your equipment and don’t hijack two or more gym tools as you superset and engage in furious training.
Don’t drop the weights from some dizzying altitude – except, of course, they’re too heavy and unmanageable. It’s very bad for the equipment and you could hurt yourself or someone else. Respect the equipment as if you paid for it.
Don’t trash the locker room. Pick up your towels, and don’t leave hair or toothpaste in the sink.
Don’t lift heavy weights without a spotter. If you are into heavy-duty weight lifting that drives your muscles to the boundary, you never know when you will experience instantaneous muscle failure. If this occurs, sorry to say the dumbbells or barbell you are lifting will drop directly on your face, chest or toes. Select your spotter well. If you lose control you want to ensure he knows how to properly grab hold of the weights.
Do offer to work in, especially when the gym is packed.
Don’t scream with every lift.
It pays to be courteous when you’re encircled by a horde of perspiring guys hauling heavy stuff around.
Don’t give unasked for advice. Leave it to the trainer on duty to correct bad form.
Don’t criticize others.
Don’t try to start a conversation with somebody who’s lifting.
Don’t spit. This should be obvious, but unfortunately, some people still do it, right on the gym floor.
Being thoughtful is important when you workout at the gym.
Do reset the weight machines back to a low setting.
Do obey the gym’s rules.
Don’t use foul language in the gym.
Don’t be late for personal training sessions and group fitness classes.
There are a lot of things you can do in a gym to get people’s blood boiling. Most gym regulations are common courtesy, things you should do regardless of where you are.
Don’t wear heavy perfumes or colognes.
Do respect yourself and others by wearing proper clothing.
The gym is a sacred place where you can go to get away from the chaos of the everyday world.
Do wear headphones. Not everyone will appreciate your taste in music. In the same vein, avoid singing out loud, especially while you’re wearing the headphones.
Don’t ask too many questions. Most people are more than happy to answer questions, but remember people are in the gym to train, so be considerate and keep your questions brief.
Don’t be a gossip in the locker room. You never know who is in the toilet or shower as you are spilling the beans about someone else. It’s wise to watch your mouth even on the gym floor, because you never know whose friend or relative is working out beside you.
Don’t bring your kids to the gym. A gym is full of machines with moving parts that can easily cut off or smash inquisitive little fingers, so it’s a bad idea to bring young children and allow them to run around.
Alleviate Gym Jitters With Good Etiquette
One of the major reasons people offer for not joining a gym is that they feel uncomfortable in the strange ambience of hard bodies, wall-to-wall mirrors and the clanging of heavy weights. Walking in anywhere that’s new to you will make you uncomfortable in the beginning, and the gym can be an intimidating place.
Make life easier for yourself by knowing how to carry yourself in the gym. If you would like to exercise with equipment already in use, ask politely for it and wait your turn. Wait until a person has completed their set before talking to them. Keep your ego in check. There is always somebody with more experience or who lifts more, so never think that you know all that there is to know.
Do be conscious of the space around you – others may be using it to do their workout.
Don’t position yourself in front of somebody who is looking in the mirror throughout his or her workout.
Do learn proper operation of equipment. When in doubt, ask questions.
Do stick to time limits on aerobic machines.
Choosing a Gym
What do you look for in a health club experience and how do you get your money’s worth? First, think about what your goals are in order to know whether or not you will get your money’s worth. Look for the maximum value of services possible for your money in lieu of shopping for the cheapest fee. Be sure that the employees are professional, particularly the trainers. Once you find a good gym, don’t forget the rules of good etiquette!