For those that don’t know, there is gym etiquette, but it is not posted at all, or may be a very small piece of paper at the corner of gym. See, the proper gym etiquette can seem like common sense to most experienced weight lifters, but if you are new to the gym, you had better learn the unsaid rules before you are branded ‘rude’ or something much worse. That said, are you familiar with gym etiquette? Take a look at the following tips and see how you rate.
1. Making use of the equipment
One of the main reasons for going to the gym, besides gaining muscles, is to use the fancy equipment. While many exercises can be done in your garage or basement space, it is often easier to use the machines that were designed specifically for that purpose.
Whenever you are using plates or dumbbells, be considerate and put them back where they belong after you are done. Other members of the gym are there to train, not waste time looking for pieces of a puzzle.
When working out at the cardio machine, people expect you to be done in 20 to 30 minutes. Many gyms will enforce a time limit on such machines and equipment. Try not to exceed the limit set, so others can use the equipment. However, if no one else is waiting, go on and enjoy yourself.
2. Don’t monopolize the equipment
If you are using the bench, cardio machine, or a set of plates and you need to go to the restroom for a brief period of time, do a quick set, or mix in other equipment, it is okay to leave your towel, gloves or other sign to show that you are reserving that piece of equipment, or are coming back shortly. However, if there is someone else waiting in line, or your break is going to take longer than planned, do not monopolize the equipment.
Share the equipment with others, and possibly let someone else work a set alongside you. In the same manner, if you want to use equipment that someone else seems to be using for unreasonable amounts of time, politely ask if you can share with them. If they say no, it’s not worth the argument trust me.
3. Wipe equipment and clean up after yourself
Can you imagine walking over to the bench and finding it covered with the previous occupant’s sweat? You don’t want to be that guy. If you happen to sweat profusely all over the equipment, the least you can do is wipe it down with disinfectant after you are done. Most gyms provide towels at the front desk or near equipment, so make use of them. Specifically, wipe sweat from your arms, forehead, and anywhere else it tends to collect. Also, wipe any puddles or patches that you leave on exercise equipment.
If no towels are provided, then bring your own from home. Alternatively, you can use an old t-shirt for the job. And don’t forget to use the disinfectant spray after you have wiped up after yourself. The next person to use the equipment will thank you for it.
4. Leave it the way you found it
If you are using equipment that seems to have some sort of special arrangement, and aren’t sure if someone else was using it or is in the process of using it, then leave it the way found it. If there is no one who appears to be engaged in it, then you can go ahead and make adjustments. However, once you are finished, put it back the way you found it. This means that you return weight stacks to their original height or weight, seats to their original level, and any other adjustments.
In the same light, return equipment back to its proper place after using it. Organize weights according to their levels. It is annoying to have to lift the heavier weights in order to get to the lighter ones.
5. Give people their space
As you probably know, lifting weights properly and successfully requires lots of concentration, which can’t be achieved if you are standing too close to that person, and vice versa. Don’t stand too close to people, it may also prevent them from achieving proper form on their workouts. A good rule of thumb when it comes to personal space is to estimate how far the weights can fall. If you within its falling range, move further away.
6. Spot and be spotted
Being spotted is okay, as long as it is warranted. Such cases include lifting heavy weights, in which case going all macho can result in injury, or much worse, weights falling on you. If there are no personal assistants in the gym for this, it is okay to ask someone else to help you out, provided that they are physically capable of doing it, and you aren’t interrupting their own routine.
Similarly, if someone else asks for your help, or see someone who is in dire need of help, without which they can injure themselves, by all means lend a hand. However, this is predicated on the fact that you are physically able to help and can handle the weight, failure to which can be dangerous for the weightlifter.
7. Don’t drop weights
The gym may not be a church, but do try and respect the peace and quiet of fellow trainers. Don’t drop weights, light or heavy, from high points of elevation for no reason at all. If you can’t carry it by yourself, ask someone who can.
8. Respect the clothing rules
Most gym will have rules about the dressing code that members should abide by. In many cases, gyms will require that you wear a shirt, have closed shoes (sports preferably), and avoid jeans. Guys, nobody wants to see your chest hair or nipples, so keep your shirt on. Ladies, unless you are sure nobody will complain about seeing your butt hanging out of the shorts, keep everything contained.
In most cases, err on the side of caution, if only not to offend others.
The proper gym etiquette and rules are really simple, but sometimes need to be repeated for them to stick. Keep this basic rules in your mind at all times, and like mentioned before, if you are in doubt, ask the gym assistant for clarification.