Thursday, January 8, 2015

GYM ETIQUETTE: The 7 Rules of Gym Etiquette

Whether you realize it or not, you and those you share a gym with form a community. Making that community an entity that can work together for everyone’s benefit means following a few sensible rules—rules that aren’t posted on the walls of your gym but probably should be. Follow this simple code of conduct to ensure the safest, most productive—and least annoying- training environment for everyone around you. Go ahead and print these pages and tape them to the wall of your gym. It’s time everyone got the message.

GYM ETIQUETTE #1 'Don't hog the bench and a bunch of weights for yourself''
The first one should be the most obvious and self-explanatory, but many guys just don’t get it. The gym is a public space, and the weights and bench belong to everyone. If the gym is nearly empty, rest on the bench all you want or circuit train throughout the entire gym. But if it’s packed (as it is on most weeknights after working hours), don’t hog a bunch of equipment and bench for yourself. If you absolutely need several pairs of dumbbells for a long giant set, be prepared to let other people work in. The same applies with sharing the bench during your rest!

GYM ETIQUETTE #2 'Strip your weights off the bar when done'
You wouldn’t want to strip a few hundred pounds off the bar every time you go to the rack, so don’t leave anything on the bar when you’re done, either. Bars that don’t get stripped after sets will bend over time, and eventually be rendered useless to serious lifters. For dumbbells, many gyms label designated spots for each one, so put them back in those spots. This will also save time when you’re looking for what you need.

GYM ETIQUETTE #3 'Talking on your cell phones distract others workout'
There’s nothing more distracting than someone yammering away on his cell phone when you’re in the middle of a set. Most people stay connected 24/7 these days, but if you expect to get results in the gym, you’re not going to get them if you’re checking your phone every 10 seconds. Whatever it is, it can wait. Leave the phone in your car or locker.

GYM ETIQUETTE #4 'Learn how to spot correctly'
We’re all pressed for time when we train, but when someone is lifting without a partner, he’ll probably need a spot at some point in his workout. And at some point, that guy will be you. Just make sure you spot properly. On the bench, this means your hands should be hovering just an inch below the bar, ready to help in case the lifter gets in trouble. Before the set, agree on a cue he can give you during the set if he needs help. Otherwise, don’t help unless he completely stalls out.

GYM ETIQUETTE #5 'Leave a decent-size between you and other trainers lifting'
Lifting safely requires 100% concentration, so leave a decent-size buffer between you and anyone who’s in the middle of lifting. You should leave enough of a radius around other guys so that there’s no conceivable chance that you might be in the way if someone drops the weight. This is both a personal space and safety issue. Likewise, if you have a question like, “How many more sets do you have?” it can wait until a break between sets.

GYM ETIQUETTE #6 'No one wants to hear you singing in the gym'
No one wants to hear you singing along with the tunes coming through your headphones. Try to hit a falsetto note like Bon Jovi and people will run in terror. Try to keep up with Tupac and people will think you’re a mumbling psychopath. Whatever kind of music gets you moving, please keep it to yourself.

GYM ETIQUETTE #7 'Be courteous and respectful at the gym'
Granted we're all at the gym to get a great workout. However, it doesn't hurt to speak, be courteous and most of all respectful to other gym members. No one is asking you to hold a conversation, but a friendly hello creates a positive and productive environment. Also, be willing to offer help or advice if you see a new guy trying to find is way. Remember how you felt when you first started working out in a gym.

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