There are always a few people in the gym that don’t know what they are doing. Some people need help in every aspect of fitness and others just need a little guidance. Whether your either of these people, knowing gym etiquette makes your time and the people around you more enjoyable. As a trainer, I have seen people do or not do some of the things that are part of these five rules.
Rule number 1 – Clothing
I don’t know if its just because people don’t have any of this or they are unaware that loose articles of clothing and proper foot wear are the basic essentials if your going to the gym. Jeans, old dress shirts, boots, or loafers/deck shoes are not part of the gym. They should be left in the locker room. It’s important to feel comfortable but not wearing clothes that also could be worn at a cousins or nephew’s birthday party. On the other end of this, “Jordans” and the latest giant headphones will not do anything for you in getting results. What I am trying to say is that by getting the proper attire for the gym will set yourself up for a more comfortable experience.
Rule number 2 – Hygiene
Everyone sweats and I am aware of this. I train people all day who get a vigorous work out in, sweat like they’ve just been hit by a bucket of water, and then ask to have them stretched in every direction. My point is that there are so many germs in the gym that we all need to start cleaning down equipment after using it. And spraying a small 4×4 inch paper towel with 2 sprays doesn’t cut it! Spray that piece of equipment down like it is on fire. There is plenty of fluid to go around. Deodorant is also part of hygiene. It must be a competition in the free weight area to see who can smell more like moldy cheese. Fortunately that is not a competition, so applying deodorant is a common rule of thumb for those first timers.
Rule number 3 – Be aware of your soundings
Everyone should know that just because they are paying a membership, that doesn’t mean they own the gym. There are others using the facility as well. Always look around the piece of equipment your about to use to see if anyone was using it and might be back to use it again. There is a common training technique that people use and its call circuit training. This means multiple exercises are part of the work out and will be used intermittently. As a trainer, I don’t mind if someone didn’t realize I was using that attachment or dumb bell because I can adapt to find something else that is suitable. But many people in the gym get frustrated when that overly excited gym goer jumps in uninvitingly.
Rule number 4 – Sharing is caring
You may have had someone ask you “How many sets do you have left?” or “May I work in?” These are common terms that gym goers will use because they need that specific equipment or it is the only one in the facility. You may feel uncomfortable and just leave that area but don’t feel like you have to stop your work out. Everyone is trying to better him or herself and that means we all have something in common. Don’t feel pressured to leave and also don’t hesitate to ask someone if you could jump in for a set. Most of the time they don’t mind. What also goes under this rule is cleaning up after you. By this I mean put your weights back in the designated spots and not leaving them racked. This one is more for the lazy body builder that stacks all the plates on the leg press and leaves them on after using it. (They should know by now!)
Rule number 5 – Ask if you don’t know something
Look up videos on some of the worst “gym fails” in history and you will see what I mean. As a trainer, I am constantly showing new comers how to use the machines, free weights and more advanced exercises. That’s what trainers are for. Most gyms will have some sort of free trail with a trainer to do just that. Of course it cost money to have a trainer so you must assume that with any trial there will be a sales pitch. Think of it as investing in yourself and your future. If you have any questions or have goals that you need to reach but not to sure of, then ask a trainer for some help. If there anything like me, they would jump at the opportunity to help you!