New Year has started and surely many of us are more motivated than ever to join the gym. Gym is a community in itself where fitness-motivated people come to improve themselves.
A community should follow a few set of rules to make the environment as friendly and productive as possible. Here are a few unwritten rules one should follow so that people don’t call you names behind your back, or worst, you get punched in the face by a fellow trainee.
1) If you use a weight or dumbbell, please don’t leave it on the ground like a spoilt brat; return it to the rack where it belongs.
2) If you pulled of a one-rep-max, don’t leave the bar just like that. It will be very annoying, not to mention time consuming, for the next person who want to use the place to take down all those plates.
3) Speaking of weights and dumbbells, do not be a hoarder and collect everything you need for the day’s workout at one place. You will get what you need; the weights are not going anywhere.
4) In case you end up not finding the weight you need at the racks, politely ask the person using it if they are done with it. If they are still using it, you can either wait or join them so that you can use it while they take rest.
5) If you do join in, return the settings back to what the person was performing on.
6) Speaking of joining in, do not get too close to someone that they start to feel uncomfortable. Everyone wants space, so make sure to keep enough distance for their comfort as well as to allow hinder-free full range of motion for both of you.
7) Also, do not train near the rack; maintain distance so people can access the rack as well as you can.
8) Do not leave your towel or water bottle lying around, especially on machines that you are not using.
9) Care should be taken to not bump into someone or their equipment whilst they are performing an exercise. This could end badly, for both of you.
10) Be sure to use weight locks to fix the plate in barbell so it does not slide off and harm those around you.
11) Do not drop the weight. Set it back down slowly. Dropping weights can damage the equipment, the floor and even you. So stay in control.
12) Do not be like those drama queens who grunt throughout their workout and finally settle down the weight with a loud “thud”, and then spend the next minute breathing like a bull so everyone at the gym would know you just had a heavy workout.
13) If you sweat a lot, make sure to keep a towel to wipe off that sweat before you drop it on the floor. If you used a bench that got sweaty, make sure to wipe it clean.
14) If someone is busy exercising, do not engage in a conversation. Conversation during set is annoying and between sets it may prolong the rest period. Just because you are done with a workout does not mean you get to ruin others’ workout.
15) Do not ever engage in a conversation with someone with headphones on, they clearly want to shut the world out.
16) Conversations remind me of those people on treadmill that gossip hours on phone. If you are one of them, try not being loud, people around you do not want to hear about your social drama. If you are at gym, you should be working out. If you can still talk normally after some time on treadmill, your workout is not very effective.
17) About rest period, do not spend it while sitting on a bench or a machine using your cellphone while someone is clearly waiting for you to get off and use it.
18) If you happen to be the guy standing there waiting for your turn, there is no shame in asking politely if you can use the equipment.
19) Do not use platforms such as bench presses and squat racks for exercise that can be performed elsewhere. It would be really annoying to see someone perform shrugs on a squat rack while you are standing there, waiting, to perform squats.
20) And for all those trying to hit on the opposite sex at the gym, please do not even think about it. People come at gym for training. If they are sweating, chances are they are not in a very comfortable position to talk. Wait till their workout is over and they are leaving if you really want to talk.
21) There are those who don’t have guts to talk, they are the worst kind because what they do instead is stare. If you are one of those, stop being a creep. Staring at someone while they squat, either of same sex or opposite, is not going to do you any good.
22) Speaking of creepy, do not be one of those inappropriately dressed person with clothes that are a little too revealing. Dress in proper gym attire.
23) Your gym clothes should also be clean. No one would like a person roaming around smelling like they haven’t had a shower for a week.
24) Do not disturb others while checking yourself out in the mirror or taking selfies.
25) You should never cross in front of a person performing an exercise in front of a mirror. They are keeping an eye on their form and you just interrupted them.
26) If you are with a spotter, do not abuse the privilege and do not ask for help on very heavy weights, especially if the spotter is in a weaker position. Do not ask for help in each rep of each set.
27) Do not stare at someone training with a personal trainer. Copying their workout is not going to help. Chances are you will perform it with improper form. A more ethical approach would be to ask the trainer, most of the times they will tell you.
28) If you need advice from a better lifter at gym, wait for the right moment to ask and make sure you are not disrupting their workout.
29) If you consider yourself an expert, do not go around giving advices to people, unless they ask for it. And do not by any means consider your form to be superior. The next person might have hit a plateau and is trying a variant exercise.
30) If something goes wrong, control you temper, everyone at gym is pumped up with adrenaline and testosterone flowing through them. You would not want to get involved in a gym fight.
31) Do not fill the entire bottle of water while others are waiting for the water cooler.
Most of the “rules” mentioned above are just ethical, hence they are not written on the walls. If you want a change in your body, start by changing your behavior towards your fellow trainee, respect the environment you train in, and soon you will see yourself achieve your goals.