Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gym 101: Beginners Guide To Gym Etiquette

Hey Fit Fam ...

Most of you reading this are probably regular readers of my blog ...thanks for supporting! I am hopeful that with the new year I will get a few new readers as well! I also have some "re-vamping" planned for the blog! Stay tuned :) 

Maybe you are just starting your fitness journey (way to go by the way) ... if so welcome to! If you didn't get a chance to read my blog yesterday about Lifestyle > Resolution, please check it out!  I really hope that 2015 is the year you become and remain your best you, but I do hope that you have your MIND in the right place :) That blog may help you out! 

I would be lying if I said I didn't "dread" going to the gym certain times of the year. All the newbies start coming to workout in January and then come February they are gone. Then in March you have the spring breakers .. thinking they can crash diet and kill it in the gym for a few weeks and be ready for their beach trip. Same pattern come May or June when it's getting close to swimsuit weather. While it is annoying to us "regulars" that the gym will be extra packed during these times ... it does make us (well me anyway) excited that so many people are making an effort to better themselves!! I love seeing new people in the gym .. but what we don't love is lack of Gym Etiquette. 

My motivation for this blog was my gym yesterday. I walked in and in only 10min this is what I observed. First of all ... every cardio machine was taken (shaking my head at this) and I was one of only two girls touching weights (you can find many rants about this on my blog).  Then I saw a girl READING A BOOK in between sets on the pull down machine!! I want to know what book is SO good that you can't put it down while you are lifting, lol!! As I was working out I watched a guy spend a good 2min "fixing his hair" in the mirror .. yes a guy. Then I observed a guy show his girlfriend improper form on an exercise (ladies just because your man .. is a man .. that doesn't mean he knows what he is doing). Then I listened to a guy talk on the phone WHILE working out!! His entire workout he used his headphones as his way to chit chat. Some may say "that's multi-tasking" -- I say it's rude. Not to mention .. if you can carry on a conversation while lifting .. you aren't working hard enough! While some of these things are just annoying .. others are just big NO's! 

If you are a newbie to the gym we can't expect you to know all the "rules". Heck, most regulars don't follow them even though they know better!! So here are a few tips for you! Now you can't say "I didn't know" and everyone can get in their workout done -- even during the busiest times of the year! 

Number One: This is the golden rule of the gym. Re-Rack Your Weights -- and put them back in the right spot!!! If you put weights on something .. take them off .. period! If you use dumbbells, barbells, boxes, etc., put them back in their PROPER place!! There is NOTHING more frustrating than having to take off someones weights because they were too lazy to do it themselves. This has literally tacked on 15+ min at the gym for me some days. There have even been times it's STOPPED me from doing a workout!!!  I'm a shortie. SO if you leave tons of plates on a squat rack and the bar is way up high with those weights still on it .. how am I suppose to lower it to my level? Just one example. Have some respect and RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS NO MATTER WHAT!! 

Number Two: Don't be an equipment hog. Everyone pays for a membership -- which means the weights belong to everyone. If the gym is pretty empty then by all means .. train how you want. But if it is packed please don't hog equipment. This can be really difficult to do because the majority of gym goers won't follow this rule simply because we are used to the gym being a little more empty. Also because if you don't hog them ... chances are someone else will. But the "rule" really is that if you need several sets of dumbbells, a machine, or say the cables for a long set of time .. try to be aware of your surroundings. Get a "feel" for other people that may look like they want to use the machine you are on or weights you are using and let them work in their sets in-between yours. 

Number Three:  Get off your phone!! This includes social media, texting, talking, etc. Not only could someone be waiting on the's just rude. Nobody wants to hear your conversation. Not to mention .. you aren't making the most of your workout. If you can carry on a conversation WHILE working out .. how hard are you really working?! If you are on your phone in between sets .. fine (I am guilty too) .. but since your rest time shouldn't be more than 30-90 seconds (and 90 is a stretch and often only with super sets) .. chances are you will just get dirty looks from us regulars who need that machine and are there to WORK! Don't be surprised or offended if someone comes over and "asks" to jump in since you aren't actually using it. 

Number Four: Wipe it off! Even if you don't sweat a ton .. your skin is oily, you may be smelly, etc. So if your gym provides what you need .. wipe off the equipment after you use it!! If they don't offer
anything to disinfect, you may want to ask them to do so .. gross! Oh and speaking of your body. Please wear plenty of deodorant!! Stinking up the gym is NOT okay... K?

Number Five: Hydrate with respect.  If you have your big ole water bottle with you and it's empty .. by all means fill it up and hydrate!! If someone is waiting for just a sip of water .. stop filling up and let them jump in. 

Number Six:  Be aware. This is another golden rule that will help with all others. Many people superset or triple set, etc. So if a piece of equipment is "empty" that doesn't mean it's NOT being used. Start eyeing your next piece of equipment before you are finished with whatever it is you are doing. If someone has been using it and they don't appear to be finished ..ask if they are done or if you can jump in when they are on another machine. This goes back to the "hogging machines" rule. I love super sets .. but you have to be respectful when doing them if the gym is full. 

Number Seven: Stay in your own "space".  In a small gym this can be hard. But try to spread out as much as you can. Not only can it be dangerous to be close to someone lifting .. it's rude.  This also goes for mirror space. If someone is working out in front of a mirror .. don't go stand in front of them!! 

Number Eight:  Gawking. Just don't do it. You may be a little lost and want to watch what someone is doing ... but don't stare. It's rude. If you are a dude staring at a girl .. that is a good way to get a "swolemate" that may be working out with that lovely lady pretty ticked off :)  Also .. be careful if you are staring in an attempt to try to "mimic" someone else's workout. They may be doing an intermediate workout when you are a beginner .. etc. If you really want to know what they are doing .. just ask!! But make sure and wait until they are totally done working out. Most people don't mind answering questions...but DO mind you interrupting their workout! 

Number Nine:  This goes along with #8. Less talk .. more work. The gym isn't a social gathering spot. Hopefully you are serious about your lifestyle .. I know I am. I don't have time for a conversation. I want to get in .. get it done .. and get home in time to get in my post workout protein/fast acting sugar & carb. So don't keep me from that ... K?? I"m not saying don't talk to me .. especially if we are friends. But don't try to carry on some long drawn out conversation with me. Let's schedule a coffee date to do that :) 

Number Ten: Limit Loud Noises. I get it .. you should max out or get out, right? Nothing wrong with a grunt here or there .. but yelling, cursing, overly grunting and throwing weights around ... it's just distracting. Speaking of throwing around weights. If your gym has a dedicated room where they allow you to do "cross fit style" lifting .. please use that room for the throwing and dropping your weights and not the main workout room ... please. 

Those are the first ten that came to mind for me. Please add your own in the comments below!!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty. 

Stay Fit and Healthy

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this info. Very helpful and informative.