Firstly, what is gym etiquette?
Well, it can be broken down into 2 parts, firstly the rules stated by the gym, i.e correct footwear and secondly, rules that, to most, are common sense and courteous to fellow gym users, ie re-racking your weights.
Here is a list of the biggest offences. .
1. CORRECT GYM ATTIRE – it may be hot outside but thinking you can train in thongs(flip flops) is ridiculous – they offer no stability or protection to your feet if, unfortunately ,you drop that 40kg dumbell on your foot. As for clothes, make sure they are appropriate. jeans for squatting? seriously? – i have actually seen someone try this before. Pick clothes that fit and are gym friendly.
2.NOISE POLLUTION – So if you are performing a 160kg deadlift, you can be forgiven for making a bit of noise but no one wants to hear you screaming everytime you try and curl that 10kg dumbell. Also ,no one wants to hear your music, so turn it down under 15 decibels. Its a gym, not a disco.
3. TRY NOT TO DROP WEIGHTS – For a start, it may give the old lady next to you a heart attack. If the weight is too heavy then get a spot.
4. ASK FOR A SPOT/ GIVE A SPOT – do this sparingly though – no one likes the guy who wants spotting on every exercise. But if you are going for a weight you have never pushed then asking for a spot is a sensible option. Likewise if someone looks like they may be struggling, offer a spot. DO NOT, I Repeat, Do Not, interrupt someone while they are midset and ask for a spot!
5. CLEAN EQUIPMENT/ USE A TOWEL – Sweat puddles aren’t nice – use a towel and wipe down your equipment.
6. PUT WEIGHTS BACK – Im sure you are proud of yourself for leg pressing 300kg but leaving it there for the cute girls in the corner to see isn’t impressive, its extremely annoying and if one of the cute girls wants to use that machine after you she is probably looking at you thinking what a d**k!
7. CHAT WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED – Don’t sit on any machine idly chatting away. Get your sets done and get off. Someone may want to use it but just isn’t confident enough to come and ask you if you have finished yet. Remember, gyms can be intimidating places for some people, especially when you are new.
8. SHARE EQUIPMENT – In the busy times, machines such as cables are in high demand. If you have finished your set, let someone else jump in and use it while you have your rest period before your next set.
9. DONT MISUSE EQUIPMENT – a perfect example of this is trying to perform barbell curls in the squat rack at 5pm on a Monday – stupid idea! If you see people grossly misusing equipment, report it to management as if they break it, its one less machine for you to use.
11. DON’T OGLE – Its nice to have hot girls training in the gym, but if you ogle at them and make them feel uncomfortable, it won’t be long before they are looking for a new gym to train at. Remember, everyone is there to train so concentrate on what you are doing, get it done and get out.
12. DON’T SMELL – Although sweating is an inevitable part of a good training session, if you know you are sweating and have issues with this wear ample deodrant but on the other end of the spectrum, you don’t need to smell like a the perfume department in Myers – that smell is just nausiating
13. NO PHONES! – Leave your phone in your bag, you are not that important. If you are sat on the leg press midset texting your freinds, firstly your intensity level is non existent, and secondly, the guy waiting to use it is raging! If you dont want to create instant enemies, leave the phone in the bag. And NEVER have your phone on speaker.
14.GIVE AMPLE SPACE – Dont try and do sit ups right next to someone doing dumbell bench press – it could end in a trip to the dentist so give ample room to the people next to you and take into consideration the exercise they are doing.
If you can think of any more please let me know and we can add them to the list.