Whether you are a complete newbie or a seasoned gym junkie there are a few unwritten rules we all need to observe to make for a more pleasant experience when we come to do our work-out.
My analogy is this; a gym is just like a small village. When you look at it, it’s a space where people with more or less the same objectives come together and spend some time with each other. There is a very communal ambience when you step into a gym. You have a code of conduct that needs to be followed so that everyone gets what they want and gets to enjoy the space they share.
Here are the 10 unwritten rules everybody needs to know, (that’s if you don’t already), regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl.
- The Mobile Disconnect
I know, the mobile phone is an indispensable part of your life. You may be required to stay connected 24×7 as part of your job; however, that is your problem and other people at the gym really don’t care or want to know. Besides, when you come to the gym, you’re making a commitment to yourself. You won’t get the results you expect from going to the gym if you have to answer the phone or check your Facebook account every 5 minutes. The smart thing to do is to communicate to your office about your whereabouts in that specific time period and what you will be doing; either switch your phone off or keep it in your locker or car; you can check your phone after you finish your session. That way, everybody wins.
- Keep it Down
Ladies, working out with your gang of girlfriends is great fun, no doubt about it. Just be sure you don’t create a distraction by talking or laughing too loudly among yourselves. It can be annoying and distracting to other members to go about your workout while having a leisurely (or loud) conversation with your friends. This also translates to the equipment not being used to its full potential while others are waiting.
- Maintain your Code of Honour
Blokes – staring at girls in the gym while they work out is NOT cool, period. If you feel it’s a provocative environment for guys and girls to work out together, join another gym. The owner of your gym is running a business and you don’t want to be the guy who is causing it harm.
- Do to Others as You Would Have Them Do to You (Luke 6:31)
It sounds quite Biblical doesn’t it but it does actually pretty much cover all the rules of conduct when you are at the gym. When you see somebody lifting without a spotter, it is ok to ask if they need a hand for a minute or so. It gives you great karma and makes a big difference in how people treat you. That being said, you also need to be sure the person actually needs help and you know what you’re doing.
- Be Your Own DJ – Spare Everybody Else
Music can be a great motivator during a workout. However, it can get annoying for others if you start thinking people actually enjoy watching you sing along with your headphones on. You may sound great in your own head, but the people trying to focus on their workout around you may not share your sentiment. This is one of those instances where sharing is not such a good idea.
- Machines and Equipment are for Sharing
This one is pretty obvious, yet some people just don’t seem to understand. The gym equipment belongs to the gym and is there to be shared by everyone. You don’t have any special rights to any piece of equipment so you can’t simply collect several accessories from around the gym and keep them in your own little spot, so you can train easily. If you absolutely have to do this for a giant set or a circuit, try and keep it to a time when there’s a lot less people working out.
- Keep Covered Up – Appropriately
It is understandable how some guys see it. They are proud of their bodies and feel everybody (especially the ladies), who gets to see it, are lucky. Well, you’re totally wrong. The gym is a public space. Most people prefer an environment that is hygienic, pleasant and people wear appropriate clothing. They also don’t want to be splashed in your sweat and they do not want to see your semi-naked body. So, keep the clothes on and be aware of your surroundings.
- It’s Always Better to Ask
If you’re a new girl/guy at the gym and you are not sure how to use a specific machine or piece of equipment, always ask an instructor or trainer instead of pretending you know how to use it. There is no shame in asking and it’s much better to ask than to end up being injured.
- Maintain the Station You Just Worked On
Other members do not want to be lifting plates off the bar (especially ladies) every time they step up to do a set. Always leave your station ready for the next person. When you’re done with a set, remove the weights off the bar, put them back in their designated rack and wipe down the equipment.
So to get the most out of your gym membership remember to read rules and posted signs; observe posted equipment instructions and warnings.
Check out this link for a full and more detailed coverage of Gym Etiquette and how to ‘uphold rules of club and exercise room’.
Enjoy your workout and I’ll see you in the gym.