While there’s a lot of sweat, grunting, yelping, and people ready to pass out from exhaustion, there is a code amongst gym goers that must be followed. It’s not posted on any wall. You won’t find it in any contract you sign when you register for your membership. It’s more of an unspoken, yet understood, set of laws that all gym rats know and respect as a courtesy to one another.
Here are 10 gym courtesy rules, or commandments if you will, that a person must never break if they want to workout and get along with their fellow gym goers.
PRACTICE COMMON GYM COURTESY WHILE WORKING OUT
1. BRING A TOWEL
There is nothing more disgusting than leaving a bench with a puddle of sweat on it for the next person to have to clean up. Bring a towel with you and wipe down the benches and machines you use after you’re done. People will notice and it will go a long way to earn you some respect.
2. GRUNT, DON’T SCREAM
A little extra aggression to squeeze those last few reps out is totally understandable. Yelling at the top of your lungs is not. In fact, it sounds ridiculous and, above all else, it’s counterproductive. You expend more air by yelling rather than use that precious air to focus on proper breathing.
3. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Keeping an eye on what other people are doing is important. If someone is doing walking lunges along one part of the gym, it’s probably not a good idea to set up your dumbbell curls directly in their path. This breaks their momentum and makes you look like a jerk. A gym is a space that is shared by everyone.
4. DON’T SLAM YOUR WEIGHTS
After a heavy set of dumbbell incline presses, some guys tend to throw the weights to the ground letting gravity take over after the last rep is completed. This is horrendous for a few reasons.
First, those weights can bounce and hit someone nearby. Secondly, you might damage the weights themselves. And thirdly, it’s a huge distraction when you’re working out and the ground trembles because some jerk is too lazy to properly lower the weights. Don’t be that jerk.
5. PUT YOUR WEIGHTS AWAY
This is probably the most common rule to be broken amongst all gym goers. If you can put the weight on the bar, you can put it back on the rack. Don’t leave another person to clean up your weights, taking time away from their workout.
6. DON’T STAND IN FRONT OF SOMEONE IN THE MIRROR
Gyms are full of mirrors for more than just vanity. It gives us an opportunity to see what we’re doing and correct any problems with our form. Standing in front of someone who is doing a particular set hinders their ability to ensure they’re doing things properly.
7. ALLOW PEOPLE TO WORK IN WITH YOU
During peak times, it’s normal that more than one person will alternate using machines. Not allowing someone to work in with you is the single best way to solidify yourself as the gym douchebag.
8. NO CIRCUITS DURING PEAK HOURS
If you’re at the gym during peak hours, you’re more than likely going to have to compromise when it comes to the exercises you do. Elaborate circuits will lead to waiting times that will annoy others and delay your workouts.
We’re not saying you should do 20 sets of a single exercise, but a full body routine with rest periods of 30 seconds might be difficult to pull off, especially if you’re sharing several machines with several people.
9. ASK AND GIVE SPOTS WHEN NECESSARY
If you’re trying a one rep max and you’re unsure of whether or not you can make the lift, ask someone for help. Also, if you see someone struggling to get a weight up, be sure to stand close by to see if they are going to need you to get that rep completed.
10. DON’T CURL IN THE SQUAT RACK
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Squat racks are for squatting, simple as that. There is an abundance of places in the gym you can do barbell curls in, the squat rack is not one of them.
It doesn’t take much effort to allow everyone to have a good experience in the gym. Think twice about what you are doing. You might find that you start making a lot of new friends, which will help with your new lifestyle change.