So you have lost the weight you wanted and completed our 30 day program or something similar and you now feel ready to start going to the gym regularly so you can take your training up another level. Understanding gym etiquette can help make that first visit a little less daunting so here’s the basics.
Don’t set up more than one piece of equipment – Just because the preacher bench isn’t in use while you are going to be on the leg press machine doesn’t mean you can set them both up so it’s ready for you. By setting it up you will deter others from using it so a useful piece of equipment is sat idle thanks to you.
Sharing the equipment – When someone asks you ‘how long will you be using the bench?’ they are politely asking ‘can I share?’ Good gyms tend to be busy and so it is good etiquette to share equipment. While you take a breather between sets he does his set and vice versa. This is standard practice and is known as working in – “can I work in?”
Unload the weight bar – Don’t assume what weights the next person wants on the bar. Unless they are stood waiting and you can ask them, always empty the weight bar before moving on to the next machine.
Put the weights away – Always put the weights back where they belong so other users aren’t wasting time looking for the dumbbells, free weights etc.
Clean the bench – Carry a sweat towel around with you so you can wipe down the bench before you move on to the next piece of equipment. This one is a big one because there is nothing worse than going to use gym equipment and find it is drenched in someone’s sweat. If you forget your towel use the paper ones provided.
Take a water bottle – There will often be a line waiting to use the water fountain so filling a water bottle and drinking it at your leasure rather than hogging the fountain once it’s your turn is seen as the done thing to do.
Don’t talk, train! – Sitting at the equipment talking to others at the gym is seen as bad manners as is using it as a seat while you are on your cell phone. You are at the gym for a workout, not to chat and gossiping for 5 minutes between each set makes your workout a waste of time.
Keep the grunts to a minimum – Keeping the noise down is hard, especially working out with free weights but its good gym etiquette to keep it down to a minimum.
Don’t flirt – Another big one is flirting, a definite no no. The girl is there to do her own workout routine and she doesn’t want to be bothered by you or any other guy. Gym owners are pretty strict on this because they want their female clients to feel comfortable. If a complaint goes in don’t be surprised if you are asked to leave or even your membership cancelled.
Locker Room Etiquette
Don’t hog the shower – Other users are in a hurry and need to be places so get in, quick wash and then out. Make sure you leave it as you found it, the next user doesn’t want to be looking at the pubic hair you left stuck to the side.
Don’t hog the bench – Keep the space you take up to a minimum so others can use the bench too.
Going to the gym for the first time
The trouble with a gym is that it’s full of fit people so it can be a very intimidating place the first time you go. Our ‘30 Days to a Better Body‘ program was created for that very reason. The idea being that once you have completed the program by working out at home for one month you will feel much more confident about your body and where your fitness levels are.
When you do make that step up though and visit a gym don’t let paranoia take over. It may feel like they are all watching you working out but it’s much more likely to be the mirror behind you that they are looking at.
As long as you are respectful to other users and follow the above advice you will soon feel the gym is your second home.