You may be a regular at your local gym, having trained for years, but do you know what proper gym etiquette is? Just like a restaurant where talking with your mouth full of crabsticks is considered taboo, the gym is a place with its own set of etiquette to follow too.
1. Wipe your sweat!
Most gyms require you to carry your own towel around, so make use of it! No one likes to see the slimy pool of sweat left behind by you on the machine, especially if he's sharing it with you. Leaving your sweat unwiped complicates matters alot for other gym users, and especially for gym instructors like me.
It is no joke trying to clean a machine that smells strongly of testostereone!
2. Don't hog the weights/machines
We all have experienced it, I'm sure. . . After a hardcore set bicep curls, you make your way to the preacher curls machine immediately for your superset, only to realise there's someone sitting there.
“That's okay". You say to yourself, “I'll just ask to work in with him. " “Sorry, I've got 1 more set to go. " Our friend on the machine then continues his conversation with his partner for another 5 minutes before he does his set. By the time you start your set, the pump would have been long gone. Pretty familiar situation, ain't it? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, NEVER HOG WEIGHTS!
3. Ask before you take someone elses's dumbbells
I see this frequently everyday. There will be a poor victim who leaves his dumbbells by his bench and goes for a water break.
He then returns scratching his head as he looks around the weight room for his dumbbells that were by his bench. The gentleman across the room puts on an innocent expression and does his bicep curl, hoping that the victim doesn't realise it. Humans are intellectual beings, it is common knowledge that dumbbells do not have legs, neither do they roll away on their own.
4. Don't drop your weights
When metal colides against concrete, especially from a height, a loud unpleasant bang is produced. It pisses people off, and for all you know, you may just have pissed off that 230lb bodybuilder who's called Tiny and that is not the worst.
The last thing you would want is for that 80 year old elderly lady on the threadmill to get a heart attack because she thought Armageddon was coming.
5. Be kind to your spotter
There is nothing wrong with asking someone for a spot, but be kind to him because he has already done a great service by disrupting his workout to spot you! Having a spotter allows you to safely push beyond failure, but not to the extent where he's performing another set. You'll know it when someone goes up to your spotter after your set and says, “Good set!"
Re-rack the weights!
It amazes me sometimes that someone who is strong enough to bench 315lbs is unable to load back the 45s on the bar. The person using the bench press after him usually gets a big shock after discovering that he has to unload 6 45s!
7. Obey the time limit
We all dread cardio (I'd rather a bowl of Laksa. . . ), but sometimes, we just have got to do it. The cardio machines in most gyms have a time limit, and they're there for a reason, so stick to it! If it says 30 minutes, do end your workout on the machine after 30 minutes and let the next guy on it. This makes sure that users will still be able to do their cardio even during peak hour times in the gym. Likewise, if 30 minutes is not up yet, never chase that cute girl off the treadmill. You never know if her boyfriend might be that Hulk over there squatting 600lbs. Trust me, it won't be a nice sight.
For the new trainee, mastering proper etiquette will go a long way to helping you build good relationships in the gym (and allowing me to slack more on my job). If everyone observes proper etiquette, working out will be a fun experience. If there is no trouble in the gym, I'll have no worries when I go for my tea-time breaks. . . ;)
This is an entry from Benny's Blog . Benny's Blog tells you the life of a gym instructor who has encountered way too many gym idiots. You can visit Benny's Blog at http://www.supplementtracker.com/bennyblog for more gym humour.