Most gyms might not hand you the ‘golden rules handbook’ but just like in any space where more than one gather, we have the unspoken code of conduct. The social graces expected in the weight rooms, studio, locker rooms, sauna, and steam bath might be different from those at the office, home, school, church, prison or parking lot but manners are important just the same. Below are some key weight training rituals and customs from regular gym-goers and top fitness trainers.
1. SHARE THE EQUIPMENT.
Equipment is considered communal property, allow others to access machines between sets especially if you are doing supersets (two workouts on different stations done without rest in between). Some gyms have set time limits on cardio machines. It allows the opportunity for every participant to make the most out of their time at the gym, especially during busy hours. If you see someone hovering around the equipment you have been using for the last 15 minutes, feel free to ask, “mind if I share the machine with you?” some of us are shy.
2. DRESS APPROPRIATELY.
Wearing clothing that provides appropriate coverage and the right fit allows you to comfortably go through your workouts without exposing yourself. Ever tried the downward-facing dog or a jump squat in clothing that is too tight and restricts your range of motion? Very baggy clothes might get caught or snagged or you might trip over. Ensure that you have a change of workout clothes that are clean and fresh. And this is not only for the benefit of others but also for you. Stale sweat-soaked clothes don’t only smell bad but expose you to skin diseases and disorders.
3. TAKE A SICK OFF.
Gyms, offices, classrooms or any public facilities should be spacious and well ventilated. Respiratory infections spread quickly in close quarters. As doctors and fitness trainers recommend, take a break while battling flu or any other infection. If you have to get some exercise in, opt for a home workout or schedule your sessions at off-peak hours. Be mindful of others. Be sure to properly sanitize all equipment you use and wash your hands too. People are spreading these viruses before they even realize they are sick.
4. UNLOAD AND RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS.
After you finish using a bar, leave it completely empty and when finished with the dumb-bells return them to their designated spot on the rack. In addition to the tripping danger, the next exerciser will need to search for weights if they are not in their proper location on the rack or on a weight plate tree. Fitness trainers are experts in exercise prescription, program design, anatomy and physiology and most importantly to safely guide you through your fitness journey. If they were interested in housekeeping as a career, they would have studied for it. Extra credits to those who do the club a favor and put them in the right place and order according to their size.
Wipe down after yourself, clean as you go.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and be careful when you offer unsolicited advice.
Keep your grunting to a minimum.
Respect others workouts, time and space. Take the gossip and socializing outside the gym.
Keep your bag in the locker, you’re not at the airport.
5. LEAVE IT LIKE YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND IT.
This is true for the weights and equipment rack as it is for the bathroom. Simple courtesies like:- If liquid soap is provided kindly inform the next user if it is finished. You do not need to spend more than 5-6 minutes in the shower especially if there are other people waiting to use it. Try and rinse off any soap residue from taps and floor before you leave the shower. Try and be decent, cover up as much as possible do not walk around the bathrooms naked. Again the bathrooms/ changing rooms are not your social club, finish changing or showering and leave. Do not linger to catch up with your friends. Like our facebook page Feel Fitness Center for more fitness tips and clips.