As many of you know, we purchased gym memberships a few months ago. Well, in that short amount of time, I have noticed many things about my fellow gym goers that really bug me. Most of them just boil down to a lack of common courtesy. To be honest, as I type this out I have no idea what things will be on this list, so this should be fun.
Gym Etiquette From A Novice
1) Failing To Wipe Off Equipment
I see many of the people at the gym with bags, towels, and some will even use the lockers. However, none of them are able to either use their towel to prevent sweat from getting onto the machines or weight stations, or simply wipe them off when they are done.
What’s really bad is that our gym provides paper towels and sanitizers at various stations around the facility, so that we can wipe down our areas when we are done. Just look at this nastiness that I had to deal with the other day:
2) Curling In The Squat Rack
The squat rack is for squatting! First of all, curling is something that you can do while standing off to the side somewhere…you do not need any special equipment besides the bar. What’s worse is that our gym has 2 curling stations for bars and 1 or 2 curling machines.
There is no reason why someone needs to take up a huge squat rack to do something like bicep curls.
I think what makes it worse is when all of the power and squat racks are being used, and you see that there are people using them (yes, people in my gym also curl in the power racks)! I want to throw 300+ pounds on my back, and some guy is really making me wait while he plays with 50lbs doing curls! Ugh…
3) Failing To Re-Rack The Weights
Our gym has signs posted all over the walls telling people to re-rack the weights when they are finished with them. However, each morning when I walk in, I have to climb over a bunch of dumbbells and free weights that have been thrown to the ground.
What makes it worse is when the weights aren’t even where they are supposed to be. It’s one thing to find the weight plates for the power rack, laying on the floor next to the power rack (or even resting up against it), but it is really annoying when they are on another machine, or somewhere across the room. I especially hate when I find dumbbells under the power rack because someone was using them to do pull ups. Weighted pull ups are a great exercise, but put the dumbbell back when you’re done!!!
4) All Talk And No Action
I’ve noticed this with a few people, but there is one guy who makes this an art form. He walks in and puts his book bag next to a power rack (to let other people know that it’s occupied, even though no one is there), and then he walks away for about 25 minutes. I have no idea where he goes, but he definitely isn’t near the rack that he has claimed (or on any cardio machine), and I have to watch as people walk up to it ready to use it, and have to walk away because they see that someone has already claimed it.
He then returns about 25-30 minutes later, talking to whomever has walked into the gym at that time. There are 2 guys that he talks to often, and he will just follow them around talking to them, while they do their workout. He will follow them around to their various stations, yet he will never lift a weight himself. This continues until those guys finish their work out and leave the gym. At that time, he will either begin his own “workout” (he doesn’t really do much of anything, but that’s not the point of this), or he will grab his bag and walk out of the gym!!!
My problem isn’t with him throwing away his money on a gym membership when all he does is talk, my beef is with the fact that he claims a very popular and rare (we only have 2 power racks/cages in the entire gym) piece of equipment and never uses it. He has ruined, or at least altered, countless workouts by stopping other people from getting on this equipment, even though he never uses it himself.
Bottom line…don’t take over a piece of equipment if you don’t plan on putting in some serious work with it. Even if you are using it properly and working hard, be considerate of others and allow someone else to get a set in when you are resting.
I do this all the time when I am lifting heavy weights and need to take a 2 or 3 minute rest and someone wants to get in a quick set of pull ups using the rack.
5) Why Are You Hovering?
If you aren’t spotting me, then you shouldn’t be near me! There is enough space between the various stations and machines where none of us have to be in another’s personal space.
This isn’t just gym etiquette, but this is a huge pet peeve of mine in lines, sitting on benches, and even when shopping!
6) Not Being Discrete While Staring
I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where someone is doing something quite impressive and we want to watch. That can be a huge distraction to that person, so the considerate thing to do is to try and be discrete about it.
Use the mirrors, look for only 2 seconds and then look away, walk around as if you are in the middle of an active rest, anything to avoid standing there and staring at someone as if they are a zoo attraction!
7) Dropping Weights
Unless you are performing a lift where easing the weight down can cause injury (certain Olympic lifts are like this), there is no need to drop the weight. Even if you are performing one of these special lifts (which most people in regular gyms don’t do), you really need to use bumper plates.
If the weight is so heavy that you have to drop it, then you need to work with a weight that you can actually control! Also, if you are removing weights from a bar, there is no need to drop them; just place them on the ground until you need them again, or see #3 above. I’ve seen guys do this with the 5lb weights, so I’m definitely not overreacting here!
8) Having Full-Blown Conversations On The Equipment
Ok, if you are done with your set, MOVE!!! Please don’t sit on the curling station because you need to sit down while you talk to someone, or sit down at the shrug station while you joke around with the person doing skullcrushers in front of you. Move on so someone else can use the equipment.
I see this all the time on the machines and the free weight stations. It’s one thing if you are resting between sets at the same station, but it’s another to be done with that machine but stay there because you are in the middle of a conversation (or wasting time on Facebook).
9) Using The Gym Floor As A Storage Area
Our gym has a locker room…use it!! Unless you have something that you need in your gym bag, please don’t bring it out on the floor so people have to climb over it. The same goes for keys, jackets, phones, or anything else that doesn’t enhance your workout. That stuff gets in the way and clutters up the gym.
Besides, if I see a pair of keys or a bag on or near a station, I will think that someone is using it, when in reality, they belong to someone who is using a completely different station!
10) Get Off Your Cell Phone
Let me first say that I understand that some people use their cell phones to play music, as well as to keep track of their sets/reps/routines. This is definitely not directed at those people. However, if I am waiting for you to get off of a piece of equipment, and I walk by and notice you browsing Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram or anything else that isn’t workout related), then I will get upset.
What’s even worse is when someone decides to make or take a phone call in the middle of a session. So not only do we all have to wait for your call to be over in order to use whatever you are using, but we also have to hear your end of the conversation!
- Have you ever been guilty of one of these gym etiquette violations?
- Do you see these kinds of things happening at your gym?
- Have you ever approached someone about breaking one of these rules?
- What other things would you add to this list?
© 2013, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.