Life is full of situations and scenarios that, although there are no spoken official laws in place, we all know that they exist and that we should adhere to them. Going to the men’s bathroom in public for example – there are no written laws, but we all know that you choose the urinal furthest away from the guy already in there, you fix your eyes firmly on the wall dead ahead, and there is no talking. The gym is no different, and although some gyms do attempt to enforce certain laws, rules, and regulations, most other gyms simply leave this down to the gym regulars, inviting them to use their own initiative and their own common sense. There are unspoken laws of the gym that must be obeyed, and failing to do so will have grave consequences for you, or more likely, will simply mean that most of the gym regulars dislike you, and they may complain about you on their social networking page. In order to keep other gym users sweet and to help make life easier and happier for everybody around you here’s a look at the unspoken laws of the gym.
Always re-rack your weights
If you want to instantly become public enemy number 1, in the eyes of the gym management, and other gym users, leave your weights on the machine or bar when you’ve finished using them. If you wish to keep others happy however, and wish to make life a little easier for them, make sure that you re-rack your weights when you’re finished with them. There is nothing worse than going to use a machine or a bar, only to find it is loaded up with heavy plates because somebody was too lazy to remove them and put them back when they were finished. It’s good gym etiquette to re-rack all of your weights when you’re finished with them, no matter how big or how small they may be. The same goes with dumbbells. If you remove a set of dumbbells to do some dumbbell walking lunges at the other end of the gym, don’t just dump them on the floor when you’re finished, walk back to the dumbbell rack, and place them back neatly where they belong.
Don’t slam weights!
Most gyms have at least one of two guys that insist on slamming the weights down as hard as they possibly can when they’ve finished their working set, and truthfully there is no need for it at all. They’ve managed to bench press the heavy dumbbells for several reps, yet all of a sudden, lightly lowering them onto the floor is too difficult, and they instead choose to slam them down as hard as possible. If you can rep the weight, you can gently lower the weight. Slamming weights damages the equipment and the flooring, it makes a loud noise that puts other gym users off, and it truthfully doesn’t make you look like a pro-bodybuilder or athlete at all, it makes you look like an attention seeking idiot, so just stop it!
Never talk to people in the middle of sets
A lot of people are guilty of this and it is one of the most frustrating things you will ever experience in the gym. You’re in the middle of a working set, you’re really pushing yourself, when all of a sudden, another member, or even your spotter, decides to ask you what you got up to over the weekend. Talking in the middle of sets puts people off, it can cause them to lose their focus and concentration, and it can even put them in danger if they aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing. If you do wish to talk to other people, wait until they aren’t in the middle of a working set.
Always wipe up your sweat
Let’s face it, gyms aren’t going to be the most hygienic places in the world, you go there with the intention of burning calories, pushing yourself, and working up a sweat as a result. If you aren’t sweating then you aren’t working. Just because you expect people to sweat in the gym however, that doesn’t make the prospect of sitting or laying in a puddle of somebody else’s sweat and less disgusting. When you use a bench, a mat, or a machine, if you are sweating and have left a noticeable sweat patch, or puddle (yuck), make sure you wipe it up with a clean towel or paper. If there is anti-bacterial spray on hand, give it a quick spray and wipe down for good measure.
Only use your phone for emergencies
If you honestly can’t spend one single hour without using your phone then you’re either too popular, or you simply need to get more in your life. You go to the gym to exercise and get fit, not browse Facebook or text your friends or somebody you’re trying to score with, and not to make long and pointless phone calls that could have waited until you got home. If you do insist on taking your phone into the gym with you, only use it for emergencies, and instead focus on keeping fit and getting a great workout in instead.
Never hog multiple pieces of equipment
If the gym’s pretty quiet and there aren’t that many people currently training, you can get away with using more than one machine or piece of equipment, perhaps by setting up a mini-circuit training session for yourself. If it’s peak time however, and the gym is packed, don’t try to claim multiple benches and machines by placing your gym bag and towels on them, and don’t wander off with 3 or 4 sets of different dumbbells either. It is one machine, or one set of dumbbells per exercise, unless it’s clear that nobody else wants to use the machines or equipment you’re planning on using. If you do genuinely wish to use more than one piece of equipment at once, why not ask the other members if they would mind, and tell them you will be as quickly as you can.