Whether you are a seasoned gym-buff or a complete training novice, there are rules of gym etiquette which must be adhered to and prevent you from becoming the most resented individual to walk through those doors.

The 11 Gym Commandments

Fear not, because the following 11 rules are easy to remember as they are all based upon common sense and courtesy and will become second nature in no time.

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1. Rack weights/strip bar

This is one of the most infuriating and common occurrences within virtually all gyms.

Not only is it inconvenient to other gym users when they are searching for the ever-elusive set of 12kg dumbbells, but it is also a safety hazard, with the risk of people tripping over a stray dumbbell or weight plate.

In addition to returning free weights to the rack when finished with them, it is good courtesy to strip the barbell when finished, for the next guy and place the plates on their respective storage rack.

Yes it may be laborious and take some time, but if you don’t do it, somebody else has to.

2. Keep away from weight rack when working

Don’t be that guy who stands directly in front of the weight rack, blocking everybody else from retrieving/returning weights.

Pick up your weights and take five big steps back. That is as close as you should ever be!

3. Respect other peoples’ personal space

This is another simple common-sense rule.

Don’t crowd other gym users. 

People need space to work comfortably, particularly if they are shifting some serious weight or are performing an exercise which requires more space than your average arm curls, e.g. dumbbell flys.

4. No phones

You are there to work, not to text your friend about what bar you’re going to that night.

From my own observations, those who use their phones tend to spend too long resting between sets, resulting in less intense training sessions which means, fewer gains made.

5. Wipe down machines and benches when finished

gym workout tips_2There is nothing more revolting than going to use a machine only to discover a pool of sweat smeared across the pad.

If there is (and there should be) a roll of paper and sanitiser spray available, use it after you are finished with every bench and machine. Too few people do this, so it is up to you to set an example.

6. Don’t hog a machine

This is simple.

Do your 3-5 sets with reasonable rest times in-between, wipe the pad down, then move on.

When it comes to cardio machines, try to limit your time to 20 minutes during peak times.

7. Be punctual if attending a class

If attending a class, arrive 5-10 minutes early. You don’t want to be that individual who rocks up 3 minutes after the class has already started and upset the flow.

It’s not hard. Be on time!

8. Dispose of waste

I know this may seem like a given for most, but some people don’t think it prudent to dispose of soiled paper towels or empty drink bottles.

There are bins available on the gym floor, so make use of them.

9. Know how to use the equipment

Before attempting any exercise, make sure you have a good understanding of how to perform that exercise.

This will not only keep you safe, but potentially others around you also.

10. Pre-plan your session in a notebook

This is a great habit to get into.

If you take some time to plan out each session before walking through those doors, your productivity will sky-rocket.

You will not waste time deciding on what exercise to do next, and most importantly, keeping a training diary will allow you to track your performance over time and identify areas where you are developing well, and areas which may need more attention.

11. You are there to work, not to socialise

There is nothing wrong with talking to your friends at the gym, but do not start chatting with random strangers unless they ask you to help them out with their training or vice versa.

People are there to work up a sweat, not make new friends!

This is not an exhausted list, but you get the picture!

It all boils down to treating the gym and everyone in it with the same respect that you would like to receive.

If you keep to these 11 commandments you will be well on your way to becoming a bona fide gym-pro!

Connect with WatchFit Expert Jim Cleveland

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