The gym and the etiquette

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Have you ever seen fight club? It’s a great movie although a little weird. I’ll try not to spoil much (although it’s kind of irrelevant since it came out in 1999) but there is a scene where one of the main characters explains the rules of fight club. Now for the sake of this article I won’t go over the rules of the movie’s fight club since the important part is that despite the rundown place that it was, it had rules. Any place you go to has rules whether they be spoken, written, and or unspoken and a gym is no exception. It has written, possibly spoken (usually from the written rules) and has some simple unspoken rules.


Articles on etiquette can sound pompous and focus a lot on sensitivity. While I do consider myself to be someone who is considerate focusing on trying not to offend others isn’t what I do nor do I try and speak as though I am above others. I’ve been in the gym long enough and with my personal training experience that I’ve learned many simple yet courteous ways to go about the gym and have a great workout and a great time always leaving with a smile. Many rules of the gym if they aren’t written down somewhere are usually health minded and common sense based rules that as long as you are aware of what you are doing are easy to follow.


Have you ever been doing your workout in the gym minding your own business wanting to use the barbell in a power rack (just as an example) and you see the bar still has plates on them? Then you wait ten minutes doing something else and you still see no one there and then you finally inquire with another gym member who tells you it’s been free for a while. Not a great thing to happen and I’m sure it’s been experienced by some people at some point and time in some variation. Point being that if the plates were put away it would have made the events of the example non-existent and not to mention not everyone can lift the large plates that can be on the barbell.


Another good rules to follow in the gym is change the clothes you wear at least every couple of sessions. Sure you might not always notice the smell but others will. Also it gives you a chance to show off the great clothes you might have for the gym, who says the gym can’t be a fashionable place?


One good one for safety is to stay out of someone’s line of sight in a mirror. People move around in the gym all the time and I’m not saying to worry about moving by them, it will inevitably happen anyways. Just don’t stand in the other person field of view for a prolonged period, especially if they are doing a large multi joint lift like a clean and press or snatch. These exercises require a lot of energy and good technique. One wrong move and the person doing them can become injured so be careful!


Stop the screaming!! In most gyms you will find someone who does this. It’s loud (obviously), annoying (to a large extent), and it’s funny enough quite detrimental to the person doing the screaming (and I don’t mean just socially). When someone does this during a lift they are expelling more oxygen than they should and it decreases the performance of the screamer through the destabilization of the trunk. Not to say that you shouldn’t make some noise as you lift, there will be little grunts and whatnot but don’t be a screamer.


Finally, don’t offer unwanted advice. It’s inevitable that after a period someone new might have gained more knowledge on resistance training, anatomy, and maybe a few other subjects and it’s a really good feeling. Just don’t go around trying to offer advice that others may not be in the mood for or you may run into someone who is a strength coach or certified personal trainer and has years of education behind them making you look silly. If you really want to be in a good position to dispense advice or help others with working out consider a career as a personal fitness trainer.


The rules I listed are only some but considering most of them are based on common sense and easy to get. Going to a gym or going out for a run can and should be a great time as long as everyone is courteous. Remember too that if you really want to help others in the gym, bring a curious friend along or consider a career as a personal fitness trainer. You never know until you try it! Otherwise I hope you had a good read and everyone has a great weekend!

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Posts by Guest Trainer

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Being a personal fitness trainer means you’re involved in the health industry, being in the health industry means you’re asked a LOT of questions ranging from almost anything you can think of. One topic I get asked about all the time is dieting and my opinion on diets.

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 15:45
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The builder of the body


Sun, 03/22/2015 - 20:39
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Have you ever seen fight club? It’s a great movie although a little weird. I’ll try not to spoil much (although it’s kind of irrelevant since it came out in 1999) but there is a scene where one of the main characters explains the rules of fight club.

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 21:47
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You ever remember being told in gym class in high school that more is good? Or say you were on the football team and they ran you ragged saying practice makes perfect? Sure they might have had a point, after all you can’t throw a football once and say you play in the CFL.