10 Unwritten Rules of the Gym
We all know the standard rules that apply to your average gym, wipe down equipment after you, keep things clean, but it doesn’t stop there. There are so many unwritten rules of the gym that you need to be aware of in order to be respected by your fellow gym-goers.
The gym is a holy ground to some dedicated athletes; therefore, it is expected that you treat the place with the up-most respect. If not, you risk getting a reputation as one of the annoying people at the gym, or even a possible ban of the gym if you are a disturbance to other members. Because of this, we suggest you read our 10 unwritten rules of the gym very closely…
1. ALWAYS re-rack your weights
This is the number one bug that really annoys people that work at the gym, as well as other members.
If you can pick the weight up and lift it, you can most certainly put it back. And this goes for plated machines too. You cannot expect the person after you to de-load a leg press of 300kg when they only press 80kg, it just isn’t fair.
2. Wipe sweat off the machines
No one wants to share sweat with you so wipe it off as soon as you’re finished with the piece of equipment. Leaving shiny marks is not only thoughtless of other people using the gym, it’s just down right unhygienic.
3. Be proud to show your callus
One of the most unwritten rules in the gym is all about showing others that you lift. If you’re wearing lifting gloves be prepared to be mocked by others in the gym because it is seen as ‘soft’.
Wear your callus with pride. It may hurt at first, and expect to get rips and bleeds on your hands as you get used to lifting, but after a while your skin will get used to it. Hard, callus hands are a sign that you are lifting, and lifting heavy. Find ways to toughen up your hands here https://homegymr.com/how-to-toughen-skin-on-hands/
4. Don’t use all of the weights at peak time
There will always be that person that uses 6 pieces of equipment at once to make a circuit when it’s peak time. No one likes that person.
If you want to incorporate circuits into your training that’s fine, if you require several pieces of equipment then do it during an off-peak time at the gym. Or you could create a circuit using one piece of equipment, such as, a barbell or a kettlebell. You have to bit a little more creative when the gym busy and you have less to work with.
5. No staring
Yes, you’re in the gym, so there are bound to be some good-looking people in there, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to stare. Whether you’re being appreciative, or just a little bit creepy, no one likes to be stared that. So, keep your head down and focus on yourself and not others.
6. Don’t loiter
Another slightly creepy thing people tend to do in the gym is loiter. We get it, if you are eager to get on a piece of equipment you want to make it know and ensure that nobody else pushes in.
However, it isn’t cool to stand and watch someone perform their sets and it can make people feel uncomfortable. Just ask the person to let you know when they’ve finished, and go and do something else in the meantime.
7. Loud noises aren’t alpha
We all know the kind of guys (and girls) that like to make loud grunting noises when they are struggling with a set. Lifting weights is hard, but we all know that and don’t need to be reminded by your animal like calls in the gym.
The same goes for dropping weights. If you are performing a 1 rep max, or Olympic lifting then allowing your weight to drop on the floor isn’t a problem. Just make sure that no one is around you that could get hurt and you are on the appropriate flooring. What isn’t acceptable is dropping the weight on every rep and letting off a mini earthquake every 15 seconds.
8. If someone is wearing headphones, leave them alone
People like to go to the gym to be by themselves and focus on their training. Consequently, if someone is wearing headphones in the gym, they probably want to be left alone.
Along with this, never interrupt someone mid set. If you’re trying to get your workout done, you don’t want to be distracted by John telling you what new protein powder he’s using.
9. Bicep curls don’t need a squat rack
Use the appropriate equipment for the appropriate exercise. If you’re doing a bicep curl in a squat rack, especially during peak hours you’re bound to get scowls in the gym from people that are waiting to squat or bench in the rack.
10. Mirrors are to check form, not take a selfie
With the rise of mobile phone use in the gym, and social media, gym selfies are becoming ever more popular. However, this might make you quite unpopular in the gym.
The walls are usually covered in mirrors so that you can check your form whilst training, not show everyone your new gym apparel on Instagram. In the gym on your own and want to make sure you’ve got good form? Check out these tips on how to watch your form: https://aaptiv.com/magazine/check-on-workout-form
Now you know the unwritten rules of the gym…
Now you’ve been equipped with the 10 unwritten rules of the gym, it’s time to grab your protein shake, go for a workout and gain the recognition of fellow gym-goers. Although you’re going to the gym to work on yourself, you also need to be considerate of others in the gym and ensure that you are never making other members feel uncomfortable, or you’ll lose any status you had there, as word in the gym spreads like wildfire.