Gym Etiquette

DSC_0101Accessing a gym to achieve your personal health goals may bring you one step closer to being satisfied with your personal appearance. While everyone working out in a gym has similar goals, some may not know how to properly conduct themselves in a serious fitness environment. To become a part of this community and be a welcomed member of your local gym, follow these guidelines for gym etiquette.


First and foremost, respect your gym equipment. Most facilities have signs posted about re-racking weights or wiping machine off after use, but you also want to be conscious of what and how you are using the equipment. Respect gym equipment by returning weights to their designated areas. If the gym is crowded don’t hoard several sets of free weights or spend 60 minutes on the elliptical. Rotate with your fellow members and be courteous of other people’s needs and space. This is not your personal gym that will be cleared of nuisance when you enter.


While some gyms have strict rules on what you can and cannot wear, you should be aware of how you look in certain get-ups. Men and women should be conscious of how far the sides of their cut off tshirts come down on their torso, and be aware that something resembling a full shirt should be worn. While the gym is no place to body shame or judge someone’s clothing, having discretion about what you wear is just polite. Also, if your gym has a locker room, refrain from any excessive nudity. The human body is a beautiful thing but flaunting it in the locker room where people are simply trying to change is not the place to do it.


Gyms can get crowded, especially at peak hours. Even when it seems like there isn’t enough room for everyone’s activities, give you and your fellow members enough space to perform their exercises. Leave enough of a radius so that there is no chance of injury if someone may drop their equipment. Steer clear of hassling other members who are using equipment you want to use. Simply ask them in between their sets how many more they are going to do and occupy yourself with another activity close by until they are done.

Learn how to be a helpful spotter, but only agree to help if someone asks and you know what you’re doing. This type of close-quarter assistance could mean breaching someone else’s workout zone, but you’re helping a fellow member and potential gym buddy!

Getting the Most Out of Your Workout

gyms near marion il workout equipmentThe gym can be one of the most useful tools in your weight loss program. It provides a sense of community with other members as well as housing a variety of expensive equipment that may not fit in your house. While gym sessions should be consistent and productive, some members may still not be seeing the results they desire. There are a few common mistakes that occur once you decide going to the gym is right for you.


  1. Too Much Too Soon

Most new gym members are also a little inexperienced about weight loss methods or specific gym equipment. Some push their workouts too hard too soon and wind up overly sore or injured by equipment misuse. To make sure you’re doing the right amount of work, listen to your body. If something pops or feels overly strained, slow or stop your workout. You do not want to discourage yourself from returning to the gym by injuring yourself during your first session. Consult a physician before beginning a serious workout regimen to determine the best workout for your body type.


  1. Socializing

While it is important to have a sense of community at your gym, taking up space in the squat rack talking to your four friends about what you did that weekend will not help you improve your performance. Keep conversation brief, whether it be relevant to your workout or running into a friend at the gym, you don’t want to cut too much into your own gym time. Think of your gym as a place to clear your head and unwind. There are benefits to intensely focusing on the activities you’re performing and avoiding long conversations will cut down on distracting thoughts.


  1. Lack of Intensity

If you have clear, specific health goals to reach but are leaning on treadmill bars or not challenging yourself on the workout equipment, you won’t see results. Push to run an extra mile, or bump up the weight on the resistance machines. Also, the time of day you work out could be a reason you don’t have an intense workout. Find a time during your schedule where you can set aside at least 40 minutes for your workout and pick the time of day that gives you the most energy. Whether it be in the morning or later in the evening, most gyms have 24 hour access to allow you to pick when to go.


  1. No Direction

If your gym does not have a personal trainer, you’ll need to do your own research before hitting the weights. Some useful websites offer free workout programs and advice from experts to help give your workout routine more rigid direction. Also, consult the owner or attendant of your gym, as they will be able to help you learn how to operate machines and possibly give you some tips about how to maximize your workout. Whether or not you have access to personal training sessions, you’ll want to do research to determine goals to set for yourself and how to achieve them.