Sorry for my brief hiatus from blogging; sometimes life gets in the way, ya know? But fear not, I’m back and better than ever with some great tips, eats, and exercises to help you get healthy and happy!
So, lets talk fitness club manners. I know, it’s a weird place to think about manners amongst the sweating and grunting and “resting gym face” being thrown around. But there are still guidelines that should be followed in order to get the most effective workout and also do your part in allowing others to achieve the same goal.
So, here ya go. How many of these guidelines are you following?
Some gyms have a dress code that indicates what types of clothing are appropriate to wear while working out. If your gym doesn’t have such a thing, remember to dress practically. Nothing is more uncomfortable than your booty shorts being swallowed by your butt crack while you’re running, to put it graphically. The gym is not a place to show off your entire body; you’re not trying to pick up guys, you’re trying to get a good workout . And personally, I always have a better workout when I’m COMFORTABLE. So remember, dress for practicality, not for attention.
Re-racking your weights after use should be common knowledge, however I still see it being a problem every time I walk into a weight room. There are a couple of reasons why this is so important. First and foremost, there is only a limited amount of weights in each poundage. So if weights aren’t re-racked, how on Earth can you expect to find the right weight you need to use?!
Secondly, there are not magic weight room fairies that wave their wands and all of the weights are back in their correct place at the end of the day. OH no. At the end of the day, gym employees are the ones that have to pick up and put back all the rouge weights that are scattered about the gym. Now, I worked at a gym (LA Fitness to be specific) so I can speak from experience when I say it is NOT easy work picking up all those heavy weights when the gym closes. So be courteous to the gym employees and put back your weights!
Getting a phone call at the gym is pretty much unavoidable, and sometimes the phone call might actually be important and worth answering. I get it, it’s happened to me too! The crucial thing to remember is that no one else around you understands that your phone call is important and it can be very distracting to hear someone talking on the phone next to you at the gym. It ruins people’s focus and is overall inconsiderate. So when taking a phone call, step off your machine or away from the crowded weight room and finish your phone call.
When I first started gaining a lot of knowledge about proper exercise form and just general fitness information through my certification class, I was SUPER pumped and wanted to tell everyone about what I was learning. But the problem is, not everyone wants to hear about how I think they could perform an exercise “better.” I had to learn this lesson the hard way.
Giving unsolicited advice about exercise technique and form or trying to correct someone at the gym is NEVER recommended. No one likes to feel wrong, especially at the gym because it can make a person feel embarrassed. It takes a lot of courage to walk into the weight room in the first place, so don’t crush someone’s spirit by telling them something negative; no one wants that!
Also, you may not know exactly what a fellow weight-lifter is trying to achieve by performing a certain exercise. So what might look like improper form to you, could be a completely different exercise all together (side note: I made this mistake when I tried to correct a girl’s squat technique, when she was really performing a sumo-squat…whoops!).
If you’re new to the gym, or even if you’re a gym rat, trying something new can be potentially dangerous if you don’t take certain precautions. Asking for help is NOTHING to be ashamed of and it can help to avoid injury.
If you don’t know how to use a specific weight machine, ASK. If you can’t lift a barbell back to it’s starting position, ASK. If you’re too short (which is usually my problem) to reach something, ASK. And most importantly, if you’re in need of a spotter on any kind of lift, you should most definitely ask. Having a spotter significantly decreases the risk of strained muscles (or worse).
Whether it’s cardio equipment, weight machines, or even free weights, you’ll need to learn to share! This is especially true if you go to the gym during peak hours (usually before 9 AM or after 5 PM).
Most gyms have a suggested time limit for cardio equipment. When the gym is packed and you notice that all of the cardio machines are taken, make sure to stay within the time limit in order to let everyone get their warm up.
When it comes to weight machines and free weights, it is often vital to take breaks between sets. However, sitting on the equipment while taking your break is can be inconsiderate, especially when people are waiting. So be mindful of those waiting and let them work in with you during your sets. Switch off when necessary!
I feel like this one should be self explanatory. When you sweat, you stink. And what do you usually do at the gym?!?!?!?! You SWEAT. Wearing deodorant won’t stop the sweating all together, and probably won’t mask all of your B.O., but it does help. And when you’re in such close quarters with people, like you are in the gym, it is important to do your part in eliminating as much stench as you possibly can. It’s just the nice thing to do, ya know?
I CANNOT stress this enough. Getting on a treadmill that has dried sweat on it is quite possibly the grossest thing I have ever experienced. Okay, maybe not the GROSSEST thing, but it is definitely unsanitary. Always bring a towel to the gym to clean up after yourself and help keep the gym equipment dry and as clean as possible.
Also, most gyms have cleaning supplies at hand so that you can more thoroughly clean the equipment. I recommend wiping the machine down both BEFORE and after use. You never know, the person before you could have forgotten and walked away from the treadmill before cleaning it. So do you part in keeping the gym as sanitary as possible and clean up after yourself.
It’s okay to be proud of your physical success, in fact I encourage it! Seeing results in your physique is one of the things that keeps us women motivated to keep working out and reaching new goals. HOWEVER, you shouldn’t admire such success directly in front of the mirror. This is especially true in a crowded weight room.
Now, I’ve been guilty of this too! Sometimes you just glance in the mirror and think to yourself “DAYUM I look flawless today” and you can’t help but stare. But just be mindful of others and remember that some people actually use the mirror to check their form and get a better look at the exercise they are performing. So make sure not to block them in your self-admiration. Better yet, leave the flexing to the locker room mirrors or your own bathroom!