A lot of people have been a gym idiot (myself included) without even realizing it. Remember, awareness is the first step in making a change and I’m here to “aware you” of these cardinal sins of gym etiquette so you never have to worry about committing them.
I’m sure some people disagree with me on a few of these, that’s ok. I can’t force anyone to be right.
- No Curls In The Squat Rack – A curl can be done with any barbell in the gym, a squat can only be done in the squat rack. This is the greatest gym offense one can commit.
- No Blocking The Dumbbell Rack – All it takes is a few steps back to allow others to access the dumbbell rack. When a person does their exercise right in front of the rack, it blocks access for everyone else the entire time that person does their set.
- Put The Weights Back – I see this gym sin committed more often than any other. Not only is it not very nice to make old ladies have to remove 45 pound plates, but how is anyone supposed to know when someone is done with a piece of equipment if they leave the weights on? I can’t tell you how many hours of my life have been wasted from standing around wondering if someone is done with a bench press or squat rack because they left the weights on.
- Interrupting Someone During Their Set – While it’s perfectly ok to talk to other people and be sociable in the gym, right in the middle of someone’s set is not a good time. One should wait until they’re finished and see if they have a spare moment. Some people come to train and not chat, so if they don’t have time to talk, it’s not something to be taken personally.
- No Curls In The Squat Rack – In case someone didn’t get the message the first time.
On another note, I’d like to say, particularly to women, to not fear the gym and realize it’s generally a welcoming and friendly place.
There are some “women only” or “overweight people only” or “no bodybuilder” type gyms out there that cater to people’s fear of the typical commercial gym. While I guess those places are better than nothing (debateable), I want to say most people generally are not judging other people working out in the gym. Some people are self-conscious about working out in front of others, but realize that many other people there are too busy being self-conscious themselves to give any thought to what others are doing.
If this is an issue, you can ask yourself, “do I want to let the opinions of others stop me from reaching my goals, or would I rather be free to do what’s best for me?”