Thursday, 11 October 2007

The 5: Gym etiquette

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During my time spent as a personal trainer, I witnessed many interesting approaches to fitness. Even to this day as a regular gym goer, I still occasionally see things that make me so utterly confused. I can't help but ask myself, From what book or magazine did these people get these exercises from? Or, even worse, why didn't they just leave them there???

Don't be that guy. Or that girl. Leave these exercises to the members of Cirque de Soleil who seemingly invented them. But, be this all as it may, doing some bizarro exercises really isn't that big of a deal, provided that you're not getting in anybody's way. If you do, THEN their could be problems. This brings me to the following list, centering on proper gym etiquette.

1 - Squat Racks are for Squats. They're not for military presses, they're not for deadlifts, and they're definitely not for curls. Most gyms only have about three or four squat racks in total, so if you're standing there in front of one and doing a set of barbell curls, you're almost certain to become persona non grata.

2 - Clean Up After Yourself. Do you workout hard? Do you work up a good sweat when you do? If so, that's great. What's not so great is the poor sap who has to jump on the bench or machine right after you. Do them the favor of wiping it down first with a towel.

3 - Don't Scream. It's funny, but most times when you hear someone yelling and screaming in a gym, they're not lifting all that much weight. I tend to call these people the "Unworthy Screamers." If you're that person, let it me known that everybody thinks you're a tool. The only exception to this rule is if you are throwing around some serious weight, in which case you are more than worthy to do pretty much whatever you want.

4 - Put Down the Phone. Seriously, how important is that you talk to your boy Brian while you run on the treadmill? Can't he wait until you're done? The only thing worse is when people use their Nextels and allow the entire gym to hear Brian's end of the conversation, too.

5 - Don't Stand in Front of the Dumbell Rack. Okay, here's the deal with this one ... if you're doing an exercise - let's say a set of dumbell lateral raises - position yourself far enough away from the dumbell rack that people have access to it. Nothing is more annoying than not being able to grab the dumbells you need because someone is standing with their crotch practically braced against the rack, forcing you to literally stand and wait for them to finish their set.

Wow, I just realized that I could go on for days with this list. But, that's more than enough for now. I'd love to hear some of your own gym etiquette tips, so please do comment.

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