Gym Etiquette in the Free Weight Room

After 20 years of regular gym attendance I’ve learned a few things about sharing equipment and floor space in the free weight section of the gym. In an effort to promote a courteous and drama-free environment there I’ve listed below what I consider the ten most important rules to follow when training in the free weight room.

dumbbells racked

1. Don’t take or load weights plates from a machine or bench while someone else is using it. No one appreciates strangers shaking or banging the equipment they’re currently using. This is extremely annoying and causes the lifter to lose concentration while straining to get reps off.

2. Don’t throw weights around the gym. Do not drop or toss dumbbells or loaded weight bars on the floor. Don’t let cable machine weights just free fall when you finish your rep. All this breaks equipment and makes noise that NO ONE wants to hear.

3Don’t ask strangers to “Spot” you. Spotting (helping someone lift a weight they otherwise could not handle without assistance) is an advanced technique for expert weight lifters only. Average lifters should not use weights they can’t safely manage themselves, and expecting an inexperienced stranger to hold a weight over you in case your strength fails is unsafe.

barbell

5. Wipe off your sweat, re-rack your weights, unload your plates. You’re NOT special; the gym staff is not your personnel slave force and the rest of us are tired of unloading the plates YOU put on the bar. If you don’t feel like cleaning up after yourself stay out of the gym.

6. Don’t scream, yell or moan while lifting. Control your noise pollution, the rest of us really don’t want to hear it. Please shut up when you lift.

7. Don’t ask others “how many sets” they have left or if you can “work in” with them. Instead of pestering others, why not try a new exercise while you wait your turn? Most exercisers don’t feel like giving a deadline for their workout and don’t want to be rushed. Never feel guilty if you’re not comfortable letting others “work in” with you.

Warning: Standing over others and staring at them while impatiently tapping your little workout clipboard as they use equipment that you desire could cause serious tension and injury.

8. Don’t misuse or hog equipment. Don’t use the sit-up bench for weightlifting. Don’t use the bench press for sit-ups. Use one bench or cable machine at a time. Don’t expect others to give back the equipment their using after you leave it. Leave your gym towel on equipment to let others know that you had to go to the bathroom and you’ll be right back.

9Don’t block aisle ways or mirrors. Give others space. The rest of us don’t want to have to step over you to reach the weight room, the dumbbell rack, the water fountain, or the bathroom. Don’t block the view of exercisers watching themselves in the mirror as they workout. Move benches at least two arm lengths away from others before starting your routine. Keep your butt out of everyone’s face.

headphones and phone

10. Don’t touch the personnel property of others. And never store your personnel property on gym equipment. If in doubt, ask others in the vicinity of the previous user is finished with equipment that you’d like to use.

Please keep in mind these rules are meant as a “failsafe” courtesy guide for dealing with others specifically in the free weight room. Follow these and you can’t go wrong.

Are You Overweight and Scared to go to the Gym?

overweight man

Don’t Be!

You should not be scared to go to the gym at all. I understand why some people would be scared to go for the first time, or even the second time. No one wants to be called fat and laughed at or looked at funny. Think about it this way, you are doing something to better yourself and maybe your family. That’s the way you should be looked at!

Don’t Worry About Others

Don’t even look at them. Focus on doing one thing, getting fit and in great shape! You will be glad you started to workout because you will feel great and look great. Remember, if you do look at others look at them the way you want to be looked at. Give them a nice smile 🙂

The First Time

The first time you go to the gym, you might feel uncomfortable. Don’t worry, everyone feels this no matter how big or how small. Just keep reminding yourself to go do you! You are doing something that is life-changing and to better yourself.

If you get in a rut and need some motivation, check out this article on staying motivated.

24 Hour Fitness

One way that may help get you to the gym and not feel overwhelmed, is check out a 24-hour fitness center like Anytime Fitness. You can go early in the morning or later at night when it is not so busy. This is also helpful so you can use any machine you want.

Classes

Taking classes is another great way to lose weight and not feel overwhelmed. Everyone in that class is there for one reason, to better themselves just like you are!

Building Muscles – A Beginners Guide

building musclesAlmost every single guy on earth wants to look like Matthew McConaughey or Taylor Lautner. Bodybuilding has grown tremendously throughout the years. You can find teenagers at the gym with 100% dedication to building muscles. Anyone can get an amazing body by having the correct guidance and knowledge. I have some simple tips for the beginner to get prepared to building muscle.

Planning

Get a workout plan together if you want to get into shape and start building muscles. Follow the schedule every single day of the week. Put a workout plan together before you jump into bodybuilding.

Take a few minutes to decide on which days you are able to do workouts. You also need to choose the workouts that suit your needs. If you are looking to lose some weight, then put together a cardiovascular workout. If you are looking to build muscle, put together a weight lifting schedule.

Devoting yourself 100% to your workout plan is the most crucial part to your success. Do not become impatient. After about a month of sticking to your workout schedule, you will see some amazing changes in your body that will help you stay motivated.

Longer Workout Sessions

Try to arrange your schedule to include some longer sessions of working out. Weight training is very important when getting into shape. Take approximately 45-60 minutes for your weight training portion of your schedule. It is very possible to get your session done within this amount of time as long as you aren’t socializing a lot during your routines.

Cardio Workout

It’s best to put together a 20-30 minute cardio session in-between workouts every week. A lot of people will be fine with only doing 20 minute cardio sessions while others want to push themselves a little more by doing 30 minute sessions. Mixing up the cardio exercises is necessary throughout the week.

Some cardio exercises to mix in can include jogging, swimming, biking, stair climbing, and running. Follow these exercises with a 4-5 minute cool down session.

Rest between Sets

This doesn’t mean stop and sit for a lot of time between sets. It should take around one minute to rest between sets. You want to focus mostly on the total amount of workouts you perform with each major muscle group.

Proper Rest Between Workouts

It’s extremely important to rest between workout sessions. You must allow your major muscle groups at least one day of rest between working sessions. Your muscles will not grow without the proper amount of time to rest.