I love to be super positive in life and even more so when I'm writing my posts for Voltage Sport, but every so often my high vibe bubble gets burst. Going to the gym and working out should be a pleasurable and uplifting experience that leaves you feeling great and ready for the day ahead, today was one of those days where the actions of others left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
I’m going to talk about gym etiquette, in particular what’s not acceptable to do when you're working out in a group environment. Please remember that your actions can directly impact others so your behaviour should be appropriate to your surroundings. If you are working out solo at home or somewhere you are not in direct contact with others please feel free to do whatever you like, nothing is off limits to you because nobody else can be affected by your action, express yourself anyway you like and have fun!
So here we go, here's my list of vices which I've encountered over my years of active gym membership, if you encounter most of these at the same time I can be sure you will leave the gym with a few grievances spinning around your head!
It all starts before you even enter the gym. We have all been there, its busy, you just want to get parked up and get on with your workout but someone has decided to abandon their car in the middle of two parking spaces. Someone in such a rush that they can’t spare an extra 5 seconds to correctly manoeuvre their vehicle between the lines. These people obviously have no regard for other users of the facility and are being downright selfish and disrespectful in their actions.
GRUNTING/DROPPING WEIGHTS/SHOWING OFF
I could easily write a separate piece for all of these but for the sake of convenience I will group them all together, anyone who feels the need to grunt and shout while lifting has no place in the gym in my opinion, it is both unnecessary and annoying. Dropping weights when you have finished your set not only damages the weights you are using and the gym floor but is also dangerous to others and makes you look like a bit of an idiot. If you cant put your weights down in a controlled manner I suggest you lower your weights to something more suitable and build your strength up like everybody else. To me both these actions are done to show off in the hope that people will look at you and think “wow, look how strong they are”. Trust me, people only look and think what a massive douche you are.
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There’s always someone who decides it will be a good idea to get various weights out all at the same time just incase at some point in their hour long workout they may need them, I'm talking benches surrounded with weights from 6kg through to 30kg, I mean what the hell could you possibly be doing that requires such a range all at once. If you empty the rack and find yourself tripping over dumbbells left right and centre, spare a thought for others who may just be in the gym to get a lift in too.
NOT RACKING WEIGHTS
This one is as simple as it gets, when you have finished just put your weights back where they belong, you didn't find them on the floor did you?
NOT SECURING WEIGHTS
It’s just dangerous for yourself and others to not secure your weights on the bar with the O ring, I've personally been injured in the gym as a direct result of someone not securing the plates on the bar. Injuries are the last thing any of us want at the gym so make sure you secure those weights.
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TALKING ON THE PHONE
I’m not sure about you but I go to the gym to workout. If you have your phone and it rings just politely step outside and take your call in private. I don't want to hear your conversation, what you're having for dinner is not of any interest to me.
LEAVING WEIGHT ON BARS
Another simple one, once you have finished your lift take your weights off the bar so its ready for the next user to load up as they require. To walk off and expect someone else to do it for you is downright rude.
CARDIO FOR DAYS
Now I know you might be training for that marathon and you need to get the miles in but at peak times when the gym is busy please spare a thought for other people and their fitness needs, mix your workouts up and swap exercises so we all get a chance to hit the treadmill, anything over 30-45 minutes at peak times is excessive.
FORCING YOUR BODY TO SWEAT
If you're wearing a bin bag or workout clothing of similar material to induce excessive levels of sweat it’s not a pleasant experience for the people in your vicinity, I mean sweat flying and body odour isn't great for you or the unfortunate person on the treadmill next to you.
SHOUTING ACROSS THE ROOM
It’s fun to workout in a group and share your experience in the gym with friends but if you have split and your mates are on the other side of the room don't shout to each other at the top of your voices. I've spoken to women who can feel intimidated when they workout and big burly blokes are shouting at each other.
We've all been there, you walk into the gym and spot a bench, you think great I can get started on my workout, all of a sudden someone stops what they are doing across the room and runs over to inform you that they are using said bench. “Sorry mate, I thought you were using the squat rack” you say. “I am mate but I’m splitting sets on this bench too” is their reply. Come on guys get real, stick to one piece of equipment at a time and give us all a chance to train, I mean the bench will still be here when you have finished your squats won't it. If you are doing a circuit it's ok to use more the one item but it's a good idea to keep everything near you.
Following on from the above, you just can’t drop a towel on the bench and expect everyone else to wait 30 minutes until you are ready to use it.
We all sweat at the gym, its common when we exert our bodies. If you do sweat and leave your mark on the equipment you are using just take a second to give it a quick wipedown, nobody wants to do that job for you.
Like I say I don't rage and vent much at all these days but sometimes you have just got to get it off your chest and hopefully raise awareness at the same time. Maybe someone will read this and think yeah you know what, that’s not really acceptable behaviour is it.
What grinds your gears in the gym? I’d love to hear your stories to see if I can relate so drop your comments below and get this subject out there!
Until next time guys