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Rules of the Gym

Rules of the gym.

I work in a health club and most gyms and fitness facilities have a list of rules that must be followed; these rules are very simple and are for the most part just common courtesy. There are also several unwritten rules of the gym out there as well. Here is my list of things that I see on a daily bases that annoy me in the gym.

1. Young kids in the gym. Most gyms have a minimum age requirement. At my gym it happens to be 12 years old. So at 12 they can come in the gym and work out as much as they want totally unsupervised. Personally I think this is too young, kids should be at least 15 before they start lifting weights. Kids younger than 15 should be outside playing, having fun and participating in sports. I have even had some parents wanting there 11 year olds to start working out, and after I told them that they had to weight until their son or daughter turned 12 they canceled their membership.

2. I don’t mind big guys in the gym. I’m a big guy. For the most part those big guys who are really in there to workout follow the rules. They have been around gyms and know what is expected of them. It is the guys who thing they are big and are there to show off that bother me. They don’t grunt a little under a big amount of weight like the real big guys do, they scream under a little amount of weight. There is no need for that.

3. These imitation big guys also tend to drop the weights a lot. I tell my client that if you are using a very heavy weight and something goes wrong and you have to bail it is better to drop the weight than to hurt yourself, but don’t drop it after every set of every exercise. If you can’t put the weight down gently than it is too heavy for you to be using.

4. People in the gym should not be afraid to ask for a spot. People should not attempt a new lift that could endanger their lives without a spot. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a spot, if you don’t want to ask someone in the gym than ask the staff themselves that is what they are there for. And for those of you who see someone who you think might need a spot offer your services to them.

5. People that leave weights lying around the gym floor or on the barbells after they are finished working out. Learn to put your stuff away where you found it.

6. Now staying with my last pet peeve about people not putting their weights away has led to people taking machines away from others who are not finished. If you see someone on a machine and they leave their weights on and they walk away from the machine they may just be getting a drink of water. Just wait a minute to see if they are coming back. Ask them if they are done, or ask others around if someone was using the machine.

7. Wipe your sweat off of the machine. You should wipe the machine down even if you are not sweating buckets, it just makes sense.

8. Not using your cell phone is just a common courtesy. If you are waiting for an important call come off the weight floor when the phone rings. It is hard to do exercises when you have one hand tied up of you are distracted with a conversation.

That is a small list of some of the things in the gym that annoy me. There are other less trivial things that happen in gyms to a lesser degree like:
Girls and guys getting all dolled up to workout,
People just hanging out and not doing anything,
Groups of more than three that take up too much space,
People who think they know what they are doing when they really have no idea and don’t ask for help.
People who don’t give you space when lifting free weights and end up bumping into you while you are lifting.

That is my list, I am sure there are more things out there that annoy other people, but I know that if we all just use a little common sense in the gym it will make the whole gym experience better for everyone.