Gym Etiquette: Don’t Be That Guy in the Gym

Gym Etiquette: Don’t Be That Guy in the Gym

It’s that time of the year again when the newbie’s hit the gym with the best of intentions. Unfortunately a lot of freshmen gym goers are not so well versed in some basic “rules” of the weight lifting area.

You’ve definitely seen one, you may know one, or you may even be one. I’m talking about that annoying guy (or girl) in the gym who either doesn’t know what they are doing or just plain ignores some basic rules.

This is my list of the top five weight training no-no’s.

1. Don’t be that guy doing curls in the squat rack

It’s called the squat rack for a reason. Because it’s for SQUATTING not curling. You want to do bicep curls? Then take a barbell, but not the one from the squat rack, that’s for squatting. Take one of those other bars on that other rack on the other side of the gym floor, and do your curls far away from the squat rack.

The squat rack is for squatting, deadlifting, heavy bench pressing and other compound, multi-joint tough exercises. You want to train your beach muscles, no problem. Knock yourself out, but stay out of the squat rack.

2. Don’t be that guy who doesn’t re-rack his weights or racks them in the wrong slots

The gym is not your bedroom, so stop leaving weights all over the floor. You found the weight on a rack, so put it back there when you’re finished. And if you found the 20 lbs dumbbells in the 20 lbs slot, walk the extra two steps and put them back where they belong. Don’t just dump them in the 50 lbs slot because its open and right in front of you.

Oh and this applies to your weight plates as well. Take the 30 seconds to slide those plates off the barbell and put them back in the right slots on the weight tree. Don’t be that lazy sod who just slides the 10’s in with the 45’s and a 25 thrown in for good measure. Thats just as bad as not taking them off at all.

3. Don’t be that guy who blocks the weight rack

Do you really have to stand there? Yeah right there in front of the dumbbell rack doing whatever it is you’re doing and blocking everyone else’s access to six sets of dumbbells. No you don’t! You could just take two or three steps back or to the side and not be in anyone’s way.

You also don’t have to act all annoyed when someone politely tries to get around you to put back or get a set of dumbbells that you’re blocking. “You’re in my way, move or I’ll drop one of these on your foot!” Oh let me guess, you were doing bicep curls, weren’t you?

4. Don’t be that guy who hoards dumbbells 

Do you really not need to take every set of dumbbells from 15 lbs to 50 lbs and stack them up around a bench so you can do “burnouts,” or “drop sets” or whatever. If you want/need to switch weights during an exercise, that’s cool, but put the other ones you were using back first.

Most gyms will only have two or maybe three sets of the same weight, so hoarding dumbbells is just plain selfish, not to mention extremely annoying. Wait, I’ll bet you were doing bicep curls again eh!

5. Don’t be that guy who posing in the mirror

Believe it or not, the mirrors in the gym serve a few useful purposes such as allowing you or your trainer to view form from a few angles or to help you see your surroundings and how much space you have to move around in. They are also used by many gyms to make the place look bigger and brighter.

However, they are often used and abused by people checking out their beach muscles and killer abs. Nobody wants to see you pull up your shirt, exposing your somewhat still soft belly, trying to squeeze out a six-pack, or roll up your shirtsleeve to “flex” your biceps. That’s what your bathroom mirror at home is for.

Please be sure to follow these simple basic gym rules and don’t be that guy or girl who does any of these things.

Vancouver Health Coach