January Gym Etiquette
January is typically a very busy time of year for both gyms and personal trainers. Between the excessive consumption of booze, beer and chocolate over the Christmas holidays and the many sworn 'new beginnings' in the form of New Year's resolutions, most gym floors are swarming with people for the first couple of weeks of the New Year.
If you're planning on joining a gym for the first time or getting back into it after an extended 'rest' period, check out the list we've composed of a few simple rules to stick to to ensure everyone has a more enjoyable experience.
Bring a towel & wipe down machines after you use them
Nobody wants to use a machine that's dripping in someone else's sweat. So once you're finished, give it a quick wipe and make sure it's left in an acceptable state.
Put your weights/plates back once you're finished with them
If you are strong enough to lift them, you are strong enough to put them back. Don't burden someone else with clearing off your bar. Remember, some people may not be able to lift a weighted bar down off the squat rack or bench.
No Selfies or Snapchats
The only acceptable uses of a phone in the gym are as a timer, to play music or to take videos of exercises to check form. Taking selfies or texting between sets is a joke and, in my opinion, you should be removed from the gym for such behaviour. In saying this, I've no doubt that it won't be too long before we see someone with a 'selfie stick' in the gym.
The gym isn't meant to be a place to go to seduce someone and some people need to stop dressing like it is! Remember, you don't want an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction when your mid squat or stretching during a warm down. Just wear what you feel comfortable in. A good pair of runners with plenty of support would be my only recommendation.
Don't drop/slam weights
Unless you're using bumper plates for olympic lifts, don't slam or drop weights. They are not made to be thrown around and you'll end up breaking them. Usually people dropping weights is a sign of poor technique, so if you find yourself guilty ask a trainer for some advice.
Unless someone specifically asks you for advice, never just go over and give them your opinion on why they are doing something wrong or why your way is better. If you genuinely notice someone doing something that looks like they could hurt or injure themselves, maybe say it to a member of staff to have a word with them instead.
Remember that the gym is a communal environment. Don't spend too long on the one piece of equipment, make sure others have a chance to use it. This is often a problem when you see large groups of people training together. So if someone asks to jump on the equipment between your sets don't feel to hard done by.
I've no problem with the odd grunt or groan, but when people start screaming during every rep of every set it gets annoying. Try and keep it to a minimum. We all know how ridiculous the Williams sisters sound with their grunts in Wimbledon.
Ogling other members
Everyone is guilty of a bit of creeping now and then, both men and women. But that being said we should try and leave it off the gym floor. Whether it's a particular pair of yoga pants or someone's massive arms, try not to stare!
Concentrate on yourself
Everyone is in the gym for different reasons. Some people need to lose weight, others need to put on weight and others are training for specific goals or sporting events. Different goals requires different training so just focus on what you need to do and don't worry about the others.
We wish you all the best with shedding the 'winter warmth' and achieving your New Years resolutions!