The (Unwritten) Rules Of The Gym

We’ve all been there: your muscles are straining, sweat dripping into your eyes as you push through just one more repetition of your last set… and someone taps you on the shoulder and asks if you’re using the machine next to you. POOF! Focus, gone. Or you finish one set of an exercise and Joe Know-It-All approaches you with unsolicited advice on your form. Cue the ultimate eye-roll and heaviest of sighs.

You owe it to your fellow lifters to learn about the unwritten rules of the gym that reigns in most, if not all, fitness facilities to avoid making these irritating mistakes. Here are the top ten unwritten gym rules that every gym-goer should know:

  1. Always re-rack your weights when you’re finished. Think of it as burning more calories through an extra, mini-set. Or don’t. Either way, RE-RACK ‘EM!
  2. Always use headphones if you’re listening to music. I don’t force my choice of music into your ear canals during my work out, so get your earbuds on and let me still like you as a person as we listen to our own music, independently.
  3. Don’t give advice unless someone specifically asks for your advice. Did you see me beckon to you from across the room? Did I call your name, and implore you to bestow your valuable knowledge onto me? No? Then, don’t do it.
  4. Unless they ask you or it is an emergency, do not spot someone else’s lift. First off, it’s weird. Second off, it’s weird. So, unless this bar has slipped from my grasp and is pressing into my windpipe, do not spot me.
  5. If the gym is busy, do not take up multiple machines/areas. This is just common courtesy. If you notice that the gym is busy, don’t do circuit training that day. Just… don’t be selfish, Tina.
  6. Don’t leave your things on equipment you are not using. Or, I may remove them myself. Jus’ sayin’.
  7. Don’t surf the internet/spend excessive time on your phone if you’re taking up a machine. Getting on your phone to change the song, or shoot out a quick text reply is understandable. Scrolling through your social media feed as people are waiting for your machine is totally not cool, and some people have no qualms about shaming you for it. You’ve been warned.
  8. Wear deodorant. Need I say more?
  9. If you’re sick/contagious, stay home. Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, stay home. If you’re not sure if you’re still contagious, chances are, you are. Don’t. Do. It.
  10. Move away from the weight rack to do your lift to allow others access to the weights. This one isn’t always the most obvious, as a LOT of lifters will not move that far from where they pick up the free weights if they don’t imagine that anyone else is in the gym at that time that can handle that kind of weight. Just a good, general rule of thumb, move far enough away from the rack that someone can get to the weights without interrupting your lift.

Here is one bonus rule for those of you who are chuckling right now about the list. Don’t hit on someone when they are lifting. Most people come to the gym to let off steam after a hard day, or to get their day started right. They truly are not there to check out the hotties and get some numbers. Don’t be that creep that tries to woo someone with your charm while they are just trying to get away from you to finish their sets.

What are some more unwritten rules that you wish every lifter knew?

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