15 things not to do in the gym

1 March, 2013
15 things not to do in the gym

1. Don’t hog the machines
Remember, the gym is a public place. Just because you are using a machine doesn’t mean it is exclusive to you.  If someone wants to work in with you, let him/her. They are just trying to get their workout done, and they are working on a programme – just like you!

2. Don’t leave the machine dripping
Nothing is more horrible than coming across a machine with someone else’s sweat on it. It’s also unsanitary!  All you have to do is place a towel down on your machine/bench BEFORE you start using it and take the extra time to wipe it down after you have finished using it.  Especially the treadmills!  Have consideration for the person who has to get on the machine after you.

3. Don’t forget to put your weights away
Contrary to belief there isn’t a weight fairy, sorry to upset you like when you found out there was no Santa Claus, so put your weights away! If you’re strong enough to put them on, lift them, press them, push them, you are strong enough to put them back where you got them from. How annoying is it when you get to a machine and you have to take there weights off that someone has left to load your own?  I hate it when people load up the squat rack or bench, do one set and then walk off, don’t be lazy put them away.  I hate to see the state of some of these people’s homes.

4. Don’t drop your weights
Be considerate of others around you, when you drop your weights after you’re finished completing an exercise, the sound and vibration can cause other people to lose focus. Plus, by dropping your weights, you are more likely to injure yourself and those around you. If you are lifting a REALLY heavy weight and fail, then fair play, but I see people just throwing them on the floor to make a statement or because they are too lazy to place them to the floor   Have respect for the equipment your using. Don’t drop the weights unnecessarily.

5. Stop using the squat rack for bicep curls, upright rows or lighter bar work, when you don’t need a rack

A squat rack is there for a reason, to give people who are lifting heavy weights the support to take the weight off safely and put it back on safely.  You don’t need this for bicep curls or light weights, it may make you feel tough but you look like an idiot and stopping people from using the squat rack for what its designed for.

6. Have some awareness of space
The gym gets packed, especially in the early morning or after work. There may not lots of space for you to do what you want, and if that’s the case, don’t be selfish and invade someone else’s space. Try to find a spot of your own; and if you can’t, improvise and pick another exercise, or wait.  Don’t pull a bench right next to someone doing chest flies so they don’t have enough room to do their exercise.

7.  Don’t have a conversation on your mobile
Nothing disrupts anyone’s workout more than when someone takes a call on the gym floor. If you know the call is important, get off the gym floor to take the call. This way you can focus on your call and you’ll free up gym space, allowing other people to use the equipment, plus not everyone wants to hear your one sided conversation, especially when they are trying to focus on their own training.  Have respect for other people.

8. Don’t be the ‘know it all’
For the most part when people are working out, they get into their own zone. Don’t be the person that interrupts someone’s workout to tell them they are doing the exercise wrong, or that there is a better way of doing it. If you are concerned about someone doing something dangerous, seek out a trainer and tell them about the situation. It’s not your job to be the gym police.  And most of the time they don’t want to hear what you have to say just because you may have read it in a magazine, you are not a specialist (see one of my previous blogs).

9. Loud oral noises aren’t necessary

There are always a couple of people in the gym who feel it is necessary to make loud moaning noises on every lift, even when they are lifting light weights, especially when they are wearing headphones and don’t realise how much noise they are making.  Its distracting for people who are training hard and most probably the rest of the gym are laughing at what a moron you are just because you’re trying to make a statement.

10. Check your armpits

Every single day I am in the gym there is someone who either doesn’t wash their clothes in between sessions, and their clothes stink like a bad stilton cheese or people who don’t use deodorant, in conflict to what certain people think that pheromone smell isn’t attractive.  It’s hard enough to breathe when you’re training anyway without having the added gross smelling air to breathe in.  Smell your clothes before you put them on, smell your armpits before you go into the gym.  Have some self-respect, have a wash.

11. Stop lifting weights that are too heavy for you

Just be big enough to admit that you can’t lift that weight, you may think it looks good, but you are not doing the exercise correctly or only doing partial lifts (e.g. a quarter squat instead of a full squat) and not really doing the workout you think you are doing.  Go down in weight then get the technique right and slowly build yourself up to the weight you want, it’s more beneficial and you will see better results.  People admire someone with good technique that looks like they know what they are doing not someone who is struggling to lift a weight with bad technique and its more than likely going to end with an injury.

12. Don’t walk on a running machine for an hour

Other people want to use the machine for proper training, if you have to walk, go outside, unless you have an injury and can only walk, but then have respect for others who want to train and don’t stay on there for an hour.  I see people reading magazines, holding onto the front of the machine, emailing on blackberry’s or two people next to each other talking away daily, what’s the point? Get off the machine and let others use it.

13.  Don’t talk to people in the middle of their set

If you see that someone is lifting weights, don’t strike up a conversation mid set to ask how many sets they have left as you may get a piece of their mind, deservedly!  Let them finish their set and then ask them, it’s rude, it’s hard enough to train without having to have a conversation mid rep/set just because you’re too impatient to wait.

14.  Don’t walk into someone whilst their training

I saw it just the other day, someone doing walking lunges and someone stopped right in front of them and then walked into them when they decided where they were going to train.  REALLY??  Have some concept of what is going on around you.  I see it time and time again, when someone is doing heavy squats, someone will walk right behind them, so close that it throws the lifters focus off, they are lifting heavy which means a small knock physically or mentally can make them drop the weight and injure themselves or you.  Open your eyes!

15.  Tie your hair up and take your make up off

How vain are you?  If you are in the gym doing a proper workout, you’re going to sweat, you’re not there to look pretty, no one cares, plus you wipe your make up all over the towels, gross!  Someone came to my boxing class with their long hair down and was moaning because they didn’t want to get their hair sweaty as they had somewhere to go after!!! Say no more!

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