A few helpful gym DO’s and DON’Ts
Curls get the girls they say…. but not when you are doing them in the squat rack!
Not so long ago I was doing some weight training and I had just done my warm-up set of squats in my favourite old squat rack (because the old ones are always the best) and walked away for a sip of water when another person moved in. Fair enough I thought, I guess he didn’t know I was using it, but then – to my absolute horror – he picked up the ezy-bar and started doing bicep curls! I don’t mind sharing the squat rack – if someone is doing squats! I was pretty annoyed, but then I thought I’d better give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he was new in the gym and just didn’t understand that you can actually do bicep curls pretty much anywhere in the place but you can only do squats in a squat rack – that’s why it’s called a SQUAT rack. It occurred to me that maybe it was time to point out a few gym do’ and don’ts, just to help people who aren’t aware that gym etiquette does exist.
1. Don’t do bicep curls in the squat rack.
2. Put your weights away. If you’re strong enough to pick up the weights then you are strong enough to put them away! I have little kids and when they are finished playing with their toys, they have to be put away. If the kids don’t do it, I being the mum, do it for them. Your mum probably taught you the same thing and she probably tidied up for you too. In the gym we call our toys weights, and unless your name is Mac I don’t think your mum is here – so you have to pick up after yourself.
3. Don’t slam weights down. If you’re strong enough to pick up the weights then you are strong enough to put them down. It’s awesome that you can dead-lift 200kgs, truly it is, but you don’t need to make the building shake when you drop that weight so that everyone on Crown St knows too.
4. Don’t be a “gym’timidator.” You know who I mean, the person who stands around glaring at someone else using the machine they want to use. The polite thing to do is to ask if you can work in and alternate sets. The polite answer when someone asks if they can work in with you is – yes!
5. There’s no need to yell. Studies have shown that making a noise can help you lift heavier weights – grunting does actually have a positive effect on exercise performance but it doesn’t have to be super loud to have the beneficial effect. It’s more about pushing out air.
6. Be nice – smile maybe even try saying ‘hi’ (but not to people wearing their headphones – this is basically code for please don’t disturb me while I’m training).
7. It’s not ok to look at ladies when they are using the adductor machine. I know you’re probably thinking what is that machine even for? It doesn’t matter what it’s for, ladies love that thing so we have one, but it’s just awkward if you get caught checking out a chick in that position so it’s best avoided.
8. Take care with what you wear. Shorts are obviously comfortable workout gear and so are tights, but just make sure you don’t overexpose. Even if you have a six-pack and 0% body fat – keep your shirt on.
9. Bagsing the bench (or another piece of equipment) by draping your towel over it whilst you go and do something else is not really cool. In peak times there may not always be enough benches to go around, if you aren’t using the equipment you need to let other people use it.
10. Just in case you didn’t get it the first time, don’t do curls in the squat rack!
Here is a funny youtube clip about grunting…(but BAD LANGUAGE ALERT, if that kind of thing offends you, please don’t watch it)