Gym Etiquette: Top Rules for Rookies (Jan)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 03, 2014 11:41 PM GMT
    As this happens every Jan, do you wait until the first month is almost over to begin the new year training? I think this is kind of funny, do most people not realize its a lifetime thing? I know people have to start somewhere but I have had a gym membership since the late 80's. I hate going to the gym in Jan, while Dec was very nice, hardly anyone there!


    you can spot gym newbies by their "deer in the headlights look" and "perfectly coordinated, brand-new outfit they bought for motivation.", When you're ready to hit the gym circuit solo, your No. 1 goal (aside from getting into shape) should be to avoid annoying anyone.....DUHHHHHHHH icon_rolleyes.gif
    http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/gym-etiquette-top-rules-rookies-191400991.html
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    Jan 04, 2014 8:02 AM GMT
    I just go later at night when it's less crowded.

    I think the number one thing newbies should know about is sharing the equipment. Your gym membership doesn't entitle you to hog up a piece of equipment during the whole time you're there.

    Also, the concept of "working in" is totally foreign to newbies.
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    Jan 04, 2014 8:38 AM GMT
    xrichx saidI just go later at night when it's less crowded.

    I think the number one thing newbies should know about is sharing the equipment. Your gym membership doesn't entitle you to hog up a piece of equipment during the whole time you're there.

    Also, the concept of "working in" is totally foreign to newbies.


    I'm seeing it already last night. One newbie or a once a yearer thought he could superset and reserve three pieces of equipment for only him to use.

    Left nothing at all at the equipment so anyone else would suspect someone else is on it while he's busy on the other two which I truly did not see ... as if a I give a shit. Then comes back when I'm mid set expecting me to get up and leave it. Rarely ever do I get pissed at anyone in there, but sure did at this one.

    I'm a super nice guy who knows everyone and everyone knows me, but when I'm raging with endorphins ... wrong time to piss me off.
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    Jan 04, 2014 9:18 AM GMT
    ^LOL. Yeah, the superset freaks are the usual suspects. Also, when I used to go during the day, it was always these housewife types that would grab a flat bench in the free weight area and basically setup a base camp. Then proceed to do various light dumbbell and stretching exercises for the next 2 - 3 hours. Sheesh.
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    Jan 04, 2014 9:39 AM GMT
    xrichx said^LOL. Yeah, the superset freaks are the usual suspects. Also, when I used to go during the day, it was always these housewife types that would grab a flat bench in the free weight area and basically setup a base camp. Then proceed to do various light dumbbell and stretching exercises for the next 2 - 3 hours. Sheesh.


    That's true to an extent at about 10 or 11 am when the trophy wives are in there. At night when I go, it's the same 40 or 50 guys who know everyone else and know what they're doing, and more importantly, know what everyone else does and is very respectful of that.

    We're all friends and get along great. An observer would thing all we do is fuck around and talk in there, and we sure do talk, laugh, occasionally prank, but we get our stuff done. We hate January when it's New Year's resolution time and we get invaded for a few weeks until they give up and quite for the rest of the year.
  • daddysw

    Posts: 89

    Jan 04, 2014 10:14 AM GMT
    Can I put a plea in for tolerance? I'm always pleased to see new people in ther gym - keeps the gene pool healthy! but more importantly, it shows a committment to making more of yourself.

    I'd say a key part of the etiquette for any newbie is to take up the offer of the free induction that almost all gyms offer. That way you get to know how to use the equipment safely, and learn how to put it away after you've used it!

    and for those guys who like to throw their weight(s) around, who've obviously been doing this for years and know all the ropes - be a good role model. Be kind. And be encouraging.
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    Jan 04, 2014 10:47 AM GMT
    > do most people not realize its a lifetime thing

    Actually they do, which is mainly why they don't commit in the first place. Gym facilities - and the skills and knowledge to use these resources - are a nontrivial economic privilege. That puts you in a position of leadership. It helps to not hold rigid expectations, such as what you think should be the norms, over people who are at least trying to better themselves. Your blood pressure will be lower this way.
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    Jan 04, 2014 3:02 PM GMT
    Especially loved the part about "leave your cell phone in your locker".

    But, what's missing is: If you're sick...stay home. I'm currently sick as a dog from something I picked up NYE...at the fuckin' gym.

    Then, there's the fucktards who do their entire workout, including bicep curls on one of only two smith machines or squat racks in the entire gym...for more than an hour.

    No one needs a squat rack for arm curls. And, why do these people always look like they're replaying a crossfit workout?
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Jan 04, 2014 3:51 PM GMT
    I kind of like seeing all the new faces in the gym. And unlike most, I actually like a buzz of activity. The only thing that really irritates me is excessive yapping (though some regulars do that, too) and not returning weights to their racks when done. I hate spending time and mental energy trying to figure out if someone is using the Hammerstrength incline machine that has 35's left on it. If it's occupied, and they just went for a sip of water, fine. I'll find something else to do but to have to watch and look around and then have to clear their weights to start my work makes me mad. Or dumbbells. There's one 45 and the other is gone. And gone for an hour. Arguarrah!
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    Jan 04, 2014 4:05 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidI kind of like seeing all the new faces in the gym. And unlike most, I actually like a buzz of activity. The only thing that really irritates me is excessive yapping (though some regulars do that, too) and not returning weights to their racks when done. I hate spending time and mental energy trying to figure out if someone is using the Hammerstrength incline machine that has 35's left on it. If it's occupied, and they just went for a sip of water, fine. I'll find something else to do but to have to watch and look around and then have to clear their weights to start my work makes me mad. Or dumbbells. There's one 45 and the other is gone. And gone for an hour. Arguarrah!


    Oh yeah .... I'll admit we do.
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    Jan 04, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    The most important thing for newbies to keep in mind is that they have now joined "gym culture". And, as a part of that culture, the cute hot ones must understand and accept that if they are selected for ritual hazing (usually involving their complete sexual submission at a time and place outside of the gym), that it is their responsibility and obligation to comply.

    Newbies need to know that it might be sudden and with a short, succinct command such as, "You! Come with us!". Obedience is absolutely obligatory as you make your way with one of gym culture's "high priests" to the Beck's Motor Lodge on Market Street (or other such temple for the ritual). You will know a "high priest" of any age by their smoking hot gym sculpted body top to toe. High priests of the gym NEVER neglect the dreaded but necessary "Leg Day".

    After the ritual hazing, Newbies should remain in a state of genuflection when in the gym, and should listen to and adopt the cultural mores which High Priests may share with them from time to time. The newbie will find this of great benefit as their bodies begin to tighten and get ripped. Additional ritual sexual tribute to the High Priests should be accepted on all occasions and looked at as an honor and proof that they are successfully integrating in to gym culture.

    Newbies are encouraged to post these tips in conspicuous places for other newbies and High Priests to see. The locker room, the sauna, the steam room, in places where newbies frequent.

    In the mean time, GAMRican suggests that newbies can demonstrate their respect to the High Priests by:
    1. Not hogging equipment
    2. Reracking their weights
    3. Using a gym towel to wipe down equipment after use.
    4. Not being afraid to ask a High Priest how to use certain equipment properly. (Especially if you are hot and cute and the High Priest has been observing you)
    5. Observing how High Priests use (and don't use) certain equipment.
    6. Taking personal training sessions to formally learn how to use equipment and properly exercise.
    7. After a shower drying off while still in the wet area of the shower so as not to track water into the locker room changing area.
    8. Wear a shirt and shorts into any co-ed sauna and steam room.
    9. If you choose to shave, don't leave a fucking mess in the shower and/or sink.
    10. Cologne or other fragrances in the gym are to be avoided.
    11. Google "Richard Simmons". Don't dress like him.
    12. Wear form fitting clothing (especially if you are still a twink).
    13. Don't eat garlic, curry, onions, or be detoxing from a bender if/when you go to do "hot yoga".
    14. Don't stare at High Priests for inordinate amounts of time. Steal glances using the mirrors. 15. If you really admire and would like to submit yourself to a High Priest for ritual hazing, respectfully approach the High Priest and make sincere (but not overly flattering) comments about his body. But don't tell him he has a nice "package" or "smoking hot ass". Keep it classy. Be prepared with your number written on a slip of paper. Ask politely if you can get together to discuss "working out". Give him your number. Allow the High Priest the option of contacting you.
    16. Smile when you are in the gym. Be friendly.
    17. Continue devotion to nutrition and exercise so that your body will become more worthy of repeated ritual hazing by the High Priests. And, one day too you will be regarded as a High Priest.

    There you have it. GAMRican's top tips for newbies to the gym. Welcome to the gym!

    Aloha and Be Well!

    Alan "High Priest - Level 16"
    20130901_092832_zpsac34cdcf.jpg
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    Jan 04, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    The best gym etiquette advice I can give for newbies is:

    1. The gym is not a place to socialize. Keep your conversations short during your rest periods in between sets. You can talk about whatever AFTER you get your workout in.

    2. Try to keep your rest periods between sets to a maximum of 90 secs if you are looking for muscular endurance. Those seeking fat loss should opt for relatively short rest periods to keep their heart rate elevated (60 secs max)

    3. DO NOT use the squat rack to arm curl. You will annoy the hell out of people doing that and it will show that you don't attend the gym often (regardless of how fit you may look)

    4. If lifting weights (which should be done carefully if you haven't done so before) make sure to put them back to their proper holding place. I would suggest you possibly get a personal trainer to supervise you on proper form.

    5. Do not go to the gym when you are sick! You can spread YOUR sickness to others and sharing is not caring in this case...If you really feel the need to workout do it in your own home. There are plenty of body weight exercises that can be done.

    6. Have proper hygiene! Clean machines after using them with a towel/ alcohol. Also NO ONE wants to smell your balls, ass, underarms, or general body odor without consent. Make sure you have proper deodorant on (buy the clinical one if you are unsure...) and take a shower BEFORE you workout if you didn't have the chance to get clean beforehand.

  • bishop65

    Posts: 226

    Jan 04, 2014 6:30 PM GMT
    jrad saidThe best gym etiquette advice I can give for newbies is:

    3. DO NOT use the squat rack to arm curl. You will annoy the hell out of people doing that and it will show that you don't attend the gym often (regardless of how fit you may look)



    This!
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:05 PM GMT
    My advice for newbies, or anyone for that matter, is don't leave your friggin drink bottle and/or towel on a piece of equipment and then disappear for several minutes!
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Jan 04, 2014 7:25 PM GMT
    A lot of these rules really apply to when it's considerably crowded at the gym, otherwise it's not a big deal really

    When you have a lot of people waiting and hanging around for a machine and you are using like 3 machines at once and you are doing about 6 sets then you are an ASS!!

    Otherwise, when it's less crowded it's not as annoying really

    The worst thing about that is when they don't let you work in!!! icon_evil.gif
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
    Keep a loaded gun with You at ALL times...
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
    Just a couple of things:

    1. Wipe your sweat and hair grooming product off of all benches and equipment when you are done.

    2. Don't occupy more than one piece of equipment at a time - if you have a complex routine, you'd better understand that nobody else cares - so be ready for me to work in. We're all busy, just like you.

    3. Put the weights back in their proper place. I get so tired of wasting my time looking for the right pair of dumbbells. If the rack is mismanaged, then place them within visual distance of each other.

    4. Don't be a douche. Be polite, friendly, and courteous. Dropping heavy weights is lame, and dangerous for those around you, even if you don't care about your own safety.

    I thank you.
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:38 PM GMT
    jrad said2. Try to keep your rest periods between sets to a maximum of 90 secs if you are looking for muscular endurance. Those seeking fat loss should opt for relatively short rest periods to keep their heart rate elevated (60 secs max)


    Some exercises (e.g. heavy deadlifts) are meant to be done with a 5 minute rest period between sets. I think deadlifts are the exercise I do which annoy other people the most because they generally can't work in and they take a long time.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jan 04, 2014 7:43 PM GMT
    xrichx saidI just go later at night when it's less crowded.

    I think the number one thing newbies should know about is sharing the equipment. Your gym membership doesn't entitle you to hog up a piece of equipment during the whole time you're there.

    Also, the concept of "working in" is totally foreign to newbies.


    When I was at the gym this past Thursday, I skipped two exercises (inclined crunches with a weight and the glute machine) because the equipment was busy.

    I've seem both men and women take an inordinate amount of time with equipment. The worst ones are the women who lazily stop and start repetitions while chatting with a friend or on a cell phone. I remember one woman who was using a rowing machine; it was one that uses a separate set of weights for the right and the left. I could see that she was taking a long time, so I did some other exercises before asking her how much longer she would be using the rowing machine. She seemed greatly offended and suggest that I do another exercise first. Of course I told her that I had done three sets of three different exercises already while waiting. She was exercising her arms separately and, in addition, constantly changing the weight plates.

    Then there are those who do circuit training. They expect to be able to rotate among several pieces of equipment without having someone else use equipment that seems to be vacant. They, they will run all the way across the gym and say, "I was using that!!"

    Sharing equipment can be awkward if it requires changing plates but with machines having a weight stack, it is easy to change the pin position.
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:44 PM GMT
    My advice for newbies would be to not be afraid to ask for help or advice. I think with the right approach many people are willing to give you advice. Just remember, everyone was new at first.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jan 04, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
    xrichx said^LOL. Yeah, the superset freaks are the usual suspects. Also, when I used to go during the day, it was always these housewife types that would grab a flat bench in the free weight area and basically setup a base camp. Then proceed to do various light dumbbell and stretching exercises for the next 2 - 3 hours. Sheesh.


    I've seen that too.

    The trainers can be a pain. They sometimes take a few sets of dumbells and leave them at a bench so no one else can use them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:47 PM GMT
    My gym is semi-private... in that it's in my office building and only for use by building tenants... which makes it easier to spot newbies.

    Haven't seen any yet...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 04, 2014 7:47 PM GMT
    I like busy gyms. I feel extra encouragement to work out when there's a lot of people around.

    Personally, I haven't run into many etiquette problems while working out, so I must be going to the gym at the right times.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jan 04, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    RobertF64 saidEspecially loved the part about "leave your cell phone in your locker".

    But, what's missing is: If you're sick...stay home. I'm currently sick as a dog from something I picked up NYE...at the fuckin' gym.

    Then, there's the fucktards who do their entire workout, including bicep curls on one of only two smith machines or squat racks in the entire gym...for more than an hour.

    No one needs a squat rack for arm curls. And, why do these people always look like they're replaying a crossfit workout?


    In Japan, when people are not well, they at least wear a mask to avoid spreading the infection. I wonder why that is so rare here. When I do it, people look at me as though I am a freak.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jan 04, 2014 7:51 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidI kind of like seeing all the new faces in the gym. And unlike most, I actually like a buzz of activity. The only thing that really irritates me is excessive yapping (though some regulars do that, too) and not returning weights to their racks when done. I hate spending time and mental energy trying to figure out if someone is using the Hammerstrength incline machine that has 35's left on it. If it's occupied, and they just went for a sip of water, fine. I'll find something else to do but to have to watch and look around and then have to clear their weights to start my work makes me mad. Or dumbbells. There's one 45 and the other is gone. And gone for an hour. Arguarrah!


    Sometimes I have to search the entire gym to find what I need if it is not returned to the rack. People will leave dumbbells at a bench and forget about them, or even take them to a place in the gym where one would not expect them to be used which would be OK if they would return them.