In this article, I am going to discuss the subject that seems to be prevalent in nearly every health club that I have ever trained at: "GYM EDIQUETTE".

WHAT TO DO WITH WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED YOUR SET: I have been weight training for over 3 decades and still, to this day, do not understand why people can’t seem to remember where to put weights and dumbbells (back to their proper location on the racks) when they are finished using them. It seems to be most prevalent in some of the "world’s largest health chain clubs", and also in the smaller clubs too.

When I first began to workout (1976), it was embedded in my brain that you never left a barbell loaded nor the dumbbells on the floor. It was a "sure-fire" way to get reprimanded and embarrassed by the owner in front of other members and/or suspended from the gym for as long as a week for violating the rules. Seems rather harsh, but it did job and rarely did you hear about anyone getting suspended.

Prior to the early 80’s, nearly all fitness clubs did not allow men and women to train in the same gym at the same time. Most had alternating the days for each gender. Unfortunately, if you missed a workout on your gender's designated day, you could not just wait until the next day to get it in. By 1982, here in the midwest, most clubs discontinued segregating the men from the women and both were training on the same workout floor at any desired times and days of the week.

Not everyone possessed the same strength levels and most women, (but not all) usually weren't as strong as the majority of men. So in a way, there was still a separation of sexes.

There was an increasing number of people who finally realized that for a better quality of live, fitness was a must. Today you may find a wide variety of people on the workout floor at various times of the day. There’s "bulging-biceps" Billy, "macho" Mark, "slim" Sammy, "wonder woman" Wilma and "dainty" Dianne. Each may have a different motivation for training, each with different skill levels of training and all have paid their membership dues to use the facilities when they wish.

It is very selfish to leave barbells loaded with weights and expect the next person to use them to break down the equipment for you. The best policy for all is, to be courteous, be aware of the other members around you, break down the barbells and return your weights to their proper racks when finished.

HOW TO PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS: Have you ever needed to use a piece of equipment for your next exercise only to find that someone else is occupying it? There could be a problem if the person who is using that piece is not sharing it with others. So you should ask them if you can "work-in" with them. Once again a there are members that have never worked out before and don’t know about the "proper etiquettes". You may have to educate them. Be polite and explain to them that while they are resting in-between their sets, they could momentarily move away from the equipment and allow you to get your set in too. Never monopolize a piece of equipment. Give everyone the chance to get through their training session without having to wait around until you are done using it. Always be aware of those around you.

With these simple rules, your training session should be more enjoyable and progress can be maximized.


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