THE RULES OF THE ROAD!!
No one wants to be known throughout the gym as rude, inconsiderate or even someone to be avoided whenever possible. Creating friends at the gym will not only improve your experience but can also help keep your motivation high.
When you are new to the gym it can be difficult to understand the do's and dont's of the gym floor. Following the rules below should help you become accepted into the world of fitness in no time.
SQUAT AND POWER RACKS ARE FOR SQUATTING
You don’t need a rack for bicep curls. People will get annoyed at you if you use a squat rack for anything that could be done on another piece of kit. The main reason for the annoyance is it stops other people squatting (and sometimes benching, some gyms don’t have a specific bench press.) And stopping people from squatting is seriously bad form.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
You're not there to impress anyone with what you know, and in the same instance, no one cares if you don't know everything. Don’t just wing an exercise and hope for the best. If you are unsure of an exercise ask a coach to help you out with the proper technique. Most coaches just want to help you out, they chose that career for a reason. If there is no one
around to ask or the ones who are seem unsure about a certain exercise, then use YouTube or a fitness website to have a look at the movement and practice without weight and/or in private if you need to. All of GGG plans come with a short video tutorial of each exercise given to you, so you can see exactly what you should be doing.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help mid-workout too. If you are lifting heavier than you ever have and you are scared then ask someone else in the gym to ‘spot’ you. Spotting is just having someone there to help and rescue you should things go wrong. They aren’t there to lift the weight for you. If they are having to lift it for you then the rep doesn’t count and you were going too heavy! Having someone spot you is also a great way to make new gym buddies. If anyone asks you to spot them you should also jump at the chance. Just don’t steal a rep the moment the bar slows down. The person will tell you when they need help believe me.
ONLY USE ONE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Don’t be 'that guy' who uses 2 squat racks, a bench press and a cable station all at once in a circuit at peak times and doesn’t let anyone else jump in with them. If the gym is completely dead, then try your circuit by all means but if people ask to use that piece of equipment you absolutely must try to let them ‘work in’ wherever possible. Working in just means that when you aren’t using said piece of equipment the other person cracks on with their set and the world instantly becomes a better place.
If you are training at peak times try to plan your exercises using similar pieces of equipment for any supersets or circuits, or, for instance, do a sensible superset involving two totally different exercises like squats and dumbbell overhead presses where you can bring the dumbbell to near the squat rack and not get in anybody’s way (make sure you are actually squatting though as we don’t want to violate the first rule). If you see anyone else doing this then it’s totally cool to ask to ‘work in’ yourself. When asking about how long a person is going to be using a specific piece of equipment it is totally fine to ask how many set’s that person has remaining. If it’s 2 or less then just say “cool, I'll wait” as long as you don’t hover around making the person feel rushed it is fine. Be patient, give the person some space and the equipment will be yours in no time. If the answer is more than two then the person in question may offer you the chance for you to work in. If they don’t it is usually perfectly acceptable to ask the person if you can jump in with them during their rest times. The only time it isn’t cool is when your exercise is entirely different to their exercise and it takes you ten minutes to change everything over after each and every set. If you think that will be the case then either wait or try for a different piece of equipment or even do an alternative exercise.
PUT YOUR WEIGHTS AWAY!!!!!!!!!
Apparently people still need reminding of this. If you can’t be arsed putting it away, don’t load it up in the first place. Imagine it’s your grandma who wants to use the squat rack next when you fancy leaving 140kg’s on it. Poor Grandma she can’t lift any weights now. You bad person you. Nothing inspires gym hatred more than when someone doesn’t put their stuff away.
BE COURTEOUS TO OTHER MEMBERS
Not hogging a piece of equipment is always nice! Sitting on your phone instead of training can inspire wrath too so keep phone time down to an absolute minimum (that includes choosing what song to lift to on spotify!)
Don’t get in people’s way or interrupt them mid-set or cause a fuss just behind them as they are trying to lift heavy stuff that just isn’t cool. Wait until they have finished then grab what you need to grab.
When faced with a clash of paths, allow the person carrying/struggling the most to move past first and don't block walkways (especially by cutting across running tracks in use or people using the lengths for lunges and carries etc).
Try not to give unsolicited advice when people haven’t asked for it. A coach can get away with that (and that is even hard for them sometimes) but telling someone their deadlift is shit when they are minding their own business isn’t going to win you any friends.
Remember 99.9% of gym goers have made some of these mistakes. We are allowed a slip up every now and then. The chances are that no one will notice. But we want to make yours and everybody elses gym experience literally as easy as possible.
You’ve got this!