Unwritten rules at the gym
Opinion Mar 20, 2018 Kaylee Perkins
Within the last five years, the gym industry has spiked in popularity.
One of the many reasons the gym life has become so popular among Canadians is because within the last five years the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has stressed the fact that obesity rates are on the rise.
With PHAC stressing Canadians with this information, it means that people are finding their motivation, climbing out from their office cubicles and making their way to the gym.
Many people go to the gym so that they can become more fit, live a healthier lifestyle, and strengthen their social skills. There’s a lot of chatting that goes on at the gym, and it’s a great way of meeting new people.
But before you get signed up and ready to go to, there are a few unwritten rules you should know about:
Make sure that you are wearing athletic attire. This means gym shoes, gym shorts as well as a shirt you won’t mind getting sweaty. It’s very important to wear proper clothing to ensure that you don’t limit your range of motion when you’re stretching or working out. If you were to wear jeans to run on a treadmill, it’s almost guaranteed that you will become uncomfortable, and you may find that you would have a better workout if you were in shorts or athletic pants.
- Cleaning up:
Much like as if you were at home, if you make a mess you clean it up. The same sort of courtesy goes a long way at the gym. If you take a bunch of weight plates out, a bar and chalk, and then you leave your lifting area messy, then you’re the person everyone will be glaring at. Plus, the staff will keep an eye on you the next time you come in to make sure that you clean your mess up. Most gyms are 18+, so if you’re 18+ (technically an adult) and you have to have someone tell you to clean up after yourself, that’s embarrassing. It’s also polite to wipe down your equipment after you’re done using it.
- Please, just ask:
As someone who is a gym supervisor, I enjoy having people ask me how to use the machines. I would much rather help walk you through a machine, then have you hurt yourself and not be able to reach your goals because of your injury. With saying that, if you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, just ask whoever is supervising to walk you through how to go about the exercise you wish to accomplish. This tip also goes hand-in-hand with asking someone to help spot you. If you’re trying to hit your personal record (PR) and you’re a little worried about not making it up from that squat, or not being able to lift the bar off your chest during the last rep of your bench press; then ask someone for a spot. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but it will hurt when you don’t ask, and you end up getting injured.
- Dropping weights:
Try your best not to drop the weights. Especially if it’s dumbbells. The dumbbells at any gym are not meant to be dropped. I’ve watched this a number of times before, and probably will continue to see it throughout my time as a gym supervisor as well as gym-goer. People will get to the last rep of their set and push a little too hard to the point where the weight of the dumbbell may cause them to drop or slam it. This will end up breaking the weight. It could also end up hurting you or someone else.
Bars are a little different. These are a bit more durable and are designed to be dropped. But make sure when you’re setting up your bar that you are using the correct bar (men and women have different bars). The women’s bar tends to be thinner and weigh about 10lbs lighter than the men’s. Also, make sure you’re using the bumper plates. These plates are coated in black rubber, therefore making the drop a little safer. It’s still suggested that if you do drop the bar, then try to stop the bounce back.
- One final tip. Bring a water bottle. You want to stay hydrated during your time at the gym, especially if you’re sweating a lot and doing a high-intensity workout.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a great way to live, and many people do it differently, but the gym is a great way to start your journey. It will be difficult before it gets easy, but the moment you start seeing results (weight loss, muscle definition, mental health improvements), then you will begin to see why the gym is one of the most popular places to be.