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Fitness etiquette for beginners: Do not violate these 10 important rules


Starting a fitness program is intimidating, but these tips can help you navigate safely.

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I remember the first time I stepped on a foot in a weight room. It was exactly what I expected. Jacked guys threw heavy dumbbells around, hip-hop music boomed from the speakers, everyone grunted and screamed and cheered. And I was terrified.

Navigating the chaos of a gym as a beginner is not easy. You may have questions: How long is it too long to stay on one machine? Can I use multiple devices at the same time? May I ask the guy when he's done?

In order to tidy up the mess and feel safer in the gym, knowing the basic code of conduct for high school students is helpful – simple but important things you can do to make everyone, including yourself, safe, and keep happy.

Fitness Etiquette

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Very important: do not be a device pig.

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The rules in the gym are in line with the general rules of life: tidy up, share them when necessary, and don't be uncomfortable.

Get everything back where it belongs. Don't leave traces of devices: if you use something, put it back. You learned that in kindergarten.

Pig not the equipment

In crowded gyms, equipment is like gold. This is especially true for limited equipment such as squat and bench press racks. When you crouch, don't let people wait for you to take the perfect selfie or end the conversation with a friend.

If there is no one around, you can use whatever you want. But the moment people pile up, be ready to share.

Wipe things after using them.

Everyone else in the gym is begging you. Please wipe your sweat off machines, dumbbells, floor mats and anything else you use. Even if you "didn't sweat that much", wipe it off. This is the basic fitness etiquette and reduces the dirt from sweat germs on the entire device.

Respect the personal area.

The gyms are particularly crowded in the first months of the year. But no matter how many people you fight, you should still try to respect everyone's personal space.

Not only is it uncomfortable to train near a stranger, it is also dangerous – a failed attempt at a head press could mean broken feet for both of you.

Be flexible about your routine when the gym is crowded.

Can't you crouch first? Instead of being two inches from the person using it, you should find a way to change your routine. You save time and avoid inconvenience, and you may find yourself challenging yourself in a new way (it is too easy to stick to the same exercise program).

You can always ask the person how long they will use the squat rack. If they say five minutes, great: do some warm-up exercises and wait. If they say 30 minutes, don't waste your time and do something else first.

Avoid using two distant devices. Supersets and Circuits are great, but they don't always run from the pull-up bar to the bench press rack. Trust me, few things are as frustrating as putting up exercise equipment just to let someone fly in from across the gym and say they used it.

For your own good

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Request your place and your equipment.

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You should definitely follow the guidelines to make the gym comfortable for other athletes, but don't forget to make your own experience comfortable. These guidelines can prevent you from calling swear words from the top of the squat rack.

Bring your own towel.

Just do this. If you don't do anything else on your list, bring your own towel to the gym. It may not sound like a big deal now, but you'll find out how big it will be when Sweaty McSweat finally gets out of the machine you wanted, but the tub with the antimicrobial wipes is bone dry. In fact, you may want to bring two towels – one to wipe your own sweat and one to wipe other people's. It's disgusting, but unfortunately it's a fact of most commercial gyms.

Claim space

Let others know where you train and what equipment you use. If you swing a kettlebell, run in place, or stretch out on the floor, you need enough space to do it. You will thank you and the person next to you too.

If you have to go to use the toilet or fetch water, put a marker on the equipment you use. A pretty universal sign saying "Hey, I'll get back to it" covers your towel over the device – the towel again proves its manageability.

And don't be afraid to ask for more.

You could try to protect the personal space of your fellow athletes, but that doesn't mean that they all do the same. If you feel that someone is entering your area, let them know. You shouldn't have to endure the discomfort.

Plan your workouts.

Make it easy for yourself by planning your workouts before going to the gym. Knowing what to do before you start can fiddle around a lot and speed up your workout.

Instead of flipping through YouTube’s training channels for 10 minutes to find out which exercise works best for a deadlift, you already know that you did your exams beforehand.

Pay attention to your surroundings.

Gym can be a dangerous place if you are not vigilant. Just as you should take care of your surroundings when training outdoors you should also be careful in the weight room. For example, don't start kettlebell swings without making sure you have enough space beforehand – and watch out for other people swinging a kettlebell or other weight as you move from one place to another.

Make sure the walkways are clear before moving stations, and watch out for machines with plate-loaded arms. In poorly designed gyms, these devices can sometimes swing at you from an apparently safe location.

One more thing

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Respect people's time. People go to the gym to exercise and most people have a limited amount of time. Do not talk to someone even if they are your friend, because there is a good chance that you will interfere in the few precious moments that they can use for training.

Let people know if they talk too much. If someone takes up your time in the gym, it's okay to say, "It was great talking to you, but I really need to go back to my workout."

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to provide health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about an illness or health goals.

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