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Gym Etiquette 101
As we find ourselves returning to an exercise regime, or even beginning a routine for the first time, we may enter an intimidating place...the GYM! At the YMCA, we strive to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable coming to build a healthy spirit, mind and body. Strengthening community is our cause and we place value on ensuring everyone has a positive experience each time they visit the Y. Part of a positive experience comes from feeling comfortable and welcomed in every part of our facility.
As our fitness centers enter a busy time of year, we wanted to offer some guiding principles to ensure everyone has a positive experience at the Y. These guidelines aren’t just for the newcomers, but also applicable and helpful reminders for the “regulars”.
- Remember the ‘Golden Rule.’
- Treat others as you’d like to be treated.
- Respect others personal space.
- Do not crowd or hover around others. In an effort to accommodate all the needs of members, fitness facilities attempt to incorporate a wide variety of equipment while balancing that against space needed to move and exercise freely. For the safety of you and those around you, provide ample space for everyone.
- Avoid getting in the habit of performing exercises while standing at the dumbbell rack. Un-rack your weight(s) and take a couple of steps back so others may continue to have access to the weights.
- Clean up after yourself.
- As a courtesy to other members please wipe down each piece of equipment when you have finished using it. The YMCA provides towels to all members for your convenience.
- Return weights to the rack when you are finished. As a simple rule, if you are strong enough to lift the weight, you are strong enough to put it away when you are done.
- For the safety of others, please do not leave mats, bands or other exercise equipment on the floor.
- Respect the silence others are seeking out.
- Everyone understands exertion is a part of exercise. However, some people take exertion to the extreme and make themselves the focus of attention. Don’t be that person.
- If you must take a call while in the gym, please step out of the fitness center until your call is finished.
- Simply put, no one wants to hear your music. This includes earbuds being played too loudly, and people using their phones as a speaker or playing music to a Bluetooth speaker.
- Dress like you are going to a gym, not a fashion show.
- Wear comfortable clothing that provides adequate coverage while maximizing your range of motion. For your safety, avoid clothing that is too loose or ill-fitting.
- Familiarize yourself with the rules.
- Rules are posted on the walls to ensure the safety of all, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your gym’s expectations. If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to ask a staff person.
- Choose a weight with which you can control through the full range of motion.
- That includes putting the weight down on the floor or returning it to the rack.
- Weights should not be dropped or allowed to slam on the floor. They wear out prematurely and users risk injury to themselves or others around them when they are dropped.
- Some members are very sensitive to loud sounds. For example, I once witnessed a member approach another member and ask them to refrain from dropping the weights. He explained he is a combat veteran still struggling with the effects of combat, and loud noises are upsetting to him. You never know what others around you may be dealing with.
- You also increase the risk of injury if you choose to use a weight you cannot lift with proper form and technique.
- Police yourself.
- If another member’s actions are impacting your ability to enjoy your workout, please bring it to the attention of the facility staff. Do not take matters into your own hands.
We hope these simple Gym Etiquette guidelines will increase the value of everyone’s time spent in the gym. These are some guiding principles designed to make everyone's fitness experience as enjoyable as possible. Our staff and personal trainers look forward to supporting your wellness journey today and every day.
Written by Martin Caupp, Health & Wellness Director for the Edward Jones Family YMCA
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer.
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