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"Workout"'s Jackie Warner: Don't Let the Gym Intimidate You

As you might, ahem, remember, last week I blasted Jackie Warner’s book pretty badly. I wasn’t meaning to blast her per se, or really even the book, but rather have a discussion about the word “fat.” I will admit though that Jackie lost the limelight to my soapbox rant. So, today, we’re giving her some love by featuring a piece she wrote on proper gym etiquette—basically how to be a well-behaved, confident FBG in the gym. Read on my lovelies!

Gym Etiquette

By Jackie Warner

If anybody knows about proper gym etiquette, it’s me. I own a gym and have to constantly stay on top of my staff to follow the rules. A lot of clients tell me that they’re intimidated by gyms because they feel they don’t know how to use the equipment or feel they are out of place, in the way. Part of feeling comfortable in the gym is knowing the rules of a gym. I’ll clear up a few of these for you, so you can go into any gym with confidence.

Learn the proper operation of equipment. If you’re unsure of how something works, ask for assistance.

Pick up after yourself. Put your weights away. The next people in line don’t want to hunt around for the weights they need or, worse yet, try to remove the weights you left out.

Allow people to “work in.” Many people do multiple sets on the weight machines, then sit on the equipment during their recovery time. If someone is waiting to use the same machine, the proper etiquette is to allow her to work in or do her set while you recover. So do your set, get off, and let the other person work in. Don’t be shy about asking someone if you can work in, either. However, don’t work in if there are already two people waiting to use the same equipment.

Don’t drop weights. Not only is dropping weights dangerous for your toes, but it damages the equipment and the floor. The rule of thumb is: If you can lift it, you can put it down gently.

Observe time limits on cardio equipment. Some gyms have time limits (usually thirty minutes) on the cardio equipment (treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and so on), especially during peak hours. If you see people waiting around to use your type of machine, be especially conscious of the time limit.

Wipe your sweat off the equipment. Gyms are notorious places for spreading nasty germs like staph infections, so practice good hygiene. And always lay a towel on the equipment to protect yourself.

Don’t disturb other gym-goers. The gym can be a great place to meet other healthy people. But don’t be too chatty. You are there to work to intensity. Stay focused on your goals.

Awesome tips, Jackie! Any other beginners pointers you readers have for health club newcomers? —Jenn

Photo Credit: BozDoz


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