Gym Etiquette

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I have a great time in the gym on most days. I enter Fitness First and it is the sort of world I want to live in. Most people are serious about their workouts and are in top physique. But somedays (very rare) I come across annoying stuff.

Like, today. A guy who is/was a wrestler had corrected my deadlift form once. Today, he helped with a 25 kgs barbell. And then when he saw me pulling 35kgs on the lat pulldown, this happened:

Him – What is your goal?

Me- Fat loss

Him – Aren’t you pulling too much weight for that? It will bulk you up

Me- Women don’t bulk up

Him – Are you sure?

Me- Of course. I have been working out for 2 years. And even if I do bulk up, I will be happy

A, my favourite gym trainer, heard this exchange. He told me later I gave the guy a good reply which led to a discussion on women, testosterone, weight lifting for women and body fat %.

Here are some rules I wish people would follow in the gym:

  • Don’t leave the weights lying around

We all have limited time and plan to spend an hour or two at the gym. Nobody wants to spend that time looking for weights. There is space for placing the weights back… and it is labelled. It takes only a few seconds to put them back.

  • Don’t carry weights from one section to the other

Fitness First has many sections. There is cardio, weights, free space etc etc. And each section has their own weights. Can you please avoid carrying the weights from one section to another? And if you really have to, maybe you can put it back where you picked it up from. Imagine going from section to section looking for weights. It ruins the gym experience.

  • Help or not to help the poor lady in the weights section

Very few women weight lift. And even fewer do it without a trainer. So, when a female is on her own in the weights section, she knows what she is doing. Offer advice only if you are 100% sure her form is not correct. And yes, you can offer to help her keep the weights back or move them around. Any self respecting woman will not need or ask for help because she can manage. So, it is perfectly ok if you don’t offer. In fact, when someone helps me with stuff when am not even struggling is a sign that he is being friendly. There is a difference between friendly and helpful.

If you do see her struggle, then please be courteous and lend her a hand.

  • Keep the advice to yourself

You may know a lot… and you may think women know nothing about weights. But please keep this to yourself. Don’t go around giving advice when you haven’t been asked for it. There are trainers around to give advice. Leave the jobs to them.

  • The giggling girls

God, please save me from this species whether at the swimming pool or the gym. How can a bunch of women gossip in the locker room is beyond me. Go to a coffee shop and catch up. Don’t create a ruckus in the gym.

  • Friends forever

I want to slap the person who has written articles about how it is fun to workout with your friends. This is what happens- 2 friends work out together on the bench press. They will continue to chat and take their own sweet time on it even when someone else is waiting. It is simply torture for people like me who don’t like to linger. I workout, say my Hi Hellos to the trainers and some people I know…. and leave.

That’s it then. Ciao.



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