Gym Etiquette- Groups

February 5th, 2009

It is already a month into the New Year and the influx of people using the Rec Center at the start of the year due to New Year’s resolutions, or some other reason, has not diminished. With all of the new faces there are bound to be problems; many of the unspoken gym rules are sure to be broken, some people will get frustrated and some will be embarrassed. It is an annual phenomenon. Following is the start of a series focusing on some of those unspoken rules that beginners might not know and also some general tips for people of all experiences levels that will aid in a positive, safe, and courteous time at the gym.

One of the most annoying things when working out is to have a large group of people standing around and talking to one another. The gym is a place to work out. Period. Groups of people take up a lot of space in an already cramped gym and people who are focusing on their workout do not want to have to continuously maneuver around a group or always question whether or not a group of people is using a certain piece of equipment. Groups also tend to be rather loud which is also a distraction from a workout; people do not want to listen to you discuss your problems and especially do not want to constantly hear loud laughing. Working out should be enjoyable, but it is not a place to be telling jokes and messing around. When you are working hard, fighting through immense pain, trying to maintain a high level of intensity and concentration, the last thing you want to hear is someone laughing. It simply shows ignorance on the part of those partaking in the offense. Saying hello to a friend for a minute is acceptable and even encouraged; it is good to get to know others working out in the gym because they are a great potential source of information and encouragement that you can utilize as you progress toward your fitness goals. Talking is not the problem either, as long as it is quiet and only with your workout partner. Again, having friends in the gym is one of the great parts of being there and is a fantastic chance forge a deeper friendship; struggling together forms a bond that is difficult to match.

If you are working out as a group one of the best things you can do to remain courteous to others is to spread out. Everybody in the group does not have to congregate around the bench press or the dumbbell rack, form pairs and do different exercises; when done with one exercise, simply switch. Being serious is another key component to being in the gym. It is easy to joke around with a group of friends but this should be avoided. Forming pairs is a great way to avoid being excessively noisy. The main point I am trying to make is that if you go to the gym to converse, you are going to the wrong place. Go to the gym with a serious attitude, planning on getting something done with limited conversation because it is awfully hard to get a good workout when you are talking all of the time.

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