Gym Etiquette- Weight Hogs

February 21st, 2009

There is another group of people who have the tendency to rile me up- circuit trainers. Circuit training certainly has its place in the gym and is a very beneficial exercise regimen if employed properly; the problem is people who insist on performing a seemingly never ending circuit. When using a circuit style of training, it is more beneficial for the workout if weight is left in a certain place or left on bars. This becomes a huge annoyance when weight is left on the bench press, for example, for the duration of a circuit. This can last anywhere from between ten minutes to over an hour. With the limited facilities in the Student Rec Center, no one wants to wait around for much more than ten minutes to use the bench press.

There are some solutions to this problem that generally work. One of them is to let someone use the equipment when you are on a different part of your circuit. This may seem like common sense, but all too often I see someone get angry because someone else is using their weights or equipment when they come back to that part of the circuit. There is no reason why you cannot let someone use your equipment while you are elsewhere, so do not throw a fit if you see someone using you weights… please. This method is also applicable when a person is doing a ton of sets on one piece of equipment or using one set of weights. I understand that there are benefits to hitting one specific body part and particular exercise hard, but while you are resting, let someone else jump in and use the machine; be courteous.

Another solution is to simply not take so terribly long doing a circuit. Instead, break up your circuit into smaller circuits, this way less time is spent with your weight sitting idle and taking up space for others. This is actually a more helpful workout in many aspects whether you are training for endurance or strength. Less rest time in between reps of the same exercise is going to propel your results.

There is another problem with circuits that is less obvious and many times there is no solution. When a lot of people see weight on a machine or near a bench, they know someone is using it, so they avoid it and move on. People, even though they want to use certain equipment, are unwilling to ask someone if they can use it; also, many times the person who is performing the circuit is off in some other part of the gym so even if someone is willing to ask if they can use the weight, there is no one around that weight to ask. Like I said before, there is often no solution to this problem; keeping the circuits to minimal length is perhaps the best way to prevent hording weights. Some discernment also helps, if you realize someone is looking at your weight or seems like they are waiting, ask them if they want to use it while you are not. The overriding principle is to be considerate of others in the gym while still getting the type of workout you desire.

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