New Rules to Lift By


Update your basic list of weight room courtesy with these 3new standards


If you’ve spent significant time in the gym, then you must be aware of basic weight-room etiquette: clean up your mess (wipe your sweat, return the weights you used to the right place); don’t make unnecessary noise (no dropping of weights, shouting, growling, especially moaning); and be mindful of the next people who plan to use the gym equipment you’re using (don’t hoard the treadmill).


But as the times changed, so have the gym environment’s many forms of new distractions. And the worse part, there may be things you do yourself you consider harmless in the weight room but have unproductive effects to others in the gym with you.


Add these rules to the updated guide for gym newbies and veterans alike on the new standards of acceptable behavior inside the weights room.


1 Use your phones responsibly

It’s understandable for people to bring their smartphones inside the gym. Some just need to be online or on call all the time, even in the sanctuary of the weights room. But what’s unacceptable gym behavior is engaging in long conversations over the phone while hoarding gym equipment. Doing it in the lockers can also be rude to some gym-goers who’d like to enjoy some privacy in the most private part of the gym. For those who need to take or make calls in the gym, find a quiet, non-crowded space and talk quietly, briefly.



2 Let others use equipment you aren’t using or misusing

It might be as innocent as temporarily hanging a towel on a bar, momentarily putting a water bottle on an unused bench, or inexplicably exercising right in front of the dumbbell rack. But such deeds can be interpreted by some as an act of marking one’s territory, effectively hindering others from using the gym equipment they need. The courteous thing to do is to simply place your water bottle or towel on the floor or mat, or step back from the rack to do your curls. The rule of thumb: don’t hinder others from using weights or equipment you don’t intend to use.


The rule also applies when somebody is misusing equipment, like doing pull-ups or calf raises inside a squat rack. To be safe, always do the right exercise on the proper space (pull-up bar for pull-ups, squat racks for squats, open spaces for calf raises and other bodyweight exercises).



3 Keep your playlist to yourself

Music plays a lot in pushing you to train harder, better. That’s why gyms blast beats inside the weights room. But the thing is, not all people get pumped up with the same playlist, which explains the many gym-goers sporting earphones to drown the outside noise and zone in to their own beat. It becomes a distraction, however, when people turn up the volume so high that others can identify the tune from at least a foot away. Doing so just adds to the problem, instead of helping solve it. The simple solution is either to turn down the volume if you can’t stand the generic #beastmode playlist your gym offers, or live with the fact that the gym is loud by design. Find the fortitude to focus despite the noise, and then you discover true inner strength.