Joining a gym is an essential step on most weight lifters' journeys. Even if you get started in a home gym or in a friend's home gym, you will eventually want to join a gym where you have access to more weights, better equipment, and perhaps even some coaching from personal trainers. When you're new to the gym scene, it's important to be aware of certain etiquette guidelines. Following these guidelines helps keep the gym a safe and enjoyable place for yourself and for other weight lifters.
Put clips on your weights.
You might take the risk of lifting without clips on your weights at home, but don't do it at the gym. If a plate comes crashing off one side, you could end up being crushed under the bar. This would not only put you at risk for injuries but could cause some liability issues for the gym. You want to be safe, and you also want to keep your gym fees affordable, so use clips on your weights.
Re-rack your weights in the right place.
When you are finished using free weights, make sure you put them right back on the weight rack. And don't just place them anywhere — place them in the same spot you got them from. Usually, the weights are organized from smallest to largest, and keeping them in this arrangement makes it easier for everyone to find the weights they want and need.
Always wipe down the equipment.
It doesn't matter if you dripped sweat on it or not. It doesn't matter if you washed your hands right before you started lifting. No matter what — always wipe down the equipment after you use it. This helps reduce the spread of diseases such as athlete's foot and ringworm from person to person. Most gyms provide paper towels and sanitizer for you to use on the machines. If you don't see it, ask an employee where it is.
Share the equipment between sets.
If you are going to be using a certain piece of equipment for a long time, let others use it while you are taking breaks. For instance, you could do one set of lifts, then pause and stand to the side while someone else uses it. Then, do your next set of lifts as the other person rests. This protocol is called "working in," and it helps keep people from having to wait so long to use the equipment.
With these etiquette tips, you'll have a great time at the gym, and others will be able to have a great time, too.
For more information, reach out to your local gym.
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