Free weights are terrifying to new gym goers but will quickly become your favorite equipment thanks to their versatility.
Gym Etiquette On The Free Weight Floor
Rerack your weights.
If there is one thing Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding can’t stress enough it is the importance of putting your weights back on the rack. Many people leave weights on the floor. This is annoying for several reasons. It can be hard to find what you need and you end up wasting time looking for the 8 lb. weight. Additionally, this is a major tripping hazard. Gym staff are there to help, not to clean up after members. Put your weights back and you’ll quickly find yourself making new friends at the gym.
Don’t hog multiple benches.
Ideally, you should structure your workout so that you only have to use one bench. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding recommends splitting up workouts so that there are days when you need a flat bench to lie on and then others where you can use an adjustable bench for straight backed or inclined workouts. If you need two benches work in the way you would with a nautilus type machine.
If you have to drop the weight, it’s too heavy.
When lifting, athletes know that the key is a smooth, controlled motion. This maximizes your workout. When using free weights get the most of your workout by placing the weight down carefully. No one is impressed when you drop a weight, especially the person who didn’t see you and thinks there’s an earthquake. Can’t get through without dropping? Use a lower weight.
Limit the selfies.
It’s okay to take a progress pic or show off that new muscle; just be quick about it please and never do it if it means blocking someone’s view of the mirror.
Rest on the sidelines.
It’s important to rest when lifting but move to the side so that others can access benches and weights, the mirror, and anything else. Rest is exactly that: rest. Don’t let it turn into social hour every time you finish a set. And don’t just lie on the bench resting.
A good hard workout might involving some grunting and groaning and we’ve all been known to let a four letter word slip out under our breath when things get particularly tough toward the end of a set. That said, screaming is never okay. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding reminds readers that screaming is only appropriate in an emergency.
Free weight workouts can be incredibly satisfying and are sure to boost your confidence. Interested in learning the etiquette for other parts of the gym? Check out these posts from Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding to learn about gym etiquette:
- In the locker room.
- When doing cardio.
- On the nautilus machines.
- While using the cross-training room.
- Overall at the gym.
Learn the rules and get out there and enjoy your workout!