Gym Etiquette 2.0

Published by jwilltrain on

Bad Gym Behavior 

We’ve all been there on the workout floor – focused, feeling the pump, and generally – just feeling like we’re owning it.

Then, wham!  That stack slam everyone knows so well.

EtiquetteIs this a rant? Maybe, kinda, just a little bit….okay, yes. But unlike most rants I’m going to try and give specific and scientific proof as to why the practice of weight dropping, stack slamming and other bad gym habits are just plain wrong. Period. Etiquette doesn’t only refer to knowing what fork to use at a dinner party.

If you are not a participant in any of this erroneous behavior please, by all means, scan down to the good stuff.


It’ Amateur

Who wants to look like a rookie raise their hand? Now, if you know it’s annoying and continue to do it then that’s passsive aggressive behavior – an entirely different issue. Wether emboldened from that extra scoop of preworkout, or the buds are blaring a tad too much, most experienced and even many newcomers will tell you, tossing weight around and stack slamming doesn’t constitute beastmode. Aside from deadlifting or a one rep maxout – people just aren’t impressed with heavy weight. Let alone, do they want to hear it.

One facility I belonged to (hint, I took a picture there) had absolutely no qualms about calling someone out over the loud speaker. How bout’ dat? Now you’ve really got some attention.

You don’t own the equipment

Sleek, new, sophisticated gym equipment is expensive. Trust. Heck, even the used, old school stuff ain’t cheap. While designed to be sturdy, and able to withstand heavy usage, careless behavior accelerates wear and tear. Next time you go to use your favorite machine and there’s an “out of order” sign on it ask yourself, “how much moolah does this thing cost?”


It’s bad form

Literally. To truly make those gains you’ve got to a. Focus b. Train Smarter. When analyzing the anatomy of an exercise there two main components:

  • Concentric the portion of the exercise where the muscles contract. (The lifting part – when they shorten.)
  • Eccentric the portion of the exercise were the muscles lengthen again.

It is during the lengthening part where you can help add an upgrade to your ticket on the gains train. Slowing down the eccentric portion or “Negative Training” has repeatedly shown to not only help break through plateaus – but increase hypertrophy.

“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others” 

The Greek philosopher Plato

2. Not wiping up


Come on now. You don’t have to be a germ-a-phobe to get bent out of shape on this one. Getting to a bench, or seat, and finding a puddle of someone else’s sweat is nasty.

Did you know:

  • Each foot makes a pint of sweat a day
  • The body produces up to 2 liters of sweat an hour during exercise.

I have absolutely no reason to dispute either of these online claims. (facts) So, let’s all make a concerted effort and wipe up behind ourselves.

3. Chatting while at the equipment

Can you hear me now?


We know you’re popular. You seem popular. But why would you want to let everyone know all your business? If you really need to take that call – take it off the gym floor.

“Have more than you show, speak less than you know”

William Shakespeare

4. Working in


Sharing is caring we know. Particularly in a facility that may be cramped or small. But please be aware there is a point of when to leave well enough alone. Unless the person is stuck on #3 – give a person their time. Over the years, I’ve learned to avoid peak hours at a gym, if I can help it. That, and I’ve just become more flexible when it comes to the itinerary of my workout routines. I like to flexible.

5. The Hoarder

Sounding like a broken record can really be annoying, for sure. But hoarding all the dumbbells is too. So, again – you don’t own the equipment. One or two pair is perfectly alright. Anything over that, you clearly didn’t learn to share as a child.

The Good Stuff

Plato was a very astute person wasn’t he? “…..inspire good actions in others.”  Strutting around with your lats flared might get you the “mayor of the gym” belt for a hot minute or two, but nice form and a good helping of humble pie will get you respect. And that’s what we’re striving for isn’t it? That, and a winning lottery ticket. Okay, respect, washboard abs, and a winning lottery ticket.

Gym’s are communities were everyday folk go to work on themselves. You know – escape the outside world, get in the zone. We should help each other stay in that zone any way we can.

Thank you and have a great workout.

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