We've compiled a few gym etiquette and equipment tips for when you're just starting out.
Jumping into a workout routine is challenging enough on its own. Throw in a gym filled with people who seem to know exactly what they’re doing and it’s enough to make you want to hit the ground running straight for the parking lot. We’ve all been there.
Understanding how machines work and knowing proper gym etiquette will not only make you feel more confident in your workouts, but you’re more likely to not skip a session when you feel like you know what you’re doing.
Here’s a breakdown of basic gym etiquette and how to use the machines correctly when you’re just starting out.
When you’re sharing a space with other people looking to get their sweat on, it’s important to keep it clean. Make sure you're wiping down equipment after you’re done with a set. Most gyms provide wipes or sanitizing spray in multiple locations around the gym. Even if you didn’t feel like you were sweaty, always wipe equipment down, including dumbbells!
Be sure to leave the space better than you found it. Re-rack your weights in the correct place when you’re done using them. If you moved a bench, put it back when you’re done. We believe in karma, so we like to hope that by cleaning up our workout space our next space will be ready for us.
When it comes to using equipment if you feel like someone is using something, ask before just jumping in. Once you’re working out, do your set and move on. Standing around by a machine and playing on your phone while someone is waiting to use it is a big no-no.
Also, be sure to look around before doing moves like kettlebell swings or deadlifts. Most importantly, if there are rules posted in the gym, be sure to follow them.
How to Use Gym Machines
The best advice we can give to any gym newbie is to not be afraid to ask the staff for help! That’s what they’re there for, after all. Get the lay of the land from a staff member before you start your workout. You’ll know exactly where each machine is so you can be efficient and confident in the gym.
Before using a machine, read the instructions. It may seem pretty obvious, but knowing exactly how the machine works will prevent injuries. Plus, each brand can be a little different, so it doesn’t hurt to read up even if you think you know what you’re doing. Being fully aware of how each machine functions will help you get the best workout in.
Use the FBK app! Each movement in the app comes with detailed instruction and a form video attached to it. Read the instructions fully, watch the video fully, and then start.
Start light and work your way up. This not only prevents injury, but you’ll be able to see yourself improve and get stronger over time. When you sit down on a machine, adjust it to fit your body every single time. No exceptions. This ensures that your form is correct and you’re getting the most out of the set.
Speaking of form, use the mirrors or a friend to make sure your body is in the correct position for each move. Take a video of yourself and compare it to one online so you can be sure you’re doing the exercise correctly. Keep your movements controlled. Don’t swing up and down or quickly push or pull anything.
Always use resistance like you’re moving through water. This will help build muscle and challenge your body at the same time. Plus, this will help you from clanking or dropping weights. There’s no worse sound than that!
If you’re still unsure about etiquette at the gym or how to use a specific machine, ask the FBK Community! We can promise that everyone has been in your position before so no question is too silly.
The FIT Fam is here to help you along in your fitness journey, we’re all in this together!