7 Things NOT to do in the Gym in January

It's that time again! The gym is busier than ever, we're all a little more wound up than usual, and it seems that everyone is there to get on your nerves. We want to keep the gym a positive place, and not scare away beginners before they've even had chance to fall in love with training, so it's important to be extra critical of what you can do to be a better gym member. We've come up with 7 key points that can make the gym a better place.

  • Giant sets with the ENTIRE gym

If the gym is especially busy, one of the most annoying things that you can do is leave your water bottle by a bench and dumbbells while you do a set on the cable machine at the other side of the gym. We understand wanting to be efficient with workouts, but avoid getting on anyone’s bad side by keeping supersets to movements that you can perform with the same piece of equipment at peak times. Some of our favourites include:

-Rope face pulls with tricep pushdowns

-DB stiff legged deadlifts with goblet squats

-BB front raises with upright rows


  • Leave a ridiculous amount of plates on a machine

The leg press is the best example of this. We don’t even expect you to remove every single plate. But if a small female or elderly person plans to use the machine after you, have some courtesy and don’t leave 8 plates a side for them to unrack. If you are strong enough to lift it, you are strong enough to put it back. Leaving your weights out for other people risks them getting injured, and influences other people to follow suit and leave the gym a mess.



  • Approach people who clearly don’t want to talk

For some, the gym is a social place. If you want to train with a small group of friends and catch up between sets, that’s great. For others, it’s a place to put on a pair of headphones and zone out from the rest of the world. Assess the situation before you interrupt somebody’s session.

  • Record or laugh at anyone

Recording someone who is doing an exercise incorrectly and posting it on social media publicly is one of the most disrespectful things that you can do in the gym. Imagine how humiliated you would be seeing a post with dozens of comments laughing at you? Again, this comes down to assessing the situation. If the person seems lost and is looking around for guidance, or they are doing something that might injure them, it might be acceptable to go over and offer your help. If they are giving the impression of wanting to be left to it, let them! Some people don’t want to be taught. Bring the focus back to your own session.


  • Waste an obscene amount of time between sets

There are times when longer rest periods are needed, especially on near-max effort compound lifts. But there is a line here! If you are sitting on the leg extension to draft your latest facebook post, or catching up with somebody you know for 15 minutes, consider what others waiting for that piece of kit might be thinking. Not only is this annoying for others, it detracts from your own workout intensity (you don’t want to be thinking about a text from work before a big deadlift) and extends how long you spend in the gym unnecessarily.


  • Make noise for the sake of it

Now. I LOVE to see people train with intensity. If you are taking a hack squat to failure and need to grunt to get those last few reps, go right ahead! But fake intensity can be spotted a mile away. If you are screaming doing cable flies while looking at yourself in the mirror and making sure everyone in the gym is aware of you doing a set, this is annoying and distracting for everyone else. Don’t hold back… but a CT Fletcher style rant during a set isn’t the way to go about it.

  • Leave gym accessories all over the gym floor

We have some sympathy with this point, as a lot of gyms don’t allow bags on the gym floor. But if you are taking your jug, log book, belt, knee wraps, straps, chalk, etc. out… just be extra aware of where you are leaving them. If possible, take as little as you can and go back to your locker between exercises to get what you need and put back what you’re finished with. Having someone trip over your abandoned knee sleeve in a busy gym is only going to cause awkwardness for both parties that could probably have been avoided.


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About the Author

Savannah Westerby. BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Instagram: @savannahwesterby

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