10 Unwritten Rules of the Weight Room

Employee News & Views Editor: August 15, 201424 Comments

If you are a gym newbie and nervous about your first time, there are some unwritten common courtesies or unsaid gym etiquette that you can follow to help make your first day in the gym a little less awkward or intimidating. These tips would be in addition to the usual fitness center rules that every gym has and abides by.

You know, the ones you read in your HLC when you signed up for Community Medical Centers' Employee Fitness Center. (Hint, hint, wink, wink.)  Anyway, on to the “unwritten” code of gym ethics:

  1. Re-rack your weights when you are done.  You don’t want to come off as “THAT” guy. Every gym has one, but don’t be “THAT” guy.
  2. If someone is using the machine or equipment you wish to use next, it is totally okay to ask them how many sets they have left. Just don’t hover over or pressure them to finish faster.
  3. If someone wants to use the equipment you are using, the courteous thing to do is to offer to let them work-in with you. This means you take turns and while one lifts, the other rests between sets. It is also common practice to help the other change plates or weights during the hand-off between sets. As a newbie, it is totally understandable if you are not comfortable with this practice yet. It might take a couple of workouts to feel comfortable doing this; so acknowledge them and let them know how much longer you’ll be.
  4. If someone is offering to “give you a spot” don’t assume they think you have no clue what you are doing. In actuality, they’re probably thinking the opposite and just trying to be nice and lend a hand. If someone requests a “spot” from you, and you’ve never spotted before, let them know you would love to help out but you have never spotted anyone before. They will then tell you what they need so you are both on the same page.
  5. If you get something sweaty, wipe it down! Nobody wants to share your funk! With most of our patrons being medical professionals, this isn’t a big issue but it does happen from time-to-time.
  6. Respect personal space! Make sure there is plenty of room between you and the rest of the gym populace.
  7. Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while sitting idle on a machine. Others wanting to workout will be very frustrated with you for being inconsiderate. Get your sets in, take an appropriate rest period between sets, and move on.
  8. Grunting or straining is common while “pounding iron”, i.e. lifting. However, excessive grunting or belting out a battle cry to ”jack” yourself up before you try to set a new personal record for a one-rep max lift just draws undue attention to yourself and usually creates stealth snickers around the room.
  9. Don’t draw undue attention by dropping your weights at the end of a set – there’s no need for that. This is akin to Tarzan standing at the top of a cliff yelling as Tarzan does, thumping his chest proclaiming to all within ear shot that he is king of the jungle and master of his domain. If you are habitual at dropping your weights, you may be lacking control and need to go lighter.
  10. It’s not a fashion show. Wear what’s comfortable and what will keep you safe from injury! However, no blue jeans or scrubs – please. Good foot wear is a must for the gym and sorry, Crocs are NOT it! Look for something minimalist in a shoe with a non-compressing sole. It is not uncommon to see someone sporting a good old school pair of Chuck Taylors or Vans in the gym for this reason. The fad in the last couple of years seems to be Viberam – the “in” shoe of choice. My personal favorite though is indoor soccer shoes.



The most important thing about starting strength training is to START! Muster up a little courage and go for it! The only bad workout is the one that never happened!

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” Author Unknown

Tim Clark
Fitness Center Manager



24 responses to 10 Unwritten Rules of the Weight Room

Tip 10

Very good! The tenth tip is great, "It’s not a fashion show"  I agree.

Really nice!

This is a great list at all! :)

I go often and see lots

I go often and see lots of the same faces but I'm starting to see some new ones as well. It's a great gift to the employees. Use it. I feel so much better and relaxed when I go home.


I love the bodybilding


Me too, its very healthy and funny!

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I like this post

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10 Unwritten Rules of the Weight Room | Community Medical

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Is important to do exercice, good things u explain my friend, thank u so much.

10 Unwritten Rules of the Weight Room | Community Medical

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10 Unwritten Rules of the Weight Room | Community Medical

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Thank you! Stay tuned more

Thank you! Stay tuned more is on the way.


Very great post.. I really enjoyed reading this article.. Thanks, Ruth

You are very welcome Ruth!

You are very welcome Ruth! Glad you liked it! There will be more on the way!

10 Unwritten Rules of the Weight Room | Community Medical

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Water Temperature

I would like to start off by saying what a priveledge it is to have access to a gym here at work. The staff is exceptionally helpful and make you feel very welcomed. My only concern is with the temperature of the water in the restrooms/showers. When you turn on the shower, cool water comes out for only a few seconds and then warm/hot water is the only available temperature. I have not been able to have a cool shower after a hard workout, which is one of the reasons I have not taken advantage of the gym when those 100+ days were here. The problem carries over to the sinks as well. Cool water comes out at first, then the water turns uncomfortably hot. Is there any way that this could be looked into? Once again, I want to say "Good Job" to the staff and a big "Thank You" to the powers that be for such a wonderful way for employees to keep healthy. Has anyone else mentioned this or am I the only one?

Very sorry for the late

Very sorry for the late response as I am just now seeing this. I just tested the showers in the men's room and they produce cold water as well as hot water. Sorry I can't speak for the women's room at the moment but I assume it is the same.

Please add a rule: No strong

Please add a rule: No strong perfumes. The person on the treadmill next to you should not be able to smell it. When breathing a little deeper during a treadmill jog/run strong perfume really irritates the nose. Positive note: love that CRMC provides a gym & hired a great friendly staff :)

Very solid point! Totally

Very solid point! Totally slipped my mind. Axe body spray is def NOT shower in a can! LOL!

Awesome and funny

I found this very entertaining! All very true!

So glad to have this posted,

So glad to have this posted, thank you!

I have been going to a gym

I have been going to another gym but I needed to know these rules. My instructor seems very dull and foul to me.

Gym Use

The amount of people in the gym has increased but it still is easy to get on the Machines you need. I go often and see lots of the same faces but I'm starting to see some new ones as well. It's a great gift to the employees. Use it. I feel so much better and relaxed when I go home.

Great list... my only

Great list... my only suggestion is to follow up on rule #10 and keep apparel somewhat conservative and decent. Not only is it not a fashion show but its also not a beauty contest or a singles bar or club, so save the skimpy string muscle tank tops or tight little short shorts and barely there sports bra for the changing room worn underneath something with a little more coverage.

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