Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Seven Simple [Really] Gym Rules

We see social media posts from time to time regarding gym rules.  Some are kindly pointed out, others sting a little.  Some these rules we [me included here] sometimes don't consider when signing up at the gym.  Or after some time spent in the gym we get a little lax.  If you're looking to brush up on what we've found are the most popular gym rules, read on and share with your favorite gym buddies and owners.

Every gym owners out there we've talked to are just like you and me.  They are brothers and sisters, husbands, wives, Moms and Dads.  What sets them apart is their willingness to take on their passion, leave the standard career mould and take a leap of faith in their own business.  When you stop to think about that, it's not pity we feel for them, it's respect.

Some gym owners post their gym rules up on a wall in the gym and others present them to you when you sign up.  If you've never seen gym rules where you train, here's a compilation of what we've found to be the most popular in the industry.  Just a little forewarning - some of these might sting a little but after you read them, can you really argue?  They make sense and we'll bet your gym experience will be all the better for following them.

  1. Pay your Dues When they are Due - Ouch.  Yep, I think we've all slipped on this one from time to time.  The group style classes that many gyms today offer get us a lot of one-on-one time with the coaches and owners.  Those are the very people that count on our dues coming in on time.  Since you'll be rubbing elbows daily with them getting friendly is a fantastic benefit.  Don't take advantage of that friendship by being late on forking over the cash when it's due.  
    That gym is a legitimate business with bills to pay and we've got to respect that.  If you show up for class when your payment is due and you forgot to bring it in, excuse yourself, run home, write a check and pay your dues before you take the next class.  Then show up the next day to train.  Asking for payment extensions and giving excuses just puts the gym owner in a difficult situation and can put a strain on your friendship.  Our advice - pay for a few months in advance, or maybe even a year.   You may even get a discount.  Come'on let's face it, your hooked :)  Pay up front and avoid the uncomfortable conversations.
  2. If they offer a Free Week, Do It Once and Done. - For the gym owner, offering a free class or free first week can be a good promotional idea to get some folks in the door that just want to see what it's all about.  Some will see the gym as a good fit and others might not. Just because the local gym offers a free class every Saturday morning doesn't mean it should be filled with all the same people every time.  That's abusive.  The gym will have its regulars there on Saturday but those folks are paying members.  If you've got a bunch of friends and you bring one or two with you every week to try it out then cool.  People like workout buddies, especially when going somewhere they've never been.  And sometimes gym owners will offer discounts or bonuses to member when their friends sign up.
  3. Always Speak Highly of The Gym Owners and Coaches - 
    Kristin C. of The Pack CrossFit posted a cool quote the other day that really made me think - "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind. Always."  If you've spent any time being an adult you'll see the truth in that.  Stuff doesn't go as planned, expectations aren't met or sometimes the car just won't start.  We've all got troubles from time to time and your coach is no exception. But the coach has to always be on pointe.  That's a hard thing to do and occasionally you may step into a class when they've got troubles they are dealing with.  You know the deal.  Stuff happens.  If they're having a bad day, give them a little room to be off their game.  We all show up for work a little less than enthused even if we're doing what we love.  Keeping this all in mind, remember the 99 other days that your coach was stellar and speak highly of them and the gym when someone asks.
  4. Show Up Early - Keeping #3 in mind, we all get the occasional bump in the road where everything doesn't go as planned.  Traffic, sick kids, important phone calls, you know the deal ...  And the Coach understands that too.  But if you do show up late, don't make a grand entrance and interrupt the class so you can bring everyone up to speed on your latest.  Instead, slide in ninja style in the back and pick up where everyone is.  And if there's a burpee penalty for showing up late, grind them out with a smile and carry on. If getting to class on time is a battle you're fighting weekly, consider changing class times to one that works better.
  5. Work Hard and Listen - We all know the gym is about intensity.  The normal group class structure is an hour long and it's packed full of information and movement.  That's the only time many have to devote to the gym so while we're there, take advantage of every minute.  Repeated trips to the water cooler or bathroom only rob us of opportunity to improve and distract others.  And displaying that attitude can be infectious, especially to those just starting out.  Have a strong work ethic, respect and listen to the coach when they talking and work hard.  Always.
  6. Put Stuff Back and Respect the Equipment - This should really be a no brainer.  But more and more we see pictures posted on social media of equipment that was left out.  At the end of the workout everyone is busted up and understandably it takes a few minutes for us to gain our composure.  But then we get up and clean up.  It's our reasonable service to put things back neatly in the place they go.  And while we're on the subject of putting stuff back, remember too that we're all just renting the space, the time and the equipment.  That stuff is time-consuming to maintain and expensive to replace.  Yep, it's durable but it isn't unbreakable.  Follow your coaches advice on how much to lift and how to load the bar to save those bumper plates.  And if you do break something, own up to it.  Integrity earns you respect and it's the right thing to do.  Nuff said.
  7. Keep Track of Your Workouts and Max's - Even in a small gym, to expect the coaches to know your max lifts by heart just isn't realistic.  When it comes time for a benchmark workout, lots of us want to see improvement but rarely can remember what we did last time.  If your gym has a "Wall of Fame" where you can record all your PRs that's a serious benefit and you should take advantage of it.  
    If not, Journal Menu is doing some cool things with workout logs and it would be a great idea to get one.  They've got some really neat covers and the information is indexed well so it's easy to find.  They'll even create custom workout logs for you.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner.  If grabbing one of these isn't in the budget here's another neat trick.  A buddy of mine here in Victor grabs his smart phone after class and takes a quick snap shot of the whiteboard after class.  That's smart.  Instead of having to record all that stuff while standing there along with everyone else you can do it at home after class.

Hammerhead Strength Equipment is a functional fitness and strength equipment manufacturer proudly outfitting Garage Gyms and Commercial Facilities throughout the US and beyond.