Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gym Do’s and Don’ts

Written by  Joshua H. Buchbinder

This is not meant to be a rant. I want to give some advice to all gym-goers new or experienced, we all make a faux pas or two from time to time. Some of this may seem unbelievable, but each of these people are in every gym!


Don’t creep! In every gym there are guys and girls who stare, catch eyes in the mirror, and hit on every person in the facility. To them a new member is fresh meat. They usually end up ostracizing themselves because they can’t keep their hormones in check. The gym is a place to test your fitness, not your pick-up lines.

Don’t hoard! You ever get to the gym and are ready to go, focused, and then every single God-damned dumbbell is missing? You look around and find one girl with six different sets of weights, bands, and God knows what else! You ask her if she’s done and she says some nonsense like, “I’m doing a circuit,” or “I have a few more sets.” Let me see if I understand, I have to wait because you’re doing some ridiculous workout from YouTube? You’re out of your mind! We all pay the same membership dues – don’t take all the weights!

Don’t go commando! Ok, let me be clear on this, we came to work out not to see your genitals… I don’t care if you’re male or female, wear underwear. Especially nowadays as more and more men are wearing just spandex. Look I get it – you’re sweating, it’s hot but when I’m sitting doing overhead presses and a guy walks in front of me and his package is out there or women wearing the washed-one-too-many-times-spandex is bent over and I can see everything, it’s off-putting and distracting. Distractions in the gym can lead to serious injuries. This person and the creeper should totally get together because the advertising is ridiculous.

Don’t walk in front of a big lift! This is a big deal to serious lifters. This can be a big distraction, it takes a lot of focus to squat heavy or snatch a new personal record. When someone walks in front of you mid-lift it could cause the lifter to lose focus and potentially get hurt or even worse if the lifter has to bail we may not know where the weight will end up and it could hurt someone nearby. Imagine 300 pounds coming crashing to the floor… someone could get really hurt or worse.

Be courteous! If you’re going to spend more time talking or texting let other lifters use the equipment you’re posted on. It’s a brave new world for the gym with all of the unnecessary distractions like phones, social media, and massive noise-reducing headphones. So be aware of your surroundings, know if someone is waiting or if your conversation is including the 25 other people around.

Wipe down your equipment! I’m a gym manager. My staff and I clean the equipment daily. However, as a gym user you have an obligation to keep yourself and others safe and free from spreading germs. Gyms are one of the easiest places to get a Staph infection (especially if you’re not wearing underwear).

Be pleasant! – Smile! Yeah, working out is serious, but it’s not that serious. If it’s not fun then find another hobby. All too often while either training clients or working out I get a mean mug from some dude or girl taking themselves and their biceps curls way too seriously. Trust me, I get it, you look good and you’re big, but no one really cares except you. Exercise should be fun and welcoming, Remember, no one likes a jerk and there was a time when someone gave you a dirty look for no reason. Did you like it?

The gym is no different from other social environments, use common sense, rack your weights, don’t curl in the squat rack, be nice and if you don’t know something – ask for help! The gym’s a place to train, learn and make new friends.

 Joshua H. Buchbinder

Joshua H. Buchbinder

Joshua Buchbinder, M.S. is a Master Trainer with over 20 years of experience and the Owner of B-Strong Athletics. He's available to help with Strength Training, Nutrition, Post-Rehabilitation and Weight Loss. You can contact him at (410) 967-9699 or


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