There needs to be a sign at the gym where all lifters see the un-said sacred rules for training.
More often than not, you’ll see one or more of these mistakes being committed repeatedly every time you train.
But how do you know if you’re not one of the repeat offenders?
Don’t worry in this article, we’ll cover the 5 cardinal sins that happen while training and how you can avoid making them too.
The no-lift zone
One of the most common mistakes that’s seen in the gym is lifting weights within 5 feet of the dumbbell rack. Yes, it’s great to see your biceps brachialis working through different ranges of motion.
However, being a jerk and taking up precious window space if others are on the benches behind you, isn’t the way to creating a good reputation as a gym-lifter.
Think about it this way.
If you pick up the weight and take 5 giant steps back, you can still see your form albeit not full vein definition. You’ll still be able to watch your progress without losing a beat.
It can be an ego tamer when you realize that there are others around you who are striving towards similar goals. Learning how to respect each other’s space not only helps you grow as a human being but also help you empathize with someone else in their fitness journey.
Although often unsaid, there is a great deal of respect and admiration for the lifter who respects his space and others, cleans up after himself, and even offers a smile to others.
Be someone who is respectful and gains admiration subtly without having to live with the mirror 2 inches to your nose.
Avoid the ab-zone
There’s a reason why there are certain areas in the gym designated for specific purposes.
Yet for some reason, you’ll see a variety of people who decide to ignore this specific rule by bringing heavy weights into the ab-zone.
Although you may want to crush your next set with floor presses, what you’ll actually end up doing is push someone out of their respective space where they may have been doing ab work or regeneration and force them to go into a different space (where they don’t belong).
This can cause a domino effect reaction which ultimately will lead to people training in the wrong areas or worse people not showing up to train because they’re tired of not having the space to train in the right areas.
Yet, you can solve this simple problem by having the clarity to recognize that training in your area can help others stay within their designated areas.
If it’s too busy where you’re training you can use the buddy system. Now, this may challenge some of you to get out of your comfort zone, but if you’re training in the gym then you should already be outside of your comfort zone if you want to see real results.
The buddy system will require 2 things:
You’ll use these 2 qualities to help create meaningful relationships with new friends at the gym by being open and trusting towards new people.
While this may seem to be counterintuitive for many people who go to the gym and train in isolation, it’s time we challenged ourselves to grow more than our muscles when we go to train.
Use the buddy system to help you spark up new conversations with new people and get to know the people that are sitting and working hard next to you.
After you get to know them a bit better and share about yourself, you can mention to them that you’re working on a superset, tri-set, or circuit and would love to share the workspace with them.
9/10 people won’t do this because it will force them to go outside their comfort zone.
However, if you take the time to create new friendships with other human beings not only do you have more training space but you also gain a new friend.
Keep mats out of the way
One of the most common mistakes that you’ll see in the gym nowadays is the random mat sessions in between benches or free weights.
Although common sense, setting up a mat between two benches in the free weight zone is an accident waiting to happen. Similar to the rule above, stick to the designated training areas EVEN if the gym is empty.
There’s no need to go more in-depth in this rule. Think clearly about where you’re going to train before you start training and don’t leave your mats in the training areas.
Avoid walking in front of somebody else in the middle of a set
Be mindful of where you walk. Mirror space is increasingly more precious each day as everyone rushes to get their sets, reps, and intensity before rush hour.
Yet with the influx of new trainees entering the gym every day, it can be exasperating when you’re pushing new personal bests and suddenly the new guy starts pumping bicep curls right in front of your mirror space.
Don’t be that guy.
Instead, take the time to be more self-aware and mindful when you enter the training zone and pay close attention to the mirrors that you stand in front of. Most exercises don’t require you to look at your bulging biceps or your tight pants.
Use mirror space for what it was originally intended for: to help guide your form.
If somebody is in the middle of their set, try your best not to cross their field of vision.
Take the long way around if you must. If you can’t take walk around, wait for them to finish their set before walking in front of them.
When you notice someone else making this mistake, there’s no need to be a jerk about it either. Most people aren’t fully aware that they’re even making a mistake.
Give them a friendly smile and mention to them that they’re taking up precious mirror space. Most people respond rather well when approached with kindness and calmness.
Put your weights away
As kids, we were taught that cleaning up after ourselves was important. Yet as we’ve grown up, there seems to be a discrepancy between what we were taught and how we act.
For most gym employees especially those who work in large commercial gyms, cleaning up the gym floor can be a life-draining task that goes on for eternity.
Be someone who helps make a difference and clean up after yourself. Bonus points if you help clean up 1 extra piece of equipment from the floor too.
A simple act of courtesy can go a long way especially when you do it wholeheartedly.
Making these mistakes is for amateurs. Fortunately, you’re interested in growing and constantly improving.
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Further Reading & References