The Etiquette of the Free Weight Area

Besides the grunting and the weights dropping, there’s a secret code of conduct that may be entirely foreign to any newcomer that might venture to the rather intimidating free weights area on what to do and what not to do. Follow these rules of free weight etiquette and you’ll be fine, however.

Sharing equipment

In a gym, weight equipment is considered communal property, so please be considerate of others during busy periods and share kit between sets, especially when it comes to benches. Also try not to hog four sets of dumbbells in one go, place them back on the rack if they are not being used immediately.

Bar safety

If you are using an Olympic bar, please make sure you load each side equally and use the collars/clips to secure if training alone. Preferably, however, you should use a spotter or a safety rack.

Unloading your weight bar

After you finish using a bar, leave it completely empty. Removing weight plates from a bar takes a fair amount of strength as well as good technique and the person following you, may not have the strength to unload your heavy weights.

Putting weights back where you found them

• Plates and dumbbells: When you’ve removed a weight plate from a bar or when you finish using a pair of dumbbells, return the weights to their designated spot on the rack.
• Never leave dumbbells or barbells on the floor when you’re finished using them. Someone my trip on the weights.
• If you leave dumbbells on the floor between sets, criss-cross them or put them up against the wall or bench so they don’t roll away.

Keep your sweat to yourself

Carry a towel and wipe the sweat off any bench or machine you use. If you forget to bring a towel, use your sweatshirt or the paper towels provided by the club.


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