Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gym Etiquette

For this week, i decided that instead of me writing all the time, i got one of my friends Azmy (who is also been a big fan and supporter of Fitness Malaysia and our initiatives) to write a post for Fitness Malaysia. Thought i would take a little break. If you are wondering who he is, well here is a brief intro.

Azmy Mohamed is a certified trainer by the National Fitness Council of Malaysia and also holds a Core Certification by FISAF, & currently a Graduate Certificate holder in Exercise Science.He is a freelance instructor at various fitness centres all over Klang Valley. Apart from that, he is also a part-time Personal Trainer.

A Kuala Lumpur native & previously obese, Azmy is aspiring on becoming a Weight-Loss Specialist in the near future. His all-time mission & vision is to make Malaysia an obese-free nation, or at the very least, close to it.'

So guys, hope you enjoy Azmy's post and of course... keep your comments coming in as usual.


For those who frequent the gym all the time, or even those who step into the gym once in awhile, you should be aware that every type of gym/club has unwritten rules on etiquette. These rules include how you should behave and interact with others in the gym. Call it a kind of culture if you will, but those who are new to the gym, should be aware of this culture and adapt to it, or end up looking like a “foreigner” in a matter of speaking.

What exactly are the rules that make up this culture? Let me lay out some tips on how to act more responsibly and more respectably in the gym so you get accepted faster:

1) If someone else is using the machine that you want (esp. in peak hours), do suggest whether you can alternate with him/her. There’s nothing wrong here, it’s perfectly fine. Who knows, he/she might be receptive to your idea. And please bear in mind that nobody, & I do mean nobody, has the right to ‘own’ that a particular machine for an hour or so.

But again, it’s kinda awkward if you have to readjust the machine settings most of the time if you do that. In so, another better alternative would be to skip to another machine until the person is done.

2) as vice versa, if someone is already standing behind you and waiting for that machine that you are using on, You may also suggest that person to work with you. Again, it’s totally fine & nothing wrong here. OR, if you are the shy type, a better (& perhaps more polite) way is to let the person know when you’ll be done. Give him/her a hint like: ‘I have 2 more mins on this treadmill. Then it’s yours.’

3) Please do yourself a huge favor. At any point of time, in case you need help in machine adjustment, or on how to use a machine for that matter, do seek help from a personal trainer or any gym staff. All you have to do is to ask nicely.

4) If you want to learn an exercise from someone (that is, a fellow gym member), please find an appropriate time to ask. The best time is when that person is taking a break in between sets. In most cases, people are more than happy to help. Not only that, some might even feel flattered about it..

5) Bear in mind that safety comes first. If at any point of time, you are facing difficulty in completing a certain exercise, DO ask someone to support you. This is called a ‘spotter’.

6) If somebody or someone across the floor is ‘hitting’ on you & the chemistry is not there, then you have every right to tell them politely to bugger off. Of course this applies more for the ladies than the guys. But guys, if you are the one hitting on someone and have proven track record, please let me know… J

Happy workout, everybody!



gunther_furlong said...

ah ya... no chick is hitting on me in my gym sad. :) haha

The Corporate Athlete said...

Interrupting someone's session on the treadmill? I don't think it works well with Malaysians. Malaysians are full of themselves, especially when they are on the treadmills, and sadly, everyone is pretty much okay with that .... Somehow, things are different at the weight room, where there's high level of tolerance - we tend to give & take alot.

Rajan said...

GF: Is your fiance reading this blog? hehehehehehe. or she doesn't know your nick name.

CA: i couldn't agree with you more. weight room culture is more respectable... but still not up the standard of other countries. I seem to scare off people when i ask them if i can jump in for a set. maybe they just don't understand but they usually just take their things and run. I dunno... do i look like a weight room bully? Of course some of them understand... but i noticed it is usually guys who are bigger than me. Those who are smaller usually run.

Also, people need to learn how to spot properly. I notice that when one guy is doing bench press, the person who is spotting will be helping so much and looks like he is doing bicep curls while spotting his friend. i don't like spots like that. i like spotters who barely help and only jump in when you really can't lift.

anfield devotee said...

Dear En Azam,

RE: Unspoken rules

Ye forget to mention that RULE that requires a person to avoid eating beans, lentil & eggs prior to visitng a gym . . .

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

the last time i went for a workout in a local gym, i spent a good half hour lifting weights. but the moment i was done i hit straight to a mamak near by and totally stuffed my face. but the memory of my first and only visit to the gym remains vivid in my mind.

Rajan said...

AD: hehehehehe... that's a good one.

Kerp: When i first started working out, i was still in school. we used to go to Gym rakyat in Lake Gardens. After finishing we used to go the Carl's Jr... they had all you can drink... we used to stuff ourselves with Soda...but then, being younger, you can drink as much soda as you want and not put on weight...

Bernard said...

Hey...I've been going for Azmy's spinning classes @ Mid Valley for a while now, though not too regularly of late. And if not mistaken, he's a 'Pool fan as well!!