Ten Tips From a Professional Trainer

Some friends and colleagues, notably women, have left the locker room behind for yoga and Pilates studios, but I‘m sticking and staying with my regular workout at the gym. Not every day, but three times a week – early morning, at lunch, or in a pinch after work – I visit the gym. And I’m not alone; many of us rush to the gym for that holy hour in honour of our health, our body and our sanity.

Perhaps my initial decision to work with a personal trainer was motivation – kind of an insurance policy that once I joined the club, I’d go. Mere membership was no solution to staying fit.

gym - Diane with trainer Johnathan
I met Jonathan, my personal trainer, and quickly realized he offered more than just an individualized programme. Jonathan ensured Correct Form. Every curl, every sit-up, every lat pulldown – every move I made – was meticulously choreographed to ensure maximum benefit and personal safety.

Recently, Jonathan and I were discussing “correct form” of another variety. I’m not certain what prompted it – maybe the crushing sound of a weight stack dropping, maybe someone in flip-flops. Bet you can guess the result! Jonathon generously offered the following ten top tips.

A Professional Trainer’s Guide to Gym Etiquette/Correct Form
by ?Jonathan, Elite Level III Trainer

  1. Dress for the occasion – comfy tee and shorts with a good pair of runners provide freedom to move. No jeans, no sandals and no cologne. (“No scents makes sense” – Diane Craig)
  2. Working out is just as mental as it is physical – keep the distractions and attitude at the door. Cell phones and BlackBerrys belong in a locker.
  3. Save snacks and coffee for after a workout. Thirsty? Water’s the best workout drink there is.
  4. Sharing in a gym is crucial; there's only so much equipment for everyone.
    • Don't sit on machines between sets.
    • Never work with more than one machine at a time.
    • Recognize that as soon as you lower a weight, someone else will jump in.
    • Cooperation is key – if someone wants to work-in, move aside.
    • When you see someone struggling with weight, offer a spot.
  5. If you ask to work-in on someone else's set, reset the machine to the previous settings when you’ve finished.
  6. Be conscious of personal space. Never exercise right in front of the weight stack and mirrors.
  7. Proper form is all about control - on the way up and on the way down.
    • Don’t drop or throw weights.
    • Put weights away when you're done
  8. Keep a towel handy – and keep yourself dry.
  9. Always wipe down machines when you’re through.
  10. Shower before you head out the door.?

Be careful where you get your weights from!  Believe it or not, I actually did this once - I had not realized it was a bar someone else was lifting - only me!

Be careful where you get your weights from! Believe it or not, I actually did this once, not realizing it was a bar that someone was actually using

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean fitness regimes go on vacation! Check out these hot-off-the-press ideas from Vogue:

Fit or Miss: NextFit Keychain Trainer

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Have a gym etiquette tip to share? Let us know your thoughts. Words of wisdom from yoga and Pilates enthusiasts are welcome, too.


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Author's Bio: 

Diane Craig, President of Corporate Class Inc., is a leading image and etiquette consultant. For over 20 years she has provided corporate consultations, helping hundreds of men and women realize their professional and personal goals. She is a sought after speaker at national business meetings, regularly gives comprehensive workshops to corporate groups, and offers private consultations on business etiquette, dress and dining.