5 gym worries solved

(Image credit: Unknown)

Can I ask someone what they’re doing?
‘Absolutely – asking questions is a great way to boost your knowledge. Make sure the timing is right (ask during a rest period) and that the question is to the point. There is one exception: never ask the goddess in hot pants how she got her perfect bottom. You don’t want to be that guy…’

Should I wipe down the kit after I’ve finished with it?

‘Always carry a towel to wipe down the kit after use so you can leave it in the condition in which you’d like to find it. Gyms are an ideal breeding ground for germs – hot and humid – so good hygiene by everyone is important in preventing bugs and illness.’

Do the dumb-bells I’ve just used need to go back in a specific location?
‘All weights have a home in the gym and you should  always put them back where they belong – which is hopefully where you found them. If you don’t think this is the right place, ask one of the gym employees who will be delighted that someone is taking responsibility for the kit and not leaving it hazardously on the floor.’

What does it mean when someone asks if they can ‘work in’ with me?

‘During busy times most of the gym equipment is in use so it’s helpful to “work in”, which simply means allowing someone else to use your machine or bit of kit during your rest between sets. It’s common courtesy to allow this, and is a good opportunity to watch them perform the move to make sure you are doing it right.’

What does it mean when someone asks me if I can ‘spot’ them?
‘Spotting simply means helping them out with a set which they may not able to do safely by themselves. Ask them what they’d like you do to – usually it’s to stand behind them on the bench press to make sure they don’t get stuck under the bar – and if you feel comfortable, get involved. The favour can always be returned.’

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Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.