Trojan Gym Etiquette (1)

Contrary to the way some fitness influencers on social media act, nobody was actually born a gym rat. Yes, even those guys in the deep V vests who can bench plates the size of a baby elephant. Especially those guys.

Everybody had to start somewhere, which means that everyone was a beginner once, and had to take their first tentative steps across the threshold of fitness culture, unsure of the territory or the etiquette they were expected to follow. Don’t let the fact that you’re the newest person in the room deter you from giving it your all because that nervousness and hesitance is a universal constant for anyone just starting to get good at stuff!

One way to get rid of the anxiety around being new at the gym is to learn the unspoken rules and get ‘in the know’ about what behaviour is expected from you in the workout space, so you don’t accidentally step over a boundary nobody really told you was there. Though expectations and rules will differ from space to space, we’ve compiled a list of the most critical pillars of expected gym etiquette for you to follow when you’re getting fit. You’ll be one of the water fountain cool kids in no time!\

1.Don’t hog the equipment

This may sound like it goes without saying, but it’s important to be cognisant of other people’s time, even when you’re ‘in the zone’ of a workout. If you’re in a crowded gym space with limited equipment, dawdling on the high-demand machines like the squat rack or bench press rack is frowned upon.

Don’t use your time on the machines to snap a perfect workout selfie (if you look great, you’re not pushing hard enough anyway) or have a long chat with your gym buddy about which is the best pre-workout flavour. Do your set, catch your breath, and then let everyone else have a turn.

Alternatively, if sharing isn’t quite your thing, why not build a home gym set-up in your house that only you can use? There are no limits to your machine time when the machines are yours. If you really felt like it, you could take a nap in between sets. We’re not the boss of you. To visualise what your home gym might look like, try out our virtual gym builder.

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2.Wipe down your equipment. Every time. Seriously

How would you like it if we came to your house, sweated all over your favourite corner couch, wiped our faces on your curtain, and then left? Probably a little less than excited, we’d imagine. That makes a lot of sense. Similarly, the gym is a shared space and everyone in there has some share over every piece of equipment – you’re all paying your fee to keep the space maintained and running.

You don’t want to sweat all over other people’s things and then leave them damp, it’s just rude. Always wipe down equipment after you’ve used it, even if it feels like you didn’t sweat that much. It’s respectful to the person using the equipment after you and respectful to everyone whose shared space it is. Plus, not wiping it down makes you seem kinda gross to everyone who watched it happen. Because they noticed.

If you want to max out your sweat (while, obviously, keeping a towel handy for wipe-downs) try out the Trojan Sauna Suit. Exercising in one of these waterproof, moisture-retaining suits makes you sweat significantly more, improving your circulation and heart rate, and maximising your workout.

3.Keep your routine flexible and mindful

We know. A perfect training plan takes time and effort, and when you’ve created it, getting to the gym and finding the machines you need to use are occupied can be deeply frustrating. Though we understand the temptation, we don’t recommend walking up to the guy on the leg press machine, tapping him on the shoulder, and sternly telling him to go away. We don’t think that’s going to work.

Especially in the first few months of the year, when gyms are busy, you’re going to have to learn how to work alternatives into your training plan. You don’t want to be the person hovering 30 cm away from a machine in use, making sustained eye contact with the poor athlete in the hot seat. That’s just creepy. Find another machine that works for similar muscle groups or mix up your planned routine a little. What matters is that you went to the gym, not that everything is regimentally perfect to your plan every single visit.

If you’re looking for something to do while you wait for your machine of choice to become available, try bringing along some of your own small, specialised equipment for short bodyweight interval training. We recommend trying out this versatile Yoga Wheel.

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4.Claim your space – visibly

If you are using a piece of equipment or need a particular space to perform an exercise, mark your territory! We don’t mean planting a flag, even though that would probably be hilarious. We mean using your belongings, such as your towel and water bottle or other workout accessories, to visibly indicate that a machine or space is occupied if you need to step away for a moment as part of your workout plan or even just to drink some water.

You can’t be irritated that somebody has usurped the equipment you’d waited on for an hour if there was no indication that you were still busy. Similarly, if someone takes your machine and you did leave belongings there, they’re easy to point out, and the individual in question will likely respect your claim to the spot. Bear in mind, though, that this practice requires some self-awareness. You can’t drop your towel on a popular machine and then pop across the street for a leisurely cup of coffee. Keep your breaks short to be respectful of your fellow gymgoers.

Why not use this brightly coloured power band to enhance your exercise routine AND your visibility the next time you do a circuit?


5.Don’t be overly chatty

Exercise gets your endorphins flowing. That’s probably part of the reason why you’re doing it. We know that when you’re hyped up, feeling good about your body, and bonding with like-minded people in the workout spaces, it can feel pretty tempting to strike up an enthusiastic conversation with a stranger.

It’s crucial to bear in mind, though, that people lead busy lives. This might be the only time of the day that stranger gets to squeeze in a workout and forcing a conversation on someone who may not be receptive to it is unfair to them, especially if they politely go along with it. We’re not saying you shouldn’t chat at all – the gym is where we’ve made some of our best friends.

We’re saying that if you’re going to talk, let it be open-ended enough that your potential new gym buddy can excuse themselves at any time. And if they walk away, don’t go sit at the machine next to them to continue the chat. They’ll definitely tell everyone about “the weird guy from gym” at work the next day if that’s the approach.

As the ultimate conversation starter, show off with this bright red upper body toner! It’s an attention grabber from all the way across the room.

Trojan Gym Etiquette (1)

Follow these five easy-to-remember pieces of advice and you’ll be ready to conquer any fitness space like a seasoned professional. Now all that’s left is to put your back into it, get motivated, and push your limits.

Your consistency in fitness will only be rewarded with exponential gains – in the way you feel, the way you look and the way you go about the rest of your life. You’ve got this, newbie! And Trojan is coming along for the ride!


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