Like most gyms, we have rules. Unlike other gyms like planet fitness that we won’t name, we don’t have silly rules like “no jugs of water.” Instead our rules are created to do three things:

  1. Make sure you get the best results possible
  2. Make sure you stay safe
  3. Make sure you enjoy your experience in the gym

Below we’re going to go over our gym rules and why we have them.

1. Check-in When You Come In

This one is very straightforward. We track our member attendance. Why? Because it helps us ensure that we have the appropriate amount of staff on hand during busier times. We’ve used this data over the years to improve our services and service times. We also do weekly follow-ups with members who haven’t been in. So if you’re coming in to the gym, but not checking in, you’re likely to get an e-mail or phone call from us, asking where you’ve been, even though you HAVE been in to the gym.

2. No Outdoor Shoes on the Training Floor

Again, another rule that doesn’t need a whole lot of explaining. Although we are somewhat relaxed about this rule in the summer time, during the fall, winter and spring months this is extremely important. Mud, salt, snow, slush will all get dragged into the gym if you don’t change your shoes. Not only does this make a mess of the gym, but it also makes the gym dangerous because it makes the floors very wet. We strongly recommend having a dedicated pair of shoes to exercise with anyway, because they’ll last you that much longer. If you’re wearing your “walking around shoes” to exercise, you’re probably not wearing shoes that are supportive for running, jumping, lifting and all the other fun activities we do in the gym.

3. Save the Chit-Chat for After Your Workout

Walk into any large scale gym, and you’ll see a lot of people just…hanging out. At Arkitect we encourage you to be part of the community, but pick a smart time to engage with other members. Just before starting, or right after finishing your workout is a great time to check in with your friends in the gym. Not in the middle of your training session. Staying focused is a big part of getting an effective workout. If you’re taking big chunks of time between exercises or sets, you’re not only unfocused on what you’re doing, but you’re also letting your heart rate come down, and your body temp decrease. This leads to less effective sessions, as well as potential injury. Getting a good workout is all about staying in the zone. Which brings us to our next rule…

4. No Cell Phone Use During Training

This rule is by far the one that is most often broken. In 2019 and beyond it will probably continue to do so. Unfortunately many people are simply addicted to their phones, and have forgotten (or never learned) how to be alone with their thoughts, even if it’s just for a minute. It’s not uncommon to see people pull out their phone and stare at it for the minute or two they have between sets. While we aren’t militant about enforcing this rule (we’re coaches, not baby sitters), I will tell you, that our staff absolutely does not like it if you are on your phone while you workout. What does that mean?

That simply means we prioritize the clients that take their own results seriously. Training and results require a few things, some of which are:

  • focus
  • determination
  • awareness
  • Proper posture

Sitting slumped in a chair with your head cranked down scrolling Instagram in between sets is doing absolutely nothing for your training. Tweak a muscle? Maybe it’s because before you tried that heavy set of bench press your mind was elsewhere. Didn’t hit the weight you wanted?Maybe it’s because you were sending your body signals that it’s time to relax by sitting slouched in a chair looking at your phone.

We’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why people use their phones:

  • It doesn’t effect my workout (not true)
  • What if my kids need to call me? (Parents had been going to gyms long before cell phones…everyone lived!)
  • I’m expecting a call. (Then when it comes in, step outside to take it. Flipping through snapchat won’t make the call come in any faster).
  • I like to watch videos to motivate me during my workout! (just…lol)

Everyone thinks that getting results is the outcome of some “special” fitness program. If only they find the right combination of exercises, sets and reps, then they’ll finally be “fit.” Nope. Results are about consistency, and focus. And bringing the world’s biggest distraction into the gym, is going to kill your results. Many people say that they are on their phone all the time and get great results. To which I always ask: But how much better would they have been without the phone?

And last but not least regarding this rule: We’re all busy. If you don’t use your phone, you will get through your training session much, much faster. Lastly the entire field of sports psychology is founded in one basic idea: visualization. If you’re scrolling social media or messaging someone on your phone, you’re simply mentally checked out of your workout, and voluntarily getting significantly less effective of a workout than you could be. We get paid either way, but are you getting your money’s worth?

5. Greet Everyone When You Arrive, Say Goodbye When you Leave

This one is simple: Acknowledge the people you share the gym with. They are your peers, your friends, your motivation, your network. We are a small community, and we thrive off of each other’s successes, so give people the common respect of acknowledging them when you come and go.

6. Treat The Equipment With Respect

The equipment in the gym are the tools you will use to achieve your goals. Treat your tools with respect. They’ll last longer. I’ve seen athletes kick barbells after missing a lift, or unnecessarily slam equipment down in a show of strength. Don’t do that. Be good to the equipment, and the equipment will be good to you.

7. Put Things Back Where They Belong

Having been in gyms since 1998, this is one thing that I can say people struggle with the most. I’m not sure why people find it difficult to put things back where they got them from, but they do. This rule doesn’t need a whole lot of explaining: Life is a lot easier when you can easily find something you need because it’s right where it’s supposed to be. If you’re not sure where something goes, just ask!

8. Do not talk to someone who is in the middle of a set or about to begin an exercise

If you’re doing it right, you should be visualizing your next set, especially if you’re lifting heavy. Striking up a convo about your weekend while someone is getting “in the zone” is not only disrespectful, but it’s also dangerous. Lifting weights is generally a very safe activity, but accidents do happen, and I’ve seen it happen when someone is distracted by another trainee.

9. If You Have a Question Always Ask a Coach if Possible

Too many times I’ve seen clients ask another client a technical question about their program while a coach is nearby, or worse…they google it. While we pride ourselves on educating clients (which means sometimes our clients have more fitness knowledge than the trainers at other gyms…) Not every client will know the answer to your question. The internet on the other hand, is a giant black hole of misinformation. You’ll be lucky if you get a correct answer 1 out of every 100 times. The coaches are there to help you. If they’re on the clock, they are literally getting paid to help you. If they are there for their own training session, make sure your question is short, concise, and doesn’t break any of the other rules on this list. When you see our nutritionist Katie about to do a set of squats, that’s not the time to tell her about every meal you ate yesterday.

Now if you need a hand with something like loading a bar, or a safety spot on an exercise, that is a great time to ask a fellow gym goer for some help. If you don’t know anyone there, what a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself!

10. Avoid walking or standing directly in front of someone that is exercising

This could also be said as “respect other people’s space.” If someone is about to do a heavy lift, don’t grab a weight off of the rack that’s right next to them. If you’re using a kettlebell, don’t set up right in front of the kettlebells so other people can’t access them. If someone is performing a set of ring rows, don’t plank directly behind them. In general, if you have to be in someone’s line of sight, do so as far forward of them as you can. It’s just distracting if your focal point is a moving object, especially if that object is a human person.

11. Ask to “work-in” with someone who is using a piece of equipment you need

Working in means you do an exercise while the other person rests, and vice versa. Don’t skip your exercise, don’t come back around to it (unless there are already a few people working in). This is another great opportunity to make a new friend at the gym! There are a few rules when working in with someone.

  1. Make sure you ask first
  2. Help each other out by adjusting weight or rack settings after each person takes their turn
  3. Don’t walk away, be on your phone, or striking up another conversation while you’re supposed to be taking your turn. Afterall the person you’re sharing the equipment with is waiting for you!

12. Tell Your Coach When you’re About to Attempt a Personal Best

Whether it’s a max plank hold for time, or a 1 rep max deadlift, let your coaches know before you are going to attempt such a feat, so we can watch it, give you feed back, and help ensure your safety. Also, we have a great knack for remembering numbers, so when you forget to write it down, we can help jog your memory. Plus we want to film it so we can brag about you on social media!

 

So those are our 12 rules for the gym! What do you think? Is there anything important that we missed? Do you think our rules are too strict? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Instagram or e-mail!