Whether you train at NBS or waste your time at a commercial gym (oops! Did I write that out loud?), there are 3 unwritten gym rules that you need to be aware of.
1. There is a place for everything and everything in its place
I’ve had some of the strongest lifters in the world train at my gym: Ray Williams, Sam Byrd, Tee Cummins, and Christian Anto. All top 5 lifters in their weight classes. You know what I’ve never seen left on a barbell? I’ve never seen anyone leave 900 lbs on the squat bar. I’ve never seen anyone leave over 500 lbs on the bench or over 700 lbs on the deadlift bar and walk away. But I have seen a ton of people leave between 135 and 315 on the bar and leave, letting someone else clean it up. So kiddos, if you want to be strong like these guys, a skill you will have to learn to master is unloading your own plates. Only weak people leave plates on the bar and you don’t want us to think you’re weak do you?
Likewise, everyone should know how to properly load a weight tree. It’s pretty simple: the 45’s go at the bottom, the 2.5’s and 5’s go at the top, and everything else is filled in accordingly in between. Under no circumstance should you put two different weight plates on the same holder. If you cover up a stack of 10’s with a 25, you’re creating bad gym karma for yourself and likely to get stuck under a heavy bench without anyone to spot you.
2. A lifter shall be free to leave his rack without fear of someone stealing it
Thank goodness this doesn’t happen at NBS but at many gyms, squat rack thievery is on the rise. Step away for more than 5 seconds to get some water or use the restroom and next thing you know some bro has taken all your weights off, changed your whole setup and begun his epic bicep curl session. Not cool! I suppose this is a by product of gym knuckleheads leaving weight on the bar and walking off but regardless of this fact, you gotta ask. Look around, ask people if anyone is using the equipment, give it another 5 minutes and if still no one has showed up, you may proceed with caution. But you have to do your due diligence to figure out if the rack is free or taken.
3. Maintain your hygiene
Contrary to popular belief, the gym is actually for training. And when people train, they sweat. And when people sweat they smell. So, it’s up to you to manage each of these parts of the process. When you sweat, wipe up after yourself. If you want to train with your shirt off, that’s cool, just put a towel down when you do. Put on some deodorant. All simple stuff. Try to watch out for your fellow gym goers and everybody wins.
Whether they’re etched into stone or just understood, make sure you know the unwritten rules of the gym.