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Gym Rules

| By: Dr Robert Stevens

Now… us regular lifters have put up with our gyms being overcrowded the whole of January & February.  We’ve put up with you because you are new, and kudos for making a positive step towards a healthier, stronger you.  But it’s time you learnt the rules and lived by them…

  • Work hard or go home – Checking in on FB ‘at the gym’ is not a part of your workout.
  • Train, do not exercise – Have a purpose, don’t just participate.
  • Quit the jibber jabber – This isn’t the club, it’s the gym!
  • Leave your ego at the door – That’s how injuries happen, believe me, I know.
  • Remember your heart is a muscle – Don’t forget to give it a workout, whether it be cardio or conditioning.
  • Compound lifts for strength & size – Squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press & pull ups.
  • Free weights – Form & function.
  • Strong core – Strong body.
  • Just say NO to Crossfit – Never sacrifice form over function.  Compound lifts shouldn’t be done when fatigued, they require neurovascular coordination to be performed safely.
  • Do not lower deadlifts quietly – If you can, you’re not doing them correctly.
  • Squat racks are for squats – Do not curl in the squat rack.  Use the safety rails when squatting, you’ve only got one spine.
  • Put your weights away when done – or someone bigger than you will come and warm up with your max weight, put the 20’s with the 20’s, 10’s with the 10’s!
  • Break your last PR – Goals are for smashing.
  • If you don’t know, ask – Accept advice from the old lions with grace, they’ve likely been there, done that and come out wiser.
  • Listen & learn – If you think you know it all, you don’t know it all.
  • Move away from the dumbbell rack – You’re not any bigger closer to the mirror, you’re just in the way.
  • Don’t be a bicep boy – Want big arms, train triceps first.
  • Don’t interrupt someone in the middle of a set but don’t be afraid to ask to ‘work in’ in between their sets.
  • Offer a spot – Safety & gains, learn how to spot.
  • Use Chalk – Gloves are for sissies, better grip, better gains.
  • Loud music only – Get in the zone and stay there, you can also ignore the ‘talkers’ with your headphones on.
  • Grunting allowed – Unless you grunt like Monika Seles.
  • Respect the equipment – Other people use it too.
  • Wipe down the bench if you sweat – Don’t ignore basic hygiene.
  • Stay hydrated – Improves performance.
  • Don’t ignore injuries – If acute becomes chronic, say goodbye to those gains.
  • No mobile phones – If you’ve got time to check your messages, you’re not working hard enough. REAL men don’t take selfies!
  • Muscle tops are for people with muscles – Much like yoga pants only look good on girls with squat bottoms.
  • Ignore the naysayers – You’ve made it into the gym, that in itself deserves respect.
  • Warm up and cool down – Your body will thank you in the long run.
  • Have fun – Hopefully all this exercise will help you live a longer healthier, happier life!

“Now you know what we are.  And now you know what you are.  You’ll never be weak…  And you’ll never fit into skinny jeans again.  But you must feed”.

Dr Robert Stevens MBChB MRCGP Dip.FIPT