This subject has come up several times lately and I thought I would address it. This has everything to do with the proposed bottled water kitty to the restrooms. The way you treat the facility; from the equipment to the trashcans says a lot about you, not so much as an athlete but more as a person. You may not realize it but everyone is being judged by their facility etiquette. Chances are if its by me its a pretty harsh judgement. Chances are everyone else is judging you more harshly.
I pride myself on the fact that I have built a very well rounded facility where a lot of folks take pride in lifting 2-5 times a week. A lot of people call this home. When you treat this place like it is your home you treat it with more respect. I understand that there are some good-hearted individuals out there who may be new to the facility or a strength training facility like ours in general. Obviously they have no ill-will in regards to not taking care of the space, they just might not know.
While I appreciate the senior clients leading by example and showing some of the newbs how things are done, I thought it would be beneficial to outline some proper facility etiquette to show you care, and of course train safe:
If you’re unsure, ask! – If something doe not sound right or you are not clear on the instructions, ask. If you don’t feel comfortable for ANY reason, get the coach’s attention. Some times things move fast and it all boils down to safety. Safety first.
Keep chalk where it belongs! – Seriously, I say this all the time. Chalk belongs on your hands and in the bucket, not on the floor.
Clean up after yourself. – Spill your water? Sweat angel on the floor? Blood on the bell? Would you want to lift in someone else’s spilt water or sweat angel? Or heaven forbid use someone else’s bloody bell? The first two are simple etiquette fixes. The last is a very serious infraction. It is also a biohazard issue. Sharing blood borne pathogens is not the best idea- best to keep them to yourselves. This is a major safety concern. Grab a wipe from the work bench and clean it off thoroughly. You should use the same technique to clean excessive chalk off the bell and your sweat angel as well.
Keep you area clean. – This is also a safety concern. Often times we lift with a variety of bells. I don’t care how you set your area up as it should work best for you. I’m fine giving you pointers on how to maximize your weight transitions throughout the session. You do not want to get hurt because you haphazardly left your sweatshirt in your lifting area. You certainly don’t want your disregard for your own personal physical well-being to be responsible for someone else getting hurt. Do not, under any circumstances, allow your area to affect your neighbor. Minimize risks and maximize the chance of a safe lifting area to train.
The second part of this is to contain yourself to YOUR area. While I appreciate the social aspect of what we do and a lot of you are friends outside the facility, walking across the room to chit-chat during your rest increases distractions for other lifters. If everyone did this during the breaks it would be next to impossible to keep track of everyone and the equipment on the floor. There is an appropriate time to be social at the facility: mid session probably isn’t the best time. In fact, it isn’t.
Don’t step on the kettlebells. – This just annoys me.
Don’t mix the kettlebells / bumper plates. – I say this a lot too. I have this amazing color coded system. Match the colors with the like colors to put things back where they belong. Putting equipment back in the “general area” doesn’t cut it. This leads me to:
Put away what you use. – Everyone should have covered this on day 1 in kindergarden; put things back where you got them. For the most part everyone has the same plan on any given day, However certain people need different correctives or other lifts to compliment what they are doing. This is more than likely different than anyone else in the session which means you are the only one using that piece of equipment; put it back when you’re done. If you’re unsure where it goes, see rule 1 above. Choosing a new place to put something because you know better than the rest of us doesn’t make you the smartest guy in the room. In the event someone before you didn’t put something back in it’s proper place, be the bigger person and put it where it belongs. This also covers putting things back HOW they should be put away. Treat the equipment with respect. Put things away the way they should be. Don’t carelessly throw equipment around when you’re finished with it.
Weather you’re new or a veteran to Queen City Kettlebell, act like a model for other members. Be a good example. Lead by example for others to follow. Be safe, be respectful of others. Be a giver, not a taker. Your actions in the facility say a lot about you. It says how much you respect the facility and it’s members. Prove it.