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Equipment Etiquette



We try hard to create a pretty relaxed environment at Forge Valley Fitness—a community of friends—but doing this means it’s sometimes challenging to enforce hard rules.

 

But as easy going as this place seems especially in a place like Vernon, as anywhere else in the world—be it a classroom or an office—there are some important rules we all need to follow to keep our equipment running smoothly.

 

You can watch a short video of Coach Terrence and Coach Tshaun showing a few of these points written below.

 

Now here are five things I see frequently that would be great if we could eliminate once and for all:

 1. Plates on plates on plates!

 

In short, limit your steel!

 

Adding 10-lb. steel plates (or worse yet, two 5-lb. steel plates) on a bar with 15-lb. rubber plates might just get you a spanking next time we catch you!

 

What to do instead?

 

Put a 25 lb. plate on the bar!

 

Same is true of having three 15 lb. plates on the barbell. Suck it up and grab the cumbersome 45 lb. plate already.  I also think it's pretty badass to put a 'big plate' on the bar!

 

THE REASONS: I don’t like enforcing rules just for the sake of enforcing rules, but there are a few practical reasons for this.

 

ONE: We don’t need three people hogging all of the 10 and 15 lb. plates in the gym during a 15-person class, where 10 people need just one set of the plates.

 

TWO: The plates will last longer when steel isn’t stacked up steel upon steel upon rubber—especially when bars are getting dropped!

 

THREE: Too much steel is LOUD and hurts everyone’s ears.

 

FOUR: You just look silly.

 

 2. Chalk: In the bucket or on the hands

 

I know, I know, you don’t want to have to run to the chalk box mid-workout to chalk your hands, so it seems easier to bring a small block with you and leave it on the ground next to your barbell.

But we all know how this often ends: With a crushed chalk block making all of the mess on the floor! 

This also applies to sloppy chalk application.  Keeping your hands directly over, or better yet inside the chalk bucket keeps the floors SO MUCH cleaner.  Especially when you think clapping your hands together to form a large 'dust cloud' is a good idea...

 3. Dropping Stuff

 

Three things that shouldn’t be dropped:

 

  1. Empty barbells (or barbells without rubber plates on them)
  2. Dumbbells (from higher than knee height).
  3. Kettlebells

Barbells have expensive bearings to make your lifts feel smooth as butter.  Every time you drop an empty bar, those bearings get slightly more damaged without the rubber plates to take the brunt of the impact.  Dumbbells WILL start to loosen and eventually BREAK when dropped with too much force, too many times.  Kettle bells may start to crack themselves as well as leave big cracks and potholes in the concrete floor.

 

4. Rowing etiquette:

 

When you’re done with a rowing machine, wipe down the handle, seat and the track, flip the monitor gently up so it’s tucked out of the way, and put the handle against the cage of the machine, not in the holster. I know it looks like the holster should be the best place for the handle, but believe it or not, keeping it in the holster for long periods of time stretches out the cord and allows the chain to collect dust. When the cord gets stretched out, the machine doesn’t run as smoothly or as accurately, and you won’t feel the same tension as you row. The holster is only to be used during a workout, such as an interval workout, so you can easily grab the handle again to start your next piece.

 

DON’T store the handle like this:

DO store the handle like this:

 

 

5. Clean Up Your Hand Prints:

Sometimes workouts require adequate amounts of chalk to secure your grip on the pull-up bar, barbell, dumbbells or a kettle bell while also placing your hands on the floor for burpees, push-ups or bear crawls.  This can leave an excessive mess all over the gym with hand prints EVERYWHERE.  Please be considerate and use the mop for handprints on the floor.

We sometimes leave excessive amounts of chalk on our equipment: pull-up bar, barbell, dumbbells, kettle bells etc.  This equipment gets used by everyone! Although the chalk dries out your hands, you can still transfer germs and bacteria (especially during flu season!).  So please if you notice the black pull-up bars and kettle bells have more of a white colour, maybe you should wipe it down before walking away.

Other than that, keep doing what youre doing in here!

-Coach Terrence