Gym Rules: What You Need To Know About Fitness Club Etiquette

Photo: Unsplash

We tell you how it is comfortable to go in for sports without harming yourself and others.
Most fitness centres offer a guest visit service before purchasing a subscription: the administrator or coach shows guests where the locker room is, what equipment are available and how to use them correctly, who should leave the pass and keys to the locker. If it is not possible to practice in a trial lesson, and all visits are paid, do not rush to take an annual subscription. Otherwise, you may not like the coaching staff, the number of simulators or the overcrowding of the gym, and the money will not be returned. To begin with, it is better to learn the basic rules and, if possible, buy a one-time pass to assess the situation.

But in addition to the rules of a particular gym, there is also an unspoken etiquette, the knowledge of which will help you feel more confident and better prepare for a new sports life.

  • Ask questions
  • Put things back in place
  • Pay attention to others
  • Pay no attention to others
  • Wear an antiseptic and a towel
  • Be careful with photos
  • Respect personal space
  • Free up equipment when not exercising

Ask questions

Don’t miss the introductory safety briefing. Even if you have visited the gym before, it is worth listening to the possible risks, especially if you plan to work out on simulators. As a rule, introductory information is given briefly, and it is not always possible to remember and understand all the features of the operation of special equipment. Therefore, ask clarifying questions, ask again and return to the discussion in subsequent times if doubts remain. Feel free to communicate with both the staff and the visitors to the sports club. But keep in mind that weight training requires a focus on the process. No need to distract your neighbour on the simulator with small talk when he lifts the barbell, or reach with your hand over his head for dumbbells. Just check how soon he will release the equipment.

Put things back in place.

Sports equipment, from rugs to kettlebells, has a place. The staff keeps order, but with a large number of visitors, it is challenging to keep the hall in perfect condition. Remember to return items to where they were taken from. The exception is interval or circuit training when you need to return to work with weight after the next round of exercises.

Photo: Unsplash

In this case, put the equipment next to you, but so that it does not interfere with other athletes. In any case, you must put it back in place when the lesson is over. The same goes for adjusting the difficulty and weight of the machines. After exercising, return to neutral settings and remove excess discs from the bar.

Pay attention to others.

It’s not about dreams of a perfect press “like that blonde’s”, but about safety. In a gym, injuries cannot be avoided if visitors do not take care of each other. When doing dumbbell exercises, make sure not to hit another person. A fitness club is a community of people united by a common idea. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask for help and help yourself if someone contacted you.

Pay no attention to others.

Contradiction? We don’t think so. Giving unsolicited advice about exercise technique is not worth it. An exception is when you see that improper use of the machine can lead to injury.

Photo: Unsplash

As much as you want to view other visitors for motivation or clothing choices, try not to do so openly and intrusively. Most people come to study, and not to show themselves, excessive attention will be unpleasant for them.

Wear an antiseptic and a towel

Studies have shown that the surface of sports equipment and equipment is covered with bacteria and microbes [1]. Viruses prefer non-porous surfaces such as steel weights. Therefore, both before and after using exercise equipment, benches and equipment, they should be treated with a disinfectant spray and wiped off with a dry towel. So you will protect both yourself and other visitors, because colds are transmitted during the incubation period, even in the absence of severe symptoms.

Be careful with photos.

Gym selfies are popular content on Instagram and other social media. It’s an excellent way to track progress, record progress, surprise you with willpower, and let the world know that you prefer a healthy lifestyle. The main thing is not to disturb others. The same rules apply here as when photographing in a public place. 

Photo: Unsplash

Try to take pictures in front of the mirror in the gym or dressing room on minimal busy days. Even if it seems to you that only you were in the frame, check if there is someone else in the background. It is unlikely that another person wants to be on public display with a red face and sweat spots during training.

Respect personal space

If you feel like sitting on a bench in the dressing room, make sure there is enough space, so you don’t end up close to another visitor. The same goes for exercising on a rug in the gym: try to stay at a safe distance from other athletes. If you need to talk on the phone or you came to the gym with a friend, communicate in a way that does not disturb others. This rule also applies to music: you need motivation and the right soundtracks for strength training – plug in your headphones.

Free up equipment when not exercising

If you’ve finished a cycle of exercises and decided to distract yourself with the news feed on your phone, free up the simulator. When you take dumbbells, move away from the rack with them, without blocking the approach for others. 

Photo: Unsplash

Much depends on the time of day and the number of people in the hall. When it is empty, you can allow yourself to relax where it is convenient. But if there are a lot of people, you should not delay them, even if there is no visible queue for equipment. Exercising and not using machines is one of the most annoying gym habits.

#pronscience: 7 reasons why drastic weight loss is dangerous

Photo: Unsplash

If you want to become slimmer, don’t rush things. Sometimes quickly lost kilograms come back even faster and in double the volume. We tell why science and doctors oppose express weight loss.

Even the most gentle diet can have undesirable consequences. And yet, many, wanting to see the changes as soon as possible, are ready to go for the most severe restrictions on food. After all, when only a few weeks are left before an important event, the most important thing is the result. Even if the chosen diet is contrary to common sense. According to nutritionists, a safe rate for weight loss is up to 1 kg per week. If you lose more, serious complications can arise. We list the reasons that make such experiments hazardous to health.

Reason number 1. Decreased immunity

Diets that are high in calorie deficiencies and exclude essential nutrients from the diet increase our susceptibility to infectious disease. Including the coronavirus, nutritionists warn. With this diet, the amount of vitamins and minerals entering the body sharply decreases. This not only weakens the immune system but also reduces life expectancy, found researchers from Stanford. When a person begins to follow a strict diet, his body is exposed to severe stress. As a result, the concentration of cortisol in the blood rises, a hormone that suppresses the natural inflammatory responses to viruses and bacteria. According to experts from the University of Pennsylvania, another unpleasant consequence stress – increased cravings for sugary and high-calorie foods.

Photo: Unsplash

Reason # 2. Failure of the reproductive system

Fans of express diets are faced with malfunctions of the reproductive system. Especially if you combine dietary restrictions with gruelling workouts, in women, menstrual irregularities can be caused by a deficiency of essential fatty acids omega-3 or vitamin D – these substances are responsible for the production of female sex hormones. But to get carried away with fibre during diets, on the contrary, is not worth it. American scientists have proven that excess dietary fibre lowers estrogen levels, which regulates the menstrual cycle. If you lean on fiber, the risk of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) increases tenfold. At the same time, the dietary fiber contained in vegetables and fruits has the most significant influence on the work of the reproductive system. Another factor that can disrupt your menstrual cycle is high levels of the cortisol, as mentioned above.

Reason # 3. Mood swings

Sudden weight loss can severely damage the nervous system. Any extreme diet leads to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances in certain hormones: serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol, and leptin. Because of this, a losing weight person has frequent mood swings. He becomes nervous and irritable. And the endocrine changes that accompany dramatic weight loss can cause depression and anxiety. Researchers at Harvard Medical School made this conclusion. According to them, estrogen and oxytocin help manage stress. Conversely, low levels of these hormones increase anxiety and cause worrying thoughts. Also, due to the lack of calories during express diets, the body begins to save resources: we become less active and concentrate worse.

Photo: Unsplash

Reason # 4. Loose skin and wrinkles

Many fast diets provide weight loss by removing fluid from the body. Potential consequences include headaches, increased fatigue, dehydration, and nerve cell death. Also, due to lack of water, swelling appears, tissues lose elasticity, skin becomes dry, nails – brittle, hair – dull and weak. Again, the weight that was lost due to the loss of water, as a rule, quickly returns. If a person loses several tens of kilograms in a short time, his skin does not have time to respond to changes and sags, and wrinkles become more pronounced.

Another component of beauty and health is fat. At the same time, most extreme diets involve a sharp decrease in their consumption or complete exclusion from the diet.

Reason number 5. Decreased muscle tone

One of the unpleasant results of a calorie deficit is a slowdown in metabolic processes, including fat burning. Thus, the body seeks to conserve every incoming calorie and compensate for energy costs. As a result, not only the “plateau effect” occurs (when the weight freezes at one point), but the synthesis of new muscle fibres also slows down. Also, a sharp reduction in incoming calories forces the body to look for alternative sources of energy. Muscles become one of these: they “burn” much more actively than fatty tissue. The fact is that during stressful diets, the main task of the body becomes survival, and the muscles for it are extra ballast that consumes too many calories. Therefore, it “eats” the muscles and triggers lipogenesis – the process of fat storage for a rainy day.

Photo: Unsplash

Reason # 6. Accumulation of fat

The body will continue to increase the amount of adipose tissue – reserve energy reserves, even returning to the usual diet. That is why, after gruelling diets, it can be so challenging to maintain the results: the weight almost always returns to the original or becomes even more. The stress hormone cortisol also contributes to the formation of adipose tissue. This has been proven scientists from Stanford University. An experiment conducted by a group of biologists led by Mary Teruel showed that mammals with elevated cortisol levels had twice the weight gain compared to controls. Teruel says this happened not only due to the synthesis of new fat cells but also due to the growth of existing ones. Also, with express diets, the production of hormones that regulate appetite is disrupted.

Reason # 7. Gallstones

Lack of adequate nutrition can cause various disturbances in the work of the gastrointestinal tract – bloating, constipation, slowing down of digestion, gastritis, ulcers. The consequences can be even direr if the low-calorie diet is accompanied by laxatives, fat burners, or special stimulants that suppress hunger. Most of these drugs deplete the body’s resources and negatively affect the central nervous system. Also, rapid weight loss increases the likelihood of developing gallstones. During fat burning, the liver secretes cholesterol into bile. If its concentration becomes too high, bile crystallizes and turns into stones. Such risks are subject to all dieters who lose more than 1.5 kg per week.


Workout for men over 40

Workout for men over 40

Age is just a number that still rings true to you, and you are more motivated than ever to return to the gym and turn your flabby father body into a chiseled work of art.

There is no better feeling than knowing that your body is the envy of others.

By the time you turn forty, you may have found that recovery between workouts takes a little longer, and your strength may not be quite what it should be.

This muscle workout for men over 40 is not like an indulgent program. It’s a rich mix of intense strength and muscle workouts, but what matters is the fact that you are no longer twenty.

Muscle protein synthesis decreases with age.

One of the changes you may notice when you hit the 40 marks is getting a little harder to build muscle.

As you age, your muscle protein synthesis (MPS) turnover decreases. It refers to the rate at which your body can build new muscle cells.

Maximum protein synthesis is essential if you are lifting weights regularly.

You can’t build muscle without muscle cells.

If the speed at which you destroy existing muscle cells is higher than the rate at which you build new ones, you will soon wonder why there is no progress.

Muscle protein synthesis is the driving force behind the adaptive response to exercise. An increase in MPS, combined with a proper strength training program, means an increase in muscle mass.

And this is what we are striving for.

The problem, however, is that MPS rates naturally decrease with age.

What does it mean?

You may find it more challenging to build muscle mass since your physiology is not as “prepared” as it used to be.

The response to strength training is diminished compared to younger men, and the kinases responsible for the immediate increase in MPS ( mTOR, 4EBP1, and p70s6K for those of you hungry for some science) are dying.

So goodbye, muscle mass?

Of course not.

The good news is that with a two-layer approach to diet and workout, you can quickly accelerate MPS and build muscle without any problems.

It all depends on how competently you plan your muscle building.

Workout for men over 40

Support muscle growth with increased protein intake

Regardless of age, protein is essential for muscle growth.

This does not mean that you should get whey supplements on speed dial. It just means that you need to hit certain thresholds to increase your MPS level.

To get your protein synthesis up to the point where you can build muscle after age 40, you will need to slightly adjust your protein intake.

Here’s what you should aim for:

20-40 years old – 1.4-2 g of protein per 1 kg. body weight

40-65 years old – 1.8-2.4 g of protein 1 kg. body weight

Sixty-five years and older – 2.6-3 g of protein per 1 kg. body weight

As you can see, it doesn’t make much of a difference, and it’s achievable without supplementation, but it’s worth dieting if muscle mass is your goal.

Train competently and build more muscle

Nobody ever said that muscle training for men over 40 was impossible. The opposite is true.

Many bodybuilding champions are in their 40s, and it takes time, experience, and wisdom to develop a strong and muscular physique.

Whether you’re a healthy guy who takes pride in the way he looks and wants to focus on some muscle mass or an overweight man who wants to make a difference in his life and make some real changes, this is how you need to approach strength training.

Here are the critical muscle training points for men over 40:

Focus on all muscle groups

It makes no sense to train one muscle to destruction using split training. Train with an emphasis on difficult lifts.

Technology comes first

Practice this. Improve it. Love it. No matter how fresh and young you feel, strength training increases your risk of injury as you age.

Challenge your body, but never train with pain. If it hurts, don’t do it.

Don’t miss a warm-up.

Prepare your body, lubricate all joints, and warm up your muscles before you do your first set.

Vary your rep range

Focusing on lifting heavy weights but accumulated fatigue over time can have a negative impact—plan for periods of lighter weights and higher rep ranges.

Rest when you need to

If something seems overwhelming, then automatically adjust your workouts and, if necessary, take a few days off.

Muscle training program for men over 40

For the first five weeks, you will do three sessions per week, emphasizing all major muscles.

Aim for three sets of 8-12 reps per exercise, with a 2-3 minute rest between sets.

To optimize recovery while stimulating muscle growth, you will shift from push to deadlift and upper body to lower body—complete 3 sets of each exercise before moving on to the next.

Do it right, and you might even feel the cardio effect!

In the second week, you will do the same exercises, but with a change in order and intensity. This time you will be connecting two lifts.

This is commonly known as the super setting.

When your workout supplements, you increase your calorie burn, make your workout more efficient, and build muscle in the process.

Do one set of exercises number one, and then go directly to exercise number two. When you have done this, rest for a minute or two and then repeat. Continue until all three ” supersets ” have been completed.

Then move on to the next two exercises.

This is a pretty brutal training approach. But if you want results, this is the way forward.

1 day

Army press

Alternating lifting of dumbbells in front of you

They are raising hands with dumbbells to the sides.

2 day

Leg press


Extension of the legs in the simulator

Day 3

Exercise Pullover

Row of the upper block to the chest

Straight Grip Row

Day 4

Leg curl on the simulator

Dumbbell Rise

Calf Raises

Day 5

Dips on the uneven bars

Isolated side dumbbell raises

Seated dumbbell press

6 day

Dumbbell Squats

Goblet squats

Barbell lunges

Day 7

Dumbbell curls

French press

Biceps curl with support under the elbow.

How to play sports without harm to health: 5 rules

Photo: Shutterstock

What kind of workouts destroy health, and which ones help to strengthen it? Which sport to choose and how often to do it? Is it possible to play sports for those who have heart problems? Dealing with an expert.

Exercise, not professional sports

You can often hear that doctors do not recommend doing professional sports, but physical education. What is the difference between these concepts?

Photo: Shutterstock

There is no universally accepted medical definition of the term “sport” that distinguishes it from other physical activity types. When doctors talk about the benefits of physical education as opposed to sports, they usually mean “high-performance sports” and professional sports, and not sports in the broad sense of the word, which, on the contrary, is suitable for the cardiovascular system.
The concept of “athlete” can draw a more precise boundary: according to the definition of the European Society of Cardiology, it is a young or adult person, amateur or professional, who regularly trains and participates in official sports competitions. Elite athletes (members of national teams, Olympians, professional athletes) engage in physical activity for more than ten hours a week; athletes in competitive sports (for example, athletes from school, university teams) – more than six hours a week; athletes – four hours a week.

Photo: Shutterstock

Many scientists associate professional sports with harm to health: the cardiovascular system is exposed to peak loads that can harm the body. For example, a study by the American College of Cardiology showed that atrial fibrillation (atrial fibrillation) was 5.5 times more common in former American National Football League players than in the general population. A pacemaker was implanted ten times more often.

Engage in physical activity safely.

Photo: Shutterstock

General safety principles should be considered when doing physical activity.

First, make sure that the selected physical activity is safe for almost everyone. In other words, it does not require special education or training to complete it.

Second, choose the type and amount of physical activity that suits your fitness level. Do not set records right away.

Third, build up your physical activity gradually: start with relatively moderate intensity and avoid strenuous activities (such as running). Give your body a chance to get used to moderate physical activity: first, increase the duration of each workout in minutes and the number of days per week, and only then – the intensity.

Fourth,  pay attention to the weekly increase in physical activity. Thus, a weekly 20-minute increase is considered safe for a person who joggers 200 minutes a week – this corresponds to an increase of 10%. The same 20 minutes will not be safe for a person with a primary activity of 40 minutes.

Count your heart rate periodically as you exercise and keep your heart rate (HR) between 50 and 85% of your maximum heart rate. The maximum heart rate is calculated as 220 minus age. For example, if you are 45 years old, your maximum heart rate is 220 – 45, 175 beats per minute.

At the beginning of training and during the first few weeks of training, you need to give such a load at which the heart rate would be 50% of the maximum, then you can gradually increase to 75% of the maximum heart rate, after six months or more you can bring the indicator to 85%.

Finally, take the necessary precautions. For example, in hot and humid weather, an exercise in the morning rather than in the midday heat to reduce stress on the heart and the risk of dehydration (excess fluid loss), prefer indoor activities, consider changing the type of activity (for example, go swimming instead of playing football ), reduce the intensity of your physical activity (walking instead of running), get enough rest, spend more time in the shade, drink more fluids, and look for other ways to minimize your exposure to heat.

Photo: Shutterstock

Choose the right types of exercise.

There are two basic types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. What is the difference, and which one is safer for the heart?

Anaerobic activity is a short-term, high-intensity physical activity. Experts identify three levels of anaerobic exercise:

1) maximum anaerobic power, which corresponds to the full possible human power (up to 15-20 sec);

2) close to the full anaerobic power (up to 20-45 sec);

3) submaximal anaerobic power (up to 45-120 sec.): Running for short distances, jumping rope, lifting weights.

Aerobic activity is a type of physical activity in which a rhythmic muscle contraction is carried out for a long time. Aerobic activity is divided into five levels according to their possible duration:

1) exercise for maximum aerobic power (3-10 minutes);

2) close to maximum (10-30 minutes);

3) submaximal (30-80 minutes);

4) medium (80-120 minutes);

5) low aerobic capacity (more than two hours).

You should not choose one type of activity for yourself. To achieve balance and reduce possible harm to the heart, physical activity should be distributed as follows: 50% (4-7 days a week) – aerobic activity, 25% (2-4 days a week) – anaerobic activity, the remaining 25% – exercises that strengthen muscles.

Photo: Shutterstock

Exercise every day

Experts recommend healthy adults engage in moderate-intensity physical activity from 150 minutes per week with a gradual increase to 300 minutes (five hours) per week. Alternatively, experts suggest engaging in vigorous aerobic activity for 75 minutes to 150 minutes per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity.

You need to do at least four days a week. Do not forget about the activity necessary for the body that strengthens the muscles: such exercises should be practiced from two days a week (for example, lifting weights, push-ups, pull-ups, exercises with an expander, climbing in enclosed spaces, tug-of-war).

You can focus on the list of loads corresponding to 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity of moderate intensity, as well as movement to strengthen muscles:

  • 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week plus exercise with an expander two days a week;
  • 25 minutes of jogging three days a week plus weight lifting twice a week;
  • 30 minutes brisk walking two days a week plus 60 minutes dancing one night a week, mowing the lawn one day a week, hard gardening two days a week;
  • Thirty minutes of aerobics one morning a week, 30 minutes of running once a week plus 30 minutes of brisk walking once a week, and squats, push-ups three days a week.
  • 45 minutes of doubles tennis twice a week, lifting weights once a week, hiking, or rock climbing once a week.

Many daily activities play the role of physical activity, and the load on the body during intercourse is equivalent to 3-5 METs, which corresponds to climbing two flights of stairs at a fast pace.

Photo: Shutterstock

Learn about possible activities for diseases of the cardiovascular system

Contrary to popular belief, physical activity for people with cardiovascular diseases is not only contraindicated but highly desirable.

For example, experts believe that for patients with angina pectoris (angina pectoris), physical education is permissible even with a high risk of complications – provided that the load is below the threshold for the development of an attack of angina pectoris and ischemic changes. Of the restrictions – only a recommendation not to engage in competitive sports (the exception is golf). For patients with angina pectoris, moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking) is recommended for 30 minutes to 60 minutes more than five days a week. However, even irregular physical activity can be beneficial in reducing the risk of death.

For people who have had a myocardial infarction, physical activity is essential: an early return to rehabilitative physical activity is necessary as early as 8-12 weeks after the event. To select the optimal physical activity, it is necessary to assess the risk based on physical activity level in the anamnesis and stress test results. In general, the target moderate-intensity exercise for this population is 30 minutes, seven days a week (at least five days a week). Aerobic physical activity of moderate intensity for 30-60 minutes is recommended, preferably daily. 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity can be spread over two to three sets. Immediately after discharge, daily walking is recommended.

In patients with chronic heart failure, physical activity should begin with a short phase of 10 minutes of endurance exercise and 10 minutes of resistance exercise (e.g., dumbbells). These exercises should be gradually increased over four months until reaching 30-45 minutes, three or more times a week. Depending on the symptoms and functionality, the duration of intense activity may be longer.

Photo: Shutterstock