As a fitness supervisor for Warhawk Fitness, my job is to make sure that everyone is safe and is following all the rules of the gym. Whenever I approach someone who is wearing headphones or forgets to put back their weights, I always try to be polite as possible and let them know what the rules of our gym are. Some people just say ok and take them out, but a lot of the time I hear the response, “Why?” That is a valid question to ask don’t get me wrong, you deserve to know why we have the rules that we do.
I am writing this to lay everything out there for you so that you know why we are asking you to take out the headphones. I am going to talk about the 3 probably most asked about rules: Headphones, Cut-offs/Tank Tops, and putting weights back.
So, why no headphones in the strength areas? The response you will get from all of our supervisors is “safety”, and that is exactly what it is. Headphones could possibly get caught in a machine or around a barbell, or distract you from the lift you are doing which could lead to injury. However, it’s not only about your safety, but the safety of those around you. Fitness Supervisors cannot be everywhere at once. We try and do our rounds every 10 minutes or so to make sure everything is ok, but we rely on you to help assist other members if needed on a moments notice.
Example: A new lifter comes to the gym and watches a guy bench a lot of weight. He says to himself, “Oh I can do that no problem”, and hops on the bench farthest away from us workers and throws on waaaaayyyyyy to much weight. He tries to bench it but it just drops on his chest. He can barely breathe, let alone scream for help. The people working can’t see him or hear him. If we allowed headphones, there is a chance that no one would notice. We do have serial lifters who often need assistance on a daily basis and on more than one occasion other members were able to beat the staff to help.
How would you feel if that was you? Maybe you are an experienced lifter but accidents happen to even the most experienced people. It is just an extra precaution to keep everyone Safe.
(Note: If you don’t like the music playing in the gym, just let us know! If you’re nice to us we are more than happy to mix up the music!)
This rule has two sides to it.
First, Cutoffs and Tank tops are a grey area. What qualifies as a tank top? There are so many different types of straps, cuts, and styles it would be impossible to say what types were allowed and what types are not. The same goes for cutoffs. Some are just too inappropriate for our gym environment. So the best way to regulate them is to just say they are not allowed.
Second, is sweat. Sweat is not only gross, but extremely acidic. It is part of our daily duties to clean the facility from top to bottom; we also count on our membership to clean up after themselves. With that being said, not all the membership takes responsibility for wiping down their benches and machines after they use them. Also, sweat is acidic, and we want to prevent our equipment, mainly the upholstery, from getting broken down over time. Fitness equipment is meant to last a long time and we want to make sure that ours stays in tip top shape for as long as possible.
Putting Weights Back:
Believe it or not, this is not in my job description…. It’s in yours. When you load a barbell or a plate loaded machine with weight, it is your responsibility to take it off when you are done. If you need help getting the weights off for whatever reason we would be more than happy to help you out, but if you are able to take off the weights you need to do so. Why you may ask? This is your facility too! Everyone enjoys a clean and orderly facility, but it also is to help out the person who comes to use the machine after you.
If you load up a machine with 4 plates on each side, and don’t put the weights back, an elderly woman who cannot lift 45lbs might be the next person to use it. Now she must come get one of us to help her out instead of just being able to hop right on and do what she wants. It’s not fair to her to have to deal with the mess you caused.
A lot of these rules have to do with making our facilities better for everyone, not just for one person. WE strive to create a great workout environment where students, faculty, staff, community members, and guests can all workout together and meet there health goals. It’s just that simple.
Also, at the beginning of your membership, you signed a contract to follow these rules. They were right on the back of the membership form you filled out. Ask any fitness supervisor and we would be more than happy to show you where you can find them.
By no means am I trying to preach to you or be mean about this. You might accidently forget to take your headphones out or something. It Happens. This is just strictly to inform you of those elusive “Whys?”, that you may be curious about. If you have ANY questions feel free to contact me, and I will either answer your question, or get you in touch with a person who can explain everything to you much better than I can.
I hope this answers any questions you may have! I tried my best to put it out there for you in the best way I knew how. Once again, don’t be afraid to ask questions on anything.
Stay happy and Healthy!