Weight Room Etiquette and Safety

Weight Room Etiquette and Safety

Having been in the strength game for nearly 20 years I have seen about everything that you could possibly imagine.  Lack of etiquette and safety awareness in the gym is at the top of my “pet peeve” list.  I will say that I do believe that most individuals do not intentionally use poor etiquette and lack safety awareness.  At CFP and RISE we strive to create an atmosphere that is fun, safe, and effective.  If we can assure proper etiquette and safety then we are able to reach those goals of a great atmosphere.  We will start out with general gym etiquette and then move on to safety.

General Etiquette

  1. Be On Time: If you can’t be on time be early.  Showing up late for a class takes away from the members who were on time and puts a strain on the class.  Also, not receiving a proper warm up exponentially increases a risk for injury.
  2. Put your equipment away: Put all equipment back from where you got it.
  3. Weightlifting Etiquette: Never walk directly in front of a snatch or clean and jerk attempt. (It is dangerous and can distract the lifter).  Also if someone is going to attempt a max attempt it is normally not good to yell and distract them as they are going to attempt. (This is different from a squat or a deadlift as the Olympic lifts are much more complex.)

Ok, so now that we’ve gone over some general etiquette, let’s really get down to the brass tax:


If it can happen in a weight room, then I have most likely seen it go down over the years. Here is a list of some of the things that I have witnessed:

  1. Broken Arms
  2. Broken Lower Legs
  3. Hip Dislocation
  4. Sprained Ankles
  5. Teeth Knocked Out
  6. ACL and other ligament Injuries
  7. Shoulder Dislocations
  8. Vocal Cords Ruptured

***This is by all means not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea.

***Also I will note that the majority of these injuries did not happen to individuals while they were actually attempting a lift or an exercise.  Rather than that, they occurred while people were either not paying attention to their surroundings or goofing off.

Listed below are a few safety concerns that we encounter on a daily basis:

  • Lack of Awareness:  Often times we see people nearly walking into or very close by to moving barbells, kettlebells, jump ropes, or individuals performing a gymnastics movement.  When you are in the gym you should always be aware of your surroundings to ensure the safety of yourself and others.  
  • Lack of understanding of how much weight you are going to attempt.  Often people will not know how much weight they have on the bar.  This often leads to attempts on a weight that is not attainable and increased risk of injury.  Know exactly what you have on the bar at all times.

In order for you to help us maintain that fun, safe, and effective environment, we ask that you keep these useful tips in mind each time you walk into the gym.

Dr. Warren

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