What To Do When The Gym Is Full

This article is going to be about how to go about using a machine in the gym that someone is currently using. I realize this may seem like basic information but there is a lot of unwritten rules in the gym that you just have to learn over time but I’d rather just tell you here.

There is literally nothing more of a downer when you’re headed to the gym to gain some muscle and arrive to find all the machines you need are being used, so what are you suppose to do in this situation?

The main reason for this is that it’s very frustrating when you grab a drink of water to find other people on the machine you’re using when you turn around, especially when they have seen you there.

Well a lot of gym noobies don’t know of gym etiquette, so I’m here to help lay it out for you. Alright so your in the gym and your workout plan is all laid out. Only problem is you have other people on the machine that you need. So what do you do? Well you’ve got 4 options here.

  1. Wait for them to finish their set.
  2. Go ahead with another exercise on your workout plan and come back to that machine later
  3. Ask to work in with that person in between sets.
  4. Change the muscle group you plan to workout.

I’m going to break down these options into greater detail for you.

Option 1: Wait For Them To Finish Their Set.

Waiting for someone to finish up their entire sets can be a less than ideal option, especially if you’re in the middle of your workout. I will only recommend this option if you haven’t started your workout yet. Do a few more stretches or something until that machine is free and then get started.

Option 2: Go Ahead With Another Exercise On Your Workout Plan And Come Back To That Machine Later

Instead of going on with your workout as planned from A->B->C go ahead and jump from exercise A to C and back to B or whatever station that is open.

Basically just do your workout plan but don’t worry the order you do them in. This option is the most ideal but if you have some OCD tendencies like myself then this could throw your workout off.

Option 3: Ask To Work In With That Person In Between Sets.

Here you will work in with the person when they’re taking a break in between their sets.

Before you do this make sure you ASK them if it’s OK with them first, they may be doing super sets or fast sets or something I’ve never heard of, but still the case stands, ask before you do this.

Note that the average break time in between sets is around 45 seconds. So if you don’t think you can finish your set in under 2 minutes max for whatever reason, then just don’t even attempt to work in or you’ll have that person waiting on you and that just becomes an inconvenience.

This isn’t something major but if you can, try to remember what weight they had it on if you switch the weight so that you can swap it back before you swap out on sets. This is more of a common courtesy thing but if you don’t know just give them a heads up.

Usually not a huge deal here, just something I wanted to mention.

Final thing here, If you’re using a bench or something and you leave sweat all over it then make sure to wipe it up with your towel. This should be common thing you do everywhere in the gym but especially if you’re swapping in and out with someone. If the person you’re swapping out with doesn’t do this, then call them out.

Option 4: Change The Muscle Group You Plan To Workout.

Change the muscle you’re planning to hit that day. You will do this if you walk in the gym to do chest and every single bench is taken.

This is something that actually happens a lot on Mondays since everyone wants to do chest as soon as they can in the week. So here you’ll just move chest to Thursday and do Back or something on Monday. Basically be flexible, especially if you workout at rush hour in your gym.

I actually started going to the gym before work (around 6am because rush hour got so bad at the gym I was at). So this is always a option as well.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions let me know.