If you want to find the best gym in Dubai, don’t look up reviews of gyms near you. Help to make the nearest gym to you the best. Help your local gym to become first-class by behaving yourself. Be polite and courteous to everybody and expect people to treat you the same. Wipe down your machines, be respectful of your environment.
Most of all, however, simply follow these, the core, unwritten rules that should be adhered to in any exercise space:
1. Keys and towels mean a piece of kit is in use
If somebody has left their keys or towel next to, or on, a piece of equipment, they are using it. It’s occupied. They may have just nipped off to the bathroom, or to refill their water bottle, or to stretch out for 30 seconds somewhere, or to complete part of their superset.
Don’t jump on the equipment or start adjusting it, and don’t be annoyed when somebody comes back to use it.
This being said, don’t abuse this rule yourself. If you’re spending the majority of the next 20 minutes on a piece of kit, by all means leave your keys or towel there. If you’re not, or if you’re just planning to use it at some point in the future, you can’t claim it. Don’t be a hog.
2. There are times to talk… and times to shut up
Don’t talk during the middle of a set, either yours or somebody else’s. If you’re in the middle of a set or superset, the last thing you want is somebody coming up to talk to you. However, there are still plenty of people in every gym who think it’s OK to do so. Whether they want to know how many sets you’ve got left or they just fancy a friendly chat, when somebody’s touching iron, don’t engage.
In addition, respect headphones. Other than allowing somebody their own tunes, rather than whatever the gym is playing, headphones serve a noble purpose during exercise: they tell anybody looking that you don’t want to talk to them. They’re being polite in letting you know in this subtle way, so be polite in return.
3. Don’t hoard weights
Any gym in Dubai should be well-equipped with a variety of weights. The best gyms in Dubai will have literal tons of them. However, weights and plates will always be a finite resource, so don’t hoard them.
We’ve all seen people encircled by dumbbells and kettlebells, who insist on stacking hundreds of kilos by their barbell that they have no hope of lifting, and who use three different varieties of weight where one will do. Be reasonable, people: take what you need, and if you need a hundred pieces of equipment, make sure to exercise when the gym is empty.
4. Put weights away when you’re done
In addition to not hoarding weights, make sure you put them away when you’re done. You know those people you see walking about in every gym in Dubai, dressed in gym-branded t-shirts, with name badges that tell you they’re trainers? Well, they are personal trainers, not cleaners, not skivvies. They are here to keep you safe and help you out where needed, not to follow you around, picking up after you.
5. Wipe down equipment after use
The best gyms in Dubai are clean; hopefully all gyms in Dubai are clean, in fact. But this follows on from our last point: they are not clean because trainers act as cleaners. Ideally, they are clean because good, responsible people wipe down benches and machines after use.
You’re sweating all over this stuff, so come on, be hygienic and clean up after yourself.
So, this is how you join the best gym in Dubai: you make it yourself, as part of a community, leading by example and hoping that others will follow. Gyms can be crowded, stressful places; one of the best ways to make them seem less so is to act appropriately and follow the unwritten rules.