Lions Etiquette for the Gym & for Life
Whether it’s your first time at Lions or you’ve been around for awhile, you may feel like there are some unspoken social rules at the gym. (Just like there are everywhere in life!) Etiquette at Lions is all about being a good partner in class and creating the most inclusive, comfortable environment possible to grow badasses in and outside the gym.
Rule #1: Support Each Other’s Growth
Converse to catch up with each other before class, after class, or at Bar Hours or one of our other social events. Go introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met. We’re basically the island of misfit toys, so we all get how awkward it can feel.
During class, be friendly, but stay focused on your training and on helping each other learn. Keep the side conversations to a minimum, and respect that people are here to get their reps in and learn how to be stronger, safer, and harder to kill.
Besides, distractions can cause real injury.
Rule #2: Don’t Be a Know-It-All
Don’t teach if you’re not the instructor. If your partner has a question about technique, stop and ask the instructor instead of trying to teach them yourself. Keep your eyes focused on your own lane. You don’t want to accidentally give someone bad advice, and you really wouldn’t want to accidentally give “advice” to your partner and then find out later that they’ve been an instructor for the last 6 years.
Even instructors refrain from correcting their partners when they’re taking class. Stay focused, stay humble, and stay in your own lane.
Rule #3: Consent Is Key
Communicate with your partner! We all want to be a good partner, so help us out by telling us how! In order to keep ourselves and our partners safe, both physically and emotionally, we need to communicate our needs and respect the needs of our partners. This includes proactively saying things like, “Can you go lighter please?” when a partner is hitting too hard, or, “Would you slow down? I can feel myself getting flustered and frustrated, so I need to take it down a notch.”
If there are drills you are uncomfortable with, ask your partner for a modification. For example, I had a very hard time with anyone placing their hands directly on my throat during choke defense drills, so I asked them to place their hands on my shoulders instead until I became more comfortable. This way, I can still train, and my partner can feel confident that they’re providing a safe training experience for me.
Communicating like this not only gives your partners the information they need to help you get good training, but it also gives you an opportunity to practice setting and maintaining your own boundaries, which is a critical self defense skill that ought not be overlooked.
Rule #4: Come Clean
Come to the gym showered and with brushed teeth. And for all of our sakes, trim your nails!!!!
Did you just work up a sweat in Groundwork? Change your shirt before you hit that next class.
Check your gloves, shin guards, and any other gear for gnarly scents. THIS POST is full of tips on how to care for your clothes and your gear so they don’t stink. If your clothes still smell after washing them, it’s time to throw them out and grab a NEW SHIRT.
Now that you know the rules, go forth and be a good partner!
Does it seem like there are some other unspoken social rules you’ve noticed? Send your gym etiquette questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to get an answer in a future blog post!