Top tips for using the gym if you're hard of hearing

Can I use the gym if I'm deaf?

Only a few months back my hearing finally faded and now I can only hear bass - but as my friends and family will tell you, I'm really good a lip reading. With my hearing failing over a period of 20 years, I have learnt to adapt to my environment and as an avid bodybuilder (frequenting the gym 4-5 times a week), I have found ways to be sure I have as good a training session as when I could hear.

Most of what I point out in this blog you may see as common sense however, it is only too easy to forget or let it slip. I want to make your accessing the gym as smooth as possible. The notes below are if you wish to attend a gym on your own, however, I can take the pressure off. Presently I am inducting the HoH or Deaf at Anytime Fitness in Aldershot, I am doing this without charge at this time, all that is required is your gymnasium membership*.

Could the gym be your thing? Contact me here if you want to have someone set everything up so your time at the gym is stress-free and you have a fitness trainer qualified in BSL.

Tell the Management

Why? With fire alarms for a start, I have yet to use a gym that has lights indicating there is an emergency, by telling the fitness team, they can be sure to keep you in mind to alert.

Have you any medical conditions that they should be aware of ie are you an asthmatic, where do you keep your inhaler, do you have high/low blood pressure? By informing the fitness team, you will be in their thoughts should any emergency arises.

Tell others in the gym

How? I wear a blue badge on my shoulder, it has the ear struck through (as in the deaf sign) with ‘I lip read’ on it. What are the benefits of this? Despite almost everyone listening to their own music, there are times when they are not purposely ignoring everyone to concentrate on their workout, they may call you for a chat or even alert you of danger. Wearing a badge (as this pandemic has pointed out), makes communication easier and is considered polite and thoughtful. Since wearing the badge, I have made many acquaintances and everyone is very considerate.

Be aware of your environment

Almost all gyms have a different layout, I find it is best to call the gym that I want to attend (through Text Relay) or even look at images on the Internet of the gym.

  • Are you required to take an induction of the gym?

  • Would you need an interpreter for this?

  • Do you have any other disabilities which you and the gym need to consider?

  • What is the situation at this time with face masks?

Your hearing ability should not affect your fitness, if you feel it does, this would be your first step to climb on the ladder to your health goals, send me a message and let's get started.

* Contact me to be shown around the gym - no charge