Culture / Sporting Life

Social in Security — Gym Etiquette 101 with Super Bowl Champion DeMarcus Ware

Timeless Tips to Start the New Year Strong

BY // 01.27.22

In her recurring column, “Social in Security,” modern etiquette ambassador and Bell’INVITO founder Heather Wiese-Alexander walks us through a list of trusted tips you can rely on. Because now that we’re emerging back into the world, we want to do it as the best version of ourselves. This month, Wiese-Alexander joins Super Bowl champion and former Dallas Cowboys player DeMarcus Ware to talk gym etiquette, motivation, and the importance of encouraging others. 

After the past two years, I’m in need of a boost, a change, something. I’m also a goal-setter, so I crave looking forward to something, but even looking for the silver linings has become overwhelming. This year, I finally scrapped the resolution talk and decided to get real about being better one day at a time. Call it my holistic approach to living well — physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. All five parts need to be nourished.

That’s not to say the goals went away entirely, but I do think we can benefit collectively from a good perspective shift, don’t you? It seems like the perfect time to take the social intelligence talk a step further.

Post-holiday, we’re starting with a fresh take on physical well-being. While I can dish about party etiquette all day long, when it comes to (many) other situations, there is wisdom, not to mention much more fun, calling in an expert. To get advice for the etiquette and mindfulness of physical well-being let’s tap into our January expert. It is beyond thrilling just to write this article with him.

Keep reading for a much-needed perspective shift in tackling a self-care routine with advice from a kind, wise gentleman you might know of, Demarcus Ware.

Heather: It’s the New Year. I think it’s safe to say we’re collectively exhausted and ready for a change. For those of us wanting to look and feel better, what are three things we should focus on first, so we don’t get overwhelmed with goals that are too hard to stick to for the whole year?

DeMarcus Ware:

– Find a way to give at least the first 10 minutes of the day to yourself before you give it to someone else.

– Make your goals small and attainable (don’t focus on the big goal). Be able to achieve small victories.

– Don’t compare yourself or your goals to anyone else.

AUP_Ingals_12.2019_040_Speedway Fitness_02 (Photo by Courtesy of Proper Hotel Austin )
The fitness room at Austin Proper Hotel. (courtesy)

I’m often intimidated when I’m headed to the weights section of the gym, but I want to do more than just a treadmill or bike. Is there a gym etiquette to follow to give you a confidence boost?

DeMarcus: Know thyself! You need to do what is right for your level of fitness and if you need to elevate yourself a bit, go into the gym with an exact plan. There are so many fitness resources out there, following a specific fitness plan will help you gain confidence and keep from looking like a fish out of water. Don’t be afraid to ask a trainer at the gym questions; they would love to help! If you’re in the Dallas area, come to my gym – 3VOLT Fitness and I promise the confidence will be boosted!

The fitness center at the updated Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas.

Something I really admire and that people may not know about you is you recently helped a young teen achieve his dreams of becoming a sports photographer in a very interesting way. You didn’t just help him with the hard tools, you invested in a photography boot camp that gives him the skills to use the tools—which is pretty amazing. Anecdotally speaking, if you were going to give tools to someone seeking out a better 2022 for themselves in general—both physically and mentally, what might be the primary elements of the bootcamp, and is there a “tool” you see as important to achieving that payoff?


– Create a schedule for yourself because people generally thrive on routines.

– Surround yourself with people that have a similar mindset who can keep you encouraged.

– Accept failure and use it to redirect yourself towards a route that can pay off. Some of the best rewards come from failure and being forced to pivot.

One “tool” that is important to achieving that payoff: writing down your “end goal” and keeping it somewhere you can see every day.

The Lagree room at DeMarcus Ware’s 3VOLT Fitness in Trophy Club. (courtesy)

Speaking about straight-up gym etiquette, what are the top things to avoid when working out in a gym?

DeMarcus: Be aware of the people that are around you.

Allow space, and avoid being in someone else’s space.

Don’t stare.

Wipe your sweat and avoid leaving a puddle.

Watch the time. Don’t hog up equipment for too long.

A stylish fitness center in Dallas’ Knox Street neighborhood.

Are there habits of great sportsmanship (is that the right word to use?) when I’m working out or in the locker room?

DeMarcus: A few good habits: help someone out if you can — share pointers if you have them or spot them if you think they need help. Also, encourage or fist bump someone if you see them grinding and doing a good job.

La Colombe d’Or Hotel & Residences Gym; Rendering Courtesy of Rottet Studio
La Colombe d’Or Hotel & Residences’ gym in Houston is anything but cookie-cutter.

I love the advice to encourage the people around you when you see something praise-worthy. How do you feel about social media and workouts? Are cameras and filming even allowed in gyms? In locker rooms? 

DeMarcus: If the camera is clearly focused on you, then it’s okay in the gym, but if you’re filming other people and creating a sense with film dramatics, then it’s frowned upon. Filming is not allowed in the locker rooms. If guys are filming in a locker room, it’s a code that is understood about what is shown. Social media drives everything these days, so I get it. When used the right way, it can be the perfect tool.

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