The Basics of Gym Etiquette

It’s that time of the year again when we all want to get that beautiful body we’ve so desired for all, well the past decade. It’s still early enough in ’16 for people to believe it’s the year of change. You may be saying to yourself well, it’s February and right you are. We all know January was a trial month. Now the real deal is starting because your gym membership that mom bought you for Christmas is more than just an expensive key chain.

Every day from now until mid-March, classes are going to be packed full of people. This concept of new year, new you, is not a unique idea. There will be people ranging in all fitness levels, every locker is taken, every [good] spot is gone and every weight in the hand of a guy who has no idea what he’s doing.

There’s a certain etiquette the new members are walking into. It’s kinda like prison [I know this because I watch a lot of SVU], in the sense of hierarchy, not murder. There are the regulars who have laid the groundwork for how the gym is run and then there is you, the new guy. Take it all in buddy because you don’t want to go against the grain.

Be Mindful of Your Sweat and Stank

Dogs pant, humans sweat and then there is the guy who looks like someone pushed him into a pool. We get it, you sweat a lot, I too, am one of these people. It’s bad enough that droplets of your sweat fall on the treadmill looking like you’re leaving a trail to find your way home but it’s when I watch you walk away that makes me gag and rethinking everything I’ve touched. Leaving your germ infested equipment for the next unsuspecting victim, is gross and rude. Clean up after yourself! What does your home look like? Bring a towel, disinfect your equipment. Simple rule: If you’re dripping, clean it up.

Keep it Quiet

This isn’t a social club. On a good day I have about an hour to get a good workout in. I really don’t need people gabbing throughout my class. It’s distracting especially when the conversations that are being had, consist mostly of complaints. Listen I’m over here busting my ass, I don’t need you reminding me that this is a hard workout. Also out trainer told us to do it, so do it. Then there is the excessive noise maker who is running faster, lifting more or hitting harder. Grunting and throwing down your dumbbells relegates you to caveman status. If “walrus sex” doesn’t immediately come to mind, the fact that you haven’t worked out in a while might: sounds like you’re overexerting yourself, but I’d check with a professional.

Don’t Hog

Once we start going to the gym we get on a schedule. Well at one point I was on the same schedule as the woman who would use the only working bike for 90 minutes. Lady, you’re kidding right? In the whole time you’ve probably gone 10 miles because if you were going any slower you’d be going backwards. It’s straight up rude to be a machine hog. You have exactly half an hour to do your thang and an hour if there are multiple of the same machine. After that, switch up your activity. It’s polite, courteous, and to be honest: I can’t see how doing the same thing every day can be helpful!

Put Your Shirt On

This isn’t an Nike ad. Why is your shirt off? There is a chance of snow this week. There is no need to be showing off your goodies. We get it, you’re in shape but vanity isn’t very becoming on people. You may or may not be in the gym to get a great body, but that does not make the gym the place to show off said bodacious bod. Plus, taking off your shirt means you’ll get other people’s germs all over your skin instead of your clothes. Ew. See above, I don’t want your nasty all over the gym either!

I’m Not Your Mom

Blame growing up with nannies, butlers and maids. For some, cleaning up after themselves isn’t second nature, which means stray kettle-bells, plates and other gym essentials not in their proper place. There’s nothing worse than finding a piece of empty equipment loaded up with a bunch of weird weight on it. If you don’t have time to re-rack your weight and put all the equipment back where it belongs, you don’t have time for that exercise! Avoid timeout by returning your equipment back where it belongs.

Perfect Form

This is probably the hardest one to deal with. There are some people that look like they are going to physically hurt themselves if they don’t stop whatever Godawful motion it is they’re doing. Ask a trainer in the gym if you’re not sure how a piece of equipment works! Are unsure of how to do a lift or you’ve been in your gym for a while, and have questions? Who cares! Consult someone who knows what they’re doing. A workout that works for one person might not work for you so find out what exactly you should be doing. If you don’t the only consult you’ll need is from a chiropractor.

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So what are your gym annoyances? Comment below I’d love to hear!

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