Grunting. Sweating. Spandex. These are a few things to be expected while at the gym.
However, whether you’re a new member or a seasoned gym-goer, there are a few unwritten laws to help you avoid becoming the gym menace.
If you’re flying solo, or working out with a group of people, always remember to re-rack your weights. One of the annoying factors you’ll find at the gym ⎯ especially during peak hours ⎯ is finding free weights, or plated weights scattered throughout the gym.
Whether they’re hidden in corners or sprawled out haphazardly along the floor, leaving your equipment out makes it harder for the next user to locate. Also, wiping down your machines and benches after a long, sweaty workout, will score points with other gym members, and cause them not to snarl or possibly lash out at you in utter disgust.
If you’re a person who likes to bounce from one piece of equipment to the next ⎯ known as circuit training ⎯ then be courteous and share your weights with other members. If a person asks to “work in,” the polite and correct response should be, “yes, of course.”
This is extremely important during the busy hours ⎯ usually between 4-8 p.m. when people are getting off of work ⎯ because people are trying to power through their workouts so they can get home to their families.
KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
This is referring to gym-goers who take advantage of the mirrors in order to check out their form. If you spot someone using the mirror, then be respectful and steer clear of his or her line of vision.
Also, if you grab a pair of dumbbells, take them and move to a more isolated area. Don’t stand directly in front of the rack, blocking others from grabbing or re-racking their weights.
AVOID BEING THE STINKY KID
Nobody likes the overbearing smell of body fragrances, cigarette residue, or heavy body odor, so be sure to perform a quick ‘smell test’ before stepping out into the workout area. If needed, slap on some deodorant and avoid bathing in a pool of cologne or perfume. Save it for after your shower, or on your way out. People’s nasal passages will thank you.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW
Just like in movie theaters, once you walk through the doors of the gym, your immediate reaction should be to silence your cell phone. Unless you’re using it for music, leave it in your locker or gym bag.
Checking text messages, sending emails, or carrying on conversations while using a piece of equipment should be avoided at all times.
And if the conversation is so important that you feel the need to shout over the background noise, then take it outside. Nobody cares about the ‘fight you had with your boss,’ or ‘the girl at the bar you almost hooked up with.'
Simply abandon your equipment and allow the decent member of society ⎯ who’s been waiting 20 minutes for you to finish up ⎯ to step in and use the machine.
FOR THE FUTURE
It can probably be agreed upon by most that when it comes to kindness and decency, America tends to turn a blind eye. Be that as it may, think of proper gym etiquette as a stepping-stone in the right direction.