Gym Etiquette 101
I’ve been wanting to write this for a while, but ya know things happen. Well, no longer can my Gym Etiquette Blog wait as there has just been way too much chaos in the gym that I feel the need to educate everyone about how to act appropriately when you are there. I am pretty sure, too, I am going to say a lot of what you are all thinking. Those of you that know me well, can always count on me for speaking up! I’ve got your back.
It reminds me of other areas in life such as when I rode the bus, commuting to New York City from New Jersey every day and had to deal with people that acted like they did not know any better. For example, sleeping on my shoulder when you don’t know me is NOT okay. Or, when I go to the beach and am trying to relax and read a good book and I am forced to listen to your loud blaring music. NOT okay!
Back to the gym. Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to act when you are in a public fitness environment. The key word being public, which means what you do and how you act has an impact on others.
Let’s start with something very simple. Give other people space. No one wants you right next to them when there are plenty of the same kind of piece of equipment a space or two away. When working out, people 1. sweat a lot 2. make funny noises 3. don’t look their best and finally all good workouts require hard work, which requires some room. Just some of the reasons you don’t need another person right on top of you for no good reason. I’ve started asking people to move over or I move myself if that is possible. It surprises a lot of people. It’s fun!
We all love our phones. In fact, there are not many people that love their phone more than I do – just ask my husband, but the gym is not the place for your phone. Sure, if you are using it to listen to music, have at it. I am not talking about you. I am addressing the person who decides to talk on the phone or sit on a piece of equipment while they text their friends or send emails – who the heck knows what you are doing. If you want to waste your time in the gym, fine, but other people have jobs to get to and things to do so it is rude to encroach on their time while you decide to waste yours on the phone in the gym.
There is nothing about your sweat that others find appealing. That means you need to wipe down the equipment after you’ve used it. This includes benches and other machines not just cardio. A good rule of thumb is to bring a towel to the gym (or use one the gym provides) to lay on the equipment when you get on it then you can simply use that towel to give the equipment a quick wipe before you move on to the next thing.
I am one to do lots of super-sets in the gym so this one kind of applies to me too, but it does not mean because I do it, it is alright. You cannot hog multiple pieces of equipment. Everyone should be able to get their workout in. Now, since I am a guilty party in this I can offer some advice. When you are creating your workouts, cluster things together that can be done on the same machine. For example, do pull downs with rear deltoid pulls and rope crunches on one machine (it is possible) instead of walking around the gym leaving towels and water bottles on things you are only using every other minute. If you need to do the latter, allow for people to work in with you. Don’t turn your head when someone tries to make eye contact to ask if they can work in.
Despite what some of you may think, the gym is not the place to pick up people. Most people who go to the gym, at least if you are like me, you are there for a hardcore sweat session. Nothing else. It is okay to smile at others; I am not suggesting we all be mean to each other, but don’t try to spark conversations with people who have headsets on. Why do you think they wear them? In line with this, look; don’t stare. There are a lot of good looking people in the gym with great bodies, doing cool exercises so it is alright to look – I do too, but staring is obnoxious. It’s perverted even; so don’t do it. No talking and no gawking.
Just call me Miss Manners. Most of you are shaking your head up and down, thanking me for saying what you have been thinking for a long time [so feel free to share]. You are welcome! For the rest of you. Act right!