Yesterday, we talked about finding a plan to help you become more familiar with the gym and how to properly perform many of the moves. Finally knowing what to do and when will make a big difference in becoming more comfortable in the gym.
Once you are in the gym, though, do you know how to act? The gym can be its own little society with its own sense of etiquette. How about we go over some of the most important etiquette so that you don’t have to learn it the hard way? 🙂 I know understanding what is or is not acceptable before even going inside the gym will increase your confidence and comfort level.
So, let’s get started….
1) Wipe down equipment
This one really should go without saying but not everyone does it. The gym is an extremely germy place with all the sweat, coughing, and sneezing in a confined place. When you are done with a piece of equipment make a point to wipe it down with a towel and cleaning solution. It does not matter if you sweated on it or not. ALWAYS wipe it down. Like I said before, not everyone is considerate enough to wipe down their equipment and will sometimes leave sweat marks. GROSS!!! Some days I will wipe down the equipment before and after I use it. Remember this one rule and you will be on a head start to success.
2) Return Weights
When you are done with dumbbells or weight plates always return them to the weight rack. Don’t leave the work for someone else to do. There isn’t much more annoying than showing up to do leg presses or bench presses and seeing some guy has left all his weight on there. Then I have to waste my workout time shuffling the weights around before I can even start my sets. It makes perfect sense to hold on to the weights while you are doing your sets but when you are done always, always, ALWAYS return them. Then wipe down the bench. 😉
3) Do Not Hog Equipment
Other people are in the gym too. I know you know that. I know you aren’t trying to be inconsiderate. But, it is easy to get caught up in your music or daydreaming or talking with your training partner. There are quite possibly people waiting patiently, or not so patiently, for that piece of equipment you are on. Be mindful that you don’t rest for too long between sets and get off as soon as possible. If it is especially busy you can allow other patrons to “work-in” with you. In other words, you let that person do her set while you are resting.
4) Don’t Use Your Cell Phone
This is actually just basic cell phone etiquette. If your phone goes off during a workout excuse yourself and step into the hallway or outside to talk. It can be very annoying to other patrons to have to listen to your conversations. You might also end up hogging the equipment while you talk. And if you are on the phone while exercising you aren’t exercising hard enough. Honestly, your best option is to just leave your cell phone in your gym bag or in the car. Give yourself one hour every day when you are unplugged and disconnected from the rest of the world.
5) Don’t Hover
Hovering means hanging out by a piece of equipment while you wait for it to open up. It is awkward for the person already on it because it feels like she is being stalked. Well, I guess she is being stalked. You are also wasting time. There are tons of other ways to work that particular muscle that you are working that day. Be creative. If you really need to do that particular move then go do something else until it opens up. Or you could ask the other person if you could “work in.” Chances are the answer is YES.
6) Consider the Volume
Consider the Volume on your mp3 player or phone. Not everyone wants to hear that rocking music you have playing. It can be very distracting to those around you. But, the most important thing here is that if other people can hear your music it is way too loud for your ears. Protect your precious ear drums and turn it down.
7) Gently Put the Weights Down
Do NOT slam weights down. It is startling to other people around you and it is destructive to the equipment. Sometimes you might find yourself in a compromising position and the only way to stay safe is to allow the weights fall to the ground. Your safety and that of your partner is your number one priority. Just try to bring the weights down gently. Have you ever noticed how some dumbbells can feel loose when you pick them up? They are loose from being constantly dropped to the ground or slammed into the rack. Not good.
I would love to make this a nice round 10 but 8 will have to do….
8) Clothing and Hygiene
Dress appropriately and wear good deodorant. I put these together because they both have to do with how you present yourself to other people. No one wants to see too much of your skin and no one wants to smell you too strongly either. Yes, you should be sweating while working out but no one wants to be knocked down when you walk by either. Do NOT try to cover your smell up with perfume. Coming from someone who has asthma, those fumes are not good for anyone and could potentially send another person home with a headache or not able to breathe. Not good.
There you have it. Now you know the most basic rules of the gym. Different gyms will have their own unique rules but the ones I mentioned are pretty universal and usually unspoken. Now, you know them and don’t have to learn the hard, embarrassing way.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any pet peeves? Leave me a comment and let me know!!!