Proper Gym Etiquette
Everyone knows the basics of gym Etiquette...don’t they?
As a health club guest, sometimes following proper gym etiquette seems like common sense, while other times it may seem like there is absolutely no point to it what so ever. On the other side of the fence, as a gym rat or a health club professional, it may be quite annoying and sometimes even dangerous when some Schmoe has carelessly left weights out in the middle of the floor or left plates on a bar unsecurely - or better yet; plates left leaning up against another machine. Rack your weights after use, people! Proper gym etiquette explained, plain and simple.
If you can lift those weights to build your body - you can definitely put them back. What if someone that could only lift the bar came after you?
At one point I’m sure we all have been a little scatter-brained while “in the zone” and forgotten to put our weights back - and that’s fine ONCE, maybe twice - but don’t make a habit of it. Get used to putting your weights back after use, or out of the way of others between sets if you are planning on reusing them for the next. Oh, and when you are racking them - put them back where they belong, yes? That means the 10’s go where it says “10”, the 50’s go where it says “50” etc, no matter where you took them from, and even if they were somewhere else when you found them. When you are done using any ball: make sure it is put away securely so it doesn't roll away and trip up anyone while they are in the midst of a set. Make sure dumbbells don't roll so anyone will potentially trip over them.
You know you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
The guy that just stepped right in front of you in the mirror to do his best black-crow impression of lateral raises may not have a clue that he is blocking you. Instead of creating an internal personal vendetta against him, simply make it clear to him in a polite way, and more often than not, he will move. At the same time, keep an eye to make sure you are not blocking anyone either.
Hygiene is very important when it comes to the gym, and it starts as soon as you walk in the front door. Please wear clean workout clothes when you come to the gym, and everyone is happy. Sweating will then be encouraged. Sweat a lot. Flipflops are fine in the lobby, pool area, showers and locker room...everywhere else wear your sneakers.
When it comes to the locker room, if you have an overnight locker, take your dirty clothes home with you; don’t let them percolate overnight (or, ugh, for days) and then reuse them = B.O ugliness, and yes, the world CAN tell! Also, please only use the blow dryers to dry your hair. I repeat. Only use it to dry your hair on your head. Capish? Also, wear a towel around you when you walk around the locker room; bless you for being so comfortable in your birthday suit (good for you!), others may actually be quite uncomfortable. (NO leg up on the bench while talking, no tush in the air while bending over with your back to others, etc). A little consideration goes a long way. - now; if you were wearing a towel, it doesn’t matter; you’re covered. And for goodness sake, do NOT sit on the benches with nothing on; sit on a towel.
Always take a soapy shower before going into the sauna, the steam room, the pool, the hot tub/jacuzzi, or getting a massage.
Most gyms provide towels. Use your towel as your shield against bodily fluids in the gym! Bleuch! Use the towels to wipe down the machines and to lye on; use paper towels to wipe your sweat off with, to avoid breakouts and rashes. For some reason, I keep seeing people blowing their noses in their towels....what is up with that?
When using a bench, mat, or lying down on anything, lay down your towel first. You may also use the wipes that most gyms provides. For cardio machines, Wipe down the machine BEFORE you use it, and AFTER you are done. Before, because you never know if the person ahead of you remembered to wiped it down, and after as a courtesy for the next person.
However you use your towel, when you are done using it, throw it in the designated bins, don;t leave it behind on the machines, the gymfloor or in the locker rooms.
Dropping your weights. If you are challenging yourself, and you went to max, you absolutely can’t control your weights anymore, it happens; they drop. Then again, others make a sport out of it and literally throw their weights down like a child because they are thrilled by the sound it makes. Their surroundings may not be as thrilled, so simmer down a little, Bamm-Bamm - the rest of Bedrock is not as excited as you are. The yoga & meditation class on the floor below the weight room is definitely NOT delighted about it.
Making shrieking and overly loud noises while lifting is usually not necessary. When I was lifting heavy, I lifted with the big boys without a pip - and still got plenty of results. Granted, everyone is different, but when I see some healthy looking dude making crazy choo-choo and colon-cleansing sounds over a measly 225 lbs in leg press.....well, it’s BS. It’s something he learned for some very strange reason. It’s obnoxious, it’s loud, and it’s really light for this dude to be asking for this much attention. It will be interesting to see if the same guy will rack those plates... On the other hand, wen the Olympic lifters are having a meet, or the Strongman training is in session, all bets are off; thousands of pounds are being thrown around; they are allowed the grunt AND drop the weights. But then again, they are less likely to be in your gym. If they are; it’s FUN to watch!
Space. All we are saaaaying is give space a chance.....Be sensitive to how close you are to the next person. for example: when you want to stretch, make sure you are giving plenty of distance between you and the next person. If you feel there isn't enough room, then look for another place to stretch, or wait your turn. When you are walking past someone someone that is working in front of a mirror, it is better to try walking behind them so they can keep their concentration. If a trainer is with a client, never walk between the trainer and their client.
Prime-time hours, is when the gym is at its busiest, which is usually in the early morning and evening hours and for some clubs at lunch time. During this time someone may ask to work-in with you on a piece of equipment you are using. This may happen at any time of day for that matter, so be courteous, and allow others to do so. Who knows; you could meet your next workout buddy!
If during prime-time the gym has a time limit on cardio equipment, and you see other members waiting, respect the time limits. You can always jump on a different type of cardio device to switch up your routine, or do more weights. Maybe there’s a class going on, or you can stretch a little extra. Take a minute to go within a get a sense of what your system needs that day, and do that for yourself.
You are there to work on your body. Don't worry about anyone else's body. They are all there to work on their bodies as well. Period. Don't openly make fun of or critize other's bodies. They are in the gym working on it, aren't they? You don't know what is going on in their lives, tread carefully, have compassion and empathy. Be a friend.
Please be considerate of your surroundings. It makes for a much friendlier environment - neater and cleaner too. Stay happy in fitness and health, and stay
Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below!