Weight loss is a top, if not the number one New Years resolution for many Americans. With the New Year quickly approaching, it’s important for gym veterans and newbies to refresh themselves on proper Gym Etiquette.
WIPE DOWN YOUR EQUIPMENT
Think about it. You’re sweaty, everyone’s sweaty, everyone who was using that equipment or bench is sweaty and when was the last time it was wiped down? Gyms are filled with germs and you can pick up infections and viruses like Staph, Strep throat, Influenza, and more. So it’s good practice to wipe twice- before and after your done using the equipment.
IT’S A CHANGING ROOM, NOT A NUDIST COLONY
The changing room is for changing, and some people take longer than others to do that. Don’t feel rushed, but just keep in mind generations change and skin gets older. It seems unnecessary to strip down naked before you go to the bathroom, do your hair, do a lap around the changing room, weigh yourself, have a full conversation and then put on your clothes. Just put your clothes on.
“YOGA” DOESN’T MEAN “LYING ON YOUR BACK TEXTING”
The majority of people at the gym use their phones to listen to music while they workout, and that’s totally fine! But unless you’re changing the song, keep your phone in your pocket. Lying on your back for 30 minutes while you snap cute gym selfies and update your Facebook page is first off, inconsiderate, and secondly doesn’t count as “working out.” Do that during your own time.
RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS- WE CAN’T ALL LIFT 500LBS
So often, I’ve wanted to use a weight machine and then decided not to use it because I wasn’t strong enough to remove the weights left by the person before me. If you’re a strong man, or woman and load up your weight machines with 400lbs+ you need to be considerate and remove them before you move on to your next machine. Not everyone can safely lift that much weight without hurting him or herself.
APPROPRIATE GYM ATTIRE, SHOES, AND MAKEUP
To set the record straight, jeans are NOT workout pants. At the same time, does a man really need to be wearing spandex booty shorts to do squats? – probably not. Wear clothes to the gym that are designated workout clothes, but also consider if they are publicly decent workout clothes. Your shirt should cover your belly, your pants should cover your peach, and your arm-holes shouldn’t be so large that I see your nipples.
The proper pair of shoes is also important. Wear shoes that have treed, closed toes, and look like they have been cleaned within the last decade.
On a similar note, fake eyelashes and red lipstick isn’t gym appropriate either. The gym isn’t your personal runway.
If there is only one other person using the elliptical and there are 20 open ellipticals, leave at least one open machine between you and the other person. If there are open machines, don’t force other people to sweat right next to you.
THE HAIR DRYER IS FOR HEAD HAIR ONLY
I shouldn’t need to say this. I don’t know how vast your jungle is between your legs, and I don’t know how absorbent all that hair might be…but it’s not appropriate to spread your legs and stick a hair dryer down there…EVER.
DON’T BE A GYM-INTIMIDATOR
Gym-intimidators are usually sporting minimal-to-no shirt, drinking out of gallon water jugs, and dropping weights. I’m impressed by your gym dedication and confidence, but your aggressive gym behaviors might make others feel uncomfortable. It’s more sanitary to wear a shirt and a lot of gyms now require it, so wear one. A gallon of water is an unnecessary amount, carry a water bottle and if you need more simply refill at the water-fountain. Dropping weights is loud and dangerous, for everyone’s safety- no dropping.
ARE YOU STARING AT ME?
For the most part people at the gym are in their own little worlds listening to their headphones, and not paying attention to other people. If you see someone you find attractive, it’s okay to look for a couple of seconds, or maybe even sneak in several glances while he or she isn’t paying attention. But looking at a person without breaking eye contact for an extended period of time while they are trying to finish their workout is just creepy. Don’t be creepy.
GRUNTING LIKE AN ANIMAL
Some men can lift an impressive amount of weight, and I totally understand small huffs and puffs because damn, that’s heavy! But overly loud animal noises are over the top. Also verbal confirmation of how good you look while looking in the mirror and doing reps is strange.
A WEIGHT BENCH IS NOT A RESTING SEAT
Often I watch people spend more time resting on equipment than I see them actually working out. I understand people want to take breaks in-between reps, but the average person is breaking for far too long. According to Shape Magazine, the optimum amount of time to rest is less than 30-seconds. According to Men’s Health magazine, it can be anywhere from 20-seconds to 5-minutes depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
If you need to rest for 5-minutes between reps, step away from the equipment and coordinate reps with someone who is waiting to use that same machine.
THE GYM IS NOT A RESTAURANT
I’ve only seen this once, and it was incredibly bazaar. The man was in jeans, a pullover hoodie, winter boots and eating a foot-long Subway sandwich with both hands while on the elliptical.
Don’t eat and workout. It’s a choking hazard, it’s unsanitary, and the gym is for working out not eating.
NOT A TIME FOR PERSONAL CALLS
People like to workout with their music, or in silence- but no one want’s to workout while listening to your conversation with your BFF Rita.
If you have to answer your phone at the gym and don’t want to leave your machine make it brief, no longer than a minute.
DON’T SHOW UP LATE TO CLASS
We all had to attend some form of schooling, so we all know this rule. If you attend classes at your gym, show up on time. If you’re running late on the rare occasion, enter the class quietly and join in the back.
Don’t make a scene or announce your tardiness, it’s better to just join the flow of the class!
CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
It’s never fun to get on a machine and then uncover someone’s dirty tissues, empty water bottle, or sweaty towel. It’s also not fun to discover those in the last empty locker. Be respectful of everyone at the gym, including the employees, and clean up after yourself. Everything you bring to the machine or into the locker room should leave with you when you’re finished.
CLASS IS NOT THE TIME TO CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS
Ever attend a class at the gym with two people talking in the back the whole time? It’s distracting, and disrespectful to everyone in the class as well as the teacher. Talk before or after the class, but not during. If the instructor is more seasoned, he or she will ask you to leave. If not, everyone who attended the class and listened to you the whole time now secretly hates you.
LEAVE YOUR COLOGNE AND PERFUME IN THE CAR
There’s always that one man or woman who goes way too heavy on the fragrance. There are already a lot of smells in a gym, from sweat, sanitizer spray, soap, laundry, smelly feet, etc. Spraying yourself heavily with perfume or cologne doesn’t mask any smell, it just contributes to the already abundance of smells. It’s also really difficult to breathe heavily when you feel like your breathing in perfume. Some people are much more sensitive to smell than you are, so be considerate of everyone.