Working out is a very personal choice. It requires dedication and concentration in a very open and public facility. When the gym is empty, all bets are off; however, in a crowded gym there are common courtesies that must be exercised (pardon the pun) in order to respect your fellow gym mates. To ensure optimal fitness results, I have compiled a list of gym etiquette’s in accordance to my experience.
- Thou Shalt Honor All Gym Equipment.
That’s right! Honor the equipment which is helping you get in shape. Clean them before and after use, use them for their intended purpose, use them PROPERLY, and for the love of Goodness sake, don’t throw them on the ground, at the wall, or into other people (unless its an exercise bouncing ball which is soft enough to be thrown at things/people).
- Thou Shalt Respect the Water Fountain Line.
You just finished an exhausting rep, your sweating bullets and you need a drink of water. You book it to the next available water fountain only to find a line. What do you do? YOU WAIT YOUR TURN! Yup, I said it. Waiting at the fountain can be a taxing event, especially if you are tired and dehydrated. Regardless, if there is someone before you, do yourself a favor as well as others around you; obstain from jumping the line. Chances are the people in front of you are just as tired and dehydrated as well.
If you are filling up a water bottle and you see someone else coming up for a little sip; take initiative, be courteous, and let them take a swig if your water bottle might take a while to fill. If you don’t want to mess with the water fountain lines with your water bottle, go to the bathroom to fill up. OR bring a few water bottles so you don’t need to continuously refill. In addition – thanks to the convenience of many gyms; fresh cold water is available for purchase at the front desk. Obviously water can be an issue if we cannot obtain it instantly, but there are alternative methods to evade the illusive water issues.
- Thou Shalt Clean All Gym Equipment Thyself Touches.
Gym equipment gets used so many times a day. Bacteria and viruses spread through fluids from our body. Someone wipes their nose with their hands and then touches a machine handle or dumb bell/barbell handle with that same hand – you are now a candidate for contracting whatever came out of their nose.
Though we CANNOT control who or how many times a gym piece is being used, we CAN control our own chances in contracting yucky germs that plague the gym. Do yourself and others a favor by wiping down your space BEFORE and AFTER you use the equipment. A few seconds of disinfectant can save days or even weeks of feeling under the weather and nursing an infection. Also, keep in mind, people can spread other germs such as fungi and parasites. Though these are worst case scenarios; please love yourself more by wiping down! It saves yourself and the next person who touches the machine. Spread the love, not the germs!
- Thou Shalt Pick Up After Thyself.
I realize our workouts can be unpredictable. Suddenly, you have to fill up your water bottle, go to the bathroom, get something to eat if you feel your blood sugar is low, etc; the list goes on. Make sure to pick up your space if you leave a machine/equipment and take your items with you. There is nothing more exhausting or miffing than someone leaving their gym bag next to a piece of equipment they are no longer on. Are they coming back? Did they forget their stuff? Are they rudely trying to “save” their machine while gallivanting off somewhere else? Pick up your stuff. This isn’t your house where you can unpack anywhere you please and leave the mess. Just like you should take accountability for your workout; take accountability for your stuff.
- Thou Shalt Conduct Social Hour In Non-Workout Zones.
You’re at the gym and all of the benches are “taken” with a body on every one of them. But then, there in the distance, you spot a little group socializing on the bench you need. It doesn’t appear as if they are using it nor have any intention. You ask if you can use the bench and they say, “No, I’m using it.” This is a rude and inconsiderate move.
Because we all have a set amount of gym time allotted out of our day, it is important to get in and get out. Any socializing should be done off the workout zones. If you aren’t touching the machine/equipment, then let someone else use it until you are ready. “Holding” or “saving” the machine for a later time (even 10 mins. later- we ALL have jobs and a personal life outside of the gym) when someones else clearly is immediately interested in it is just plain rude and inconsiderate.
Listen- socializing is an important a part of the whole fitness experience; but if you feel a conversation coming on with another friend, take it to the lobby to free up the equipment you are on. That way someone else can use it. Remember: the machines and equipment are COMMUNAL. The gym is a common place that must be SHARED. Hogging in NOT allowed!
- Thou Shalt Not Interfere With Someone’s Workout.
Not only is it DANGEROUS to mess with others when they are in the middle of a set; it’s plain rude and passive aggressive. Once, I was squatting 255 lbs when this rude woman comes out from behind me and hits my calves hard with her duffel bag which could have caused an accident. Luckily she only bruised my leg, but it could have resulted in a law suit – against her. Keep your distance and for the love of God PUH-LEASE refrain from interfering between another person and their exercise equipment. It is a potential accident waiting to happen that YOU could end up paying for. Ensure a 3 ft perimeter at all times; or else you might not like the outcome. That lady who hit me knew she was wrong yet she did it anyways. Her excuse was she was just saying, “Hi”, – because she is just plain RUDE.
So there you have it! The commandments of gym etiquette’s. Lets face it- the gym is such a wonderful place to reach your physical/fitness goals. Many positive and record breaking events transpire from the four walls of glory. It’s a place I can safely call a sanctuary; one in which I do not declare so easily. Make sure to go in there with a positive and determined mind to not only reach optimal physical success, but to respect the common space that gives you that success which is shared with everyone there.
Happy Work Out!