Gym Etiquette. Twelve Things To Practice
If you’ve never really been in a public fitness gym before you may feel a little lost at first until you adjust to a routine and begin to socialize a bit among members. Most gyms are very social places since everyone is there for the same reason. Some more hardcore than others but most members are friendly and helpful. There are certain gyms such as World Gym that do have a reputation for bodybuilders and heavy weight lifters but you’ll be aware of these gyms when you visit for the first time. If not sooner. And chances are good you won’t want to enter into an agreement with that particular gym unless your goals are exceptional and not the average person whom I’m addressing in this blog series.
As you begin your starting weeks you may want to keep a few things in mind regarding etiquette and proper conduct. These tips could save you some embarrassment or discomfort. Some of these tips are rules posted within the gym, some are just common politenesses I’ve observed and some are just common sense “pet peeves” I’ve developed over the years. So forgive me if I get a little “preachy” at times.
- Wear workout clothes. Meaning no bluejeans, or jean cutoffs, flip-flops, suite pants or what you might say are “street “ clothes. Wear solid sneakers, socks, tank tops, workout shorts or long pants… look around the gym and see what other members are wearing. You can be stylish or not!
- Bring a small T-towel with you to wipe off your perspiration. When you’re through with each machine wipe it off before moving on. Most gyms provide some type of wet wipes or spray bottles to wipe off the equipment with. This is not only courteous to other members but it helps deter the spread of bacterial infections.
- Don’t linger on the weight machines. Once your’e through… move on! Don’t sit there playing with your cell phone, reading a book or anything else. And don’t use the excuse of… “I’m between sets”… to linger on a machine. Others are waiting so be kind and move your behind!
- If you’re wearing headphones/earbuds DON”T tune out life around you. I see people using that as an excuse to avoid courtesies to other members. What’s up with that? We all understand you may want to keep to yourself but respect your fellow members as well.
- If you are using free weights or other portable exercise equipment DON”T leave it laying on the floor. There are always racks in the gym for these things. Return them to their places when you’re through with them.
- Refrain from loud grunts and groans. It’s just annoying to other members. Breathing normally inhaling and exhaling will achieve more beneficial technique.
- DO NOT SLAM free weights or the weight plates on the machines. This is also very annoying. Also, I have seen an entire stack of weight plates broken in half when slammed together to the floor because of some muscle head that dropped them. Remember, they are made of highly tempered steel and are brittle enough to break and expensive to replace.
- Don’t get impatient about waiting to use a machine. In fact, DON”T wait! Do something else! It never hurts to do your routine out of sequence. In fact, it’s beneficial to your body to shock it a bit.
- Practice clean hygiene! Before you leave the restroom WASH you hands thoroughly. It’s rather disgusting to me to be in the mens locker room and see a guy leave a urinal or a stall (often with a cell phone stuck to his ear) and then WALK RIGHT OUT of the locker room without washing his hands! And he’s going to touch all the machines I’m working on! I’m NOT kidding… I see this all the time and it makes me want to puke!
- While on the subject, treat that locker room like you do your home bathroom. Don’t leave towels, empty bottles, soap, etc laying around in there. Use the trash cans! And wipe yourself off before getting out of the shower instead of dripping water everywhere for other members to step through. Of course, there is plenty more regarding locker room behavior for both men and women I could discuss here but… you get the idea!
- Don’t leave trash, clothing, etc. laying around the floor of the gym or on the machines. Respect your surroundings. Bring anything you think someone has forgotten to the lost and found at the front desk. You may be the one who leaves something behind one day and are grateful for retrieving it from the lost and found.
- Bring a lock and use a locker for your personal belongings. The gym is not responsible for loss of your personal stuff. I’ve seen people simply pile their clothes on the floor or above a locker. Use a locker and lock… and use your head!
These are just 12 things that come to mind while working out at my local gym and what I’ve witnessed over the years. Feel free to add to this list with your comments. I’m sure there are more considerations I’ve not mentioned here.
In the meantime, ENJOY your workout and we’ll see ya next time for Friday Fitness Tip #7!
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a fitness expert in any way. I’m not a certified trainer, dietician, or medical doctor… nor do I hold a degree in physical education, dietary science, sports medicine or any other field related to today’s fitness. I am just a normal guy who’s been working out regularly at a gym, 3 - 4 days per week for the last 32 years. I take my health seriously. I figure, I do no service to my profession as a Voice Actor/Voiceover Talent (sometimes on camera) nor to anyone else if I don’t try and maintain good health. And I’ve learned a few things along the way that I’d like to share with you. These ideas work for me and just might work for you. Stay tuned for many more tips! -