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Proper Gym Etiquette
How to Play Well with Others While Working Out
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Sometimes you get the results you wanted,
sometimes you don't.
What matters is that you did your best.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
I agree with ANNE-IN-GTX I hope others that need to read this article do so.
Find activities that you love doing and you'll enjoy exercising.
One of my pet peeves when I go to the gym is people who don't clean their equipment after being done....it's so gross!
Please: STOP crashing the weight stacks on strength machines!!!
The weight stacks crashing damages them, and USUALLY means you are
1) Attempting to lift too much weight
2) Using improper form
Neither is doing anything for YOU, and the sound of the crashing is IRRITATING to others!!!!
I bring my own sweat towel and a "washcloth" that is dedicated to wiping the equipment. I don't care for paper towels, I feel they are wasteful. The gym provides disinfectant spray and I spray the towel as needed to clean the equipment. It also allows me to switch machines quicker; I don't have to walk over to the paper towels, spray one, wipe the machine, then walk back to the trash to discard. The towel is right there and ready.
Couple of thoughts:
1) WORKOUT BUDDIES are awful. If they're not chatting, they're hogging tandem machines. Learn to work out on your own, or at least be mindful of serious exercisers around you. (Buddies are rarely serious; usually they don't even break a sweat.)
2) Did I mention chatting? If you want to stand around and socialize, pop down the road to Panera or something.
Regarding the volume of headphones: I have them at full blast to drown out other noises (the aforementioned chatting, as well as the awful music they play at full tilt.)
Kids at the gym, ugh! Don't get me wrong, I love kids so much I've worked daycare. The gym is no place for tiny fingers in all the wrong places. They just can't control themselves no matter how well you think they are behaved. They get bored and mess with equipment which could cause serious injury either to themselves or the next person to use it. Get a babysitter, this is "you time".
I am very fortunate that I get to work out at a new state of the art fitness center at our YMCA. It is very clean with lots of brand new PreCor equipment. There are plenty of wipe machines and everyone seems to use them. There is a water refill station and plenty of fountains. There are always lots of employees in the area to help you if necessary. There are plenty of social areas down the hall for anyone that wants to go socialize. They have plenty of televisions if you want to watch but you listen with your earphones. No loud music anywhere. I don't see or hear about any problems there. All in all it's a wonderful place to work out.
Your first tip is 100% WRONG!!!!
Do NOT use your own towel to wipe down a machine after using it! That is so unsanitary. The gym should provide spray disinfectant and paper towels.
I've seen people at my gym wipe their own sweat, then wipe their noses, THEN wipe down the machine handles, seats & backs. I don't want to use that machine afterwards.
Because I don't watch everyone who used the machine I want before me, I solved the problem by using the disinfectant and paper towels to wipe down the machine BEFORE and AFTER I use it.
Several years ago, I got a very bad case of bronchitis after using the gym. There are too many people who think the rules are for everyone else but them.
I actually quit going to a particular gym because there were people there who would come up and try to chat with me while I was working out. At 6:00 a.m. every day they would be at my treadmill visiting. Here I am, hair a mess, no makeup in my workout clothes trying to get my workout in before I had to get to work - not the ideal time for a leisure stroll and a chat!
Every gym should have this article printed, framed and hung up at the door. If you walk through the door and cannot follow these common-sense etiquette guidelines, you can turn right around and leave!!
Yesterday I saw a girl wearing "shorts" that, I kid you not, were smaller than the underwear I had on (which are called "cheeky" style!) ... She was doing squats. So in addition to cheek down below, and crack up top, everyone on the line of treadmills got to see a hungry butt gobble up the "shorts" with every downward motion. But it gets worse. For reasons unbeknownst to me, she gets on the floor, grabs her feet, spreads her legs and just rolled around. That's when I decided I'd seen enough and went into the other room. It might have made more sense if we were in the general area where creepy men might look her way (if thats what she wanted..? But we were in the women-only room...)
Another pet peeve of mine is this one woman who insists on being naked ALL the time in the locker room. 30 minute conversations with her friend completely naked? Every day! Doing her hair before a shred of fabric covers her body? All the time! And here's the worst...I walked in once to see her completely naked, save a pair of underwear at her knees...and she was changing her maxi pad....NO ONE ---EVER---- WANTS TO SEE THAT, EVER.
I would like to add. Yes, BO is gross, yes, you should wear deodorant, but please, PLEASE don't flood the gym with perfume or cologne. One of my biggest pet peeves is having someone come in wearing an axe bomb or having just showered in perfume while I'm running. Not only is it gross, but some people have allergies to things like that and they can trigger an asthma attack.
As an owner of an independent small fitness gym, I want to make gym etiquette intuitive as possible. I provide free towel service and disposable wipes to clean off the equipment before and after use. I also keep a keen eye on any members that may be a bother to others. I also have my staff follow a detailed cleaning checklist everyday (downloadable version is available on my blog). I would greatly appreciate any other advise that would help me help my members to have great gym etiquette!
Great article and thanks for posting it!
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