Sometimes we get so far “in the zone” during our workouts that we forget about the other people using the same space. We can easily forget the basics of gym etiquette, and before we know it, we’re “that guy/girl” who gets all the dirty looks once we stride over to our favorite equipment. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little consideration and forethought, we can keep the gym a peaceful, pleasant place where everyone looks after the shared equipment and helps maintain order and efficiency.
Here are some basic things to remember:
Always wipe down the equipment after you use it, preferably with a towel that hasn’t been on the floor and isn’t sopping wet. There are few things more unpleasant than lying down on a piece of equipment only to end up on a cold pool of someone else’s sweat that causes you to stick to the leather padding. There’s few ways to get people to dislike you faster than being the person who never fails to forget to wipe down the equipment after working out on it. The gym always provides towels for keeping dry anyway, so don’t forget to use them.
Don’t hog the equipment. Just like you, everyone pays a membership fee to be able to use the machines in the gym. Be mindful of when you’re taking too long, and be ready to give way to others. If you were thinking of doing an hour on the treadmill and you notice that someone else has been waiting to use it, you might want to break up your routine into three parts, inserting other workouts in between, to avoid being tagged as an equipment hog.
Return things to their rightful places. Obviously not the rule for towels and personal equipment, you still do have to pick up after yourself. Return weights, jump ropes, punching mitts, and the like to their appropriate storage containers as soon as you finish with them – and not after you complete your entire workout. Keep in mind that misplaced equipment can trip people up and cause significant damage or injury. Instead of just placing the items on the floor, use the short walk to the storage area as a kind of active recovery, and avoid being the cause of an accident.
Don’t carry on loud conversations on your cellphone. While this is annoying almost every single time it happens, it’s especially annoying when you’re trying to concentrate on your workout. There’s no piece of gossip that’s too juicy that you really have to take that call in the middle of your workout. It’s even worse when some people even sit and chat on the bench they’re supposed to be using for squats. Either leave your phone in your locker or leave the room if you’d rather chat than do your sets.
Don’t toss the weights around. Contrary to popular belief, dropping weights with a loud thud does not demonstrate how strong you are. On the contrary, it shows how little control you have over the weights you’re using.
Remembering these simple guidelines will help keep the peace in your gym, and help you get a good workout in at the same time.
Image source: Huffington Post