It’s about that time of year again, the time when all gyms see an influx of memberships for the New Year. It’s a given that January brings in its new crop of “resolutioners” as well as bringing back seasoned gym-goers who may have taken a holiday hiatus. The population growth is going to be considerable and I get it, it’s great for business. In fact, I’m one of these very people.
Gym owners are happy, personal trainers are happy, and new members are happy. All are happy except for the seasoned gym-goer. As they now have to wait longer and put up with all the breaches in gym etiquette displayed by the new members.
So to all the new members out there, whether you realize it or not, you and those you share a gym with form a community. Making that community an entity that can work together for everyone’s benefit means following a few sensible guidelines:
1. Standing in line behind the guy filling up his giant-size shaker cup or gallon jug of water when all you want is a quick sip can be quite frustrating. So if you’ve got a big bottle to fill and someone without a bottle gets in line behind you, be courteous and step aside momentarily and let that guy drink first.
2. Im sure we have all been there, and would agree that there’s nothing worse than getting covered in someone else’s sweat. Hence the rule of wiping down the equipment after use. Especially if you do use a piece of equipment, or are stretching on a mat afterwards, don’t forget to wipe it down afterward.
3. Do not spend all your time on your cell phone. You are there to exercise, not chat or delay others by sitting around on a machine whilst fiddling with your phone. So if you do not plan to use it for listening to music, rather keep your cell phone in the locker or a bag.
4. When you’re done using the weights, put them back in the proper place. Tripping over them can cause major damage to one. This holds even if you found them in the wrong place to begin with.
5. If you have a six-pack that you’ve worked hard for, I know it deserves accolades. But nothing says “self-absorbed” more than lifting up your tank top and snapping selfies from every angle on the workout floor. Save your selfies for when the gym is empty or snap that Instagram from home.
6. Do not walk between others exercising and the mirror. Many gym exercisers are using the mirror to try to watch their form and they will not appreciate the distraction.
7. Put on antiperspirant before arriving at the gym. If you have a problem with body odour, it will make the environment more pleasant for everyone. It does not matter what your age, physique or gender, a little deodorant goes a long way in maintaining good interpersonal relations at the gym.
8. Lifting safely requires 100% concentration, so leave a decent-size buffer between you and anyone who’s in the middle of lifting. You should leave enough of a radius around other guys so that there’s no conceivable chance that you might be in the way if someone drops the weight. This is both a personal space and safety issue.
9. Equipment repairs can be few and far between at most gyms, you should take care of what’s available. Don’t rest dumbbells on upholstery. Don’t let weight s
So keep in mind the same way you had to learn good table manners as a child, is the same way you’re going to have to learn to follow the rules for sharing a workout space with others.
Even if you feel like you’re in your own little world when you’re exercising, always remember that others are trying to use that space too. These rules are not just for overall cleanliness and hygiene, but for the safety and enjoyment of everyone around you in the gym.
Above all, always respect the people around you and follow any posted rules that your gym may have. Getting alo