The benefits of exercise are well-known; it’s even been discovered that exercise can help reverse heart issues.Whether you’re a new gym-goer or an experienced weightlifter, you want to follow your gym’s etiquette. It’s not just to avoid embarrassing social mistakes, some of these mistakes can damage gym property or put other members at risk. Every gym has “that guy” (or girl, for that matter)–somebody who annoys the other patrons. Even if they’re not technically breaking any rules, they’re not making any friends. Here are some tips to avoid being “that person” at your gym. (By the way, hitting on everybody isn’t on the list–we hope you knew that already!)
Not Wiping Down Machines
One of the great things about exercising is that you can tune out the world’s distractions and get “in the zone”. However, in your intensity and concentration, don’t forget to wipe your sweat off of machines, weights, or mats. Seriously, if you’re not already in this practice, you should change that right away. Most gyms have paper towels at strategic locations.
Disrespecting Machines and Weights
The next annoying gym behavior is mistreating the equipment. By ‘mistreating’, we mean leaving weights lying around, letting the weights slam down on resistance-based machines, and other behaviors that are disrespectful to the gym community. The best rule of thumb is to put all equipment back where you found it, and to treat the equipment gently.
Everybody makes some noise when they work out, especially if you’re really pushing yourself. However, you should be courteous to fellow gym patrons–breathing heavily is one thing, but grunting and screaming loudly is a one-way ticket to becoming “that guy”.
The first rule about clothing goes for guys and girls alike: people are at the gym to work out, not check you out. Sure, you want to be comfortable (maybe even show off a little). However, modesty is the best policy. Granted, the appropriate style of dress can vary from gym to gym. Know how you feel out-of-place when you wear jeans to a fancy restaurant? To avoid this feeling at the gym, take a look at the kind of clothes most people are wearing.
One last word on clothing–we know you’ve probably got a separate set of clothes for the gym, but you should make sure you wash them frequently. Breaking a sweat is one thing, smelling like stale sweat is another entirely.
Whether you go to a laid-back gym, one for serious weight-lifters, or even Los Angeles’s new “nerd gym” where members combine exercise and cosplay, these rules will keep you from making any exercise enemies. See you at the gym!