In this edition of the top 10 we look at the dos and don’ts for gym goers. These simple but often overlooked and commonly forgotten rules will allow for a far more pleasant experience the next time you go to your local gym.
1. SHARE EQUIPMENT
As most gyms are often over crowded during peak hours, be considerate when using the machines. It is very easy to take turns in-between sets on any given piece of equipment. When doing cardio, don’t go longer than 30 minutes on one machine.
2. WIPE DOWN EQUIPMENT
There is nothing grosser than getting on a piece of equipment that has not been wiped down. Respect the equipment and other gym goers by wiping your sweat off the bench, treadmill or whatever piece of machinery you just used. Disinfectant spray and paper towel are provided in most cardio sections.
3. PROPER HYGIENE
Just because you can’t smell yourself, doesn’t mean others can’t. When you workout hard, you perspire and sometimes you will smell bad. Deodorize before and after and regularly wash your gym clothes after use.
4. RESPECT OTHER’S SPACE
This rule especially applies when in the free-weight section of a gym. Not only do people need their space to execute exercises effectively, they also need space in case something goes wrong. Keep your distance and do not become a distraction when someone is in the middle of their set.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR MESS
Whether it’s an empty water bottle, paper towel, chalk or a wrapper, do not leave your garbage lying around the gym floor. Always double check your work area and leave it in the same condition you found it.
6. BRING A TOWEL
When you are going to the gym, you should always bring a towel or two with you. Most gyms provide towels but it’s always smart to be prepared. One towel is to put down and wipe the machines with, and the other is for you.
7. PUT BACK WEIGHTS
No one likes getting to a piece of equipment they’ve been waiting for only to discover they have to remove 360lbs of plates from it. Also, no one likes having to search the entire gym for a certain weight. Put your dumbbells, barbells and any attachments back when you are finished with them.
8. DRESS CODE
People go to the gym to work-out, not to stare and gawk at you or anybody else. Get over yourself. T-shirt, shorts, sweat pants and runners are perfect choices. Sports bras, under shirts, short shorts and sandals are not. Also, remember your indoor runners and lose your street shoes in the locker room.
9. NOT A SOCIAL GATHERING
It’s a gym and not a bar or restaurant. You are here to exercise, not to socialize with friends or pick-up. Stay off your cell phone, don’t tie up equipment you aren’t using and try and stay focused.
10. VOLUME CONTROL
Nothing is more distracting and annoying than ringing cell phones, listening to other people’s iPods through blaring headphones, the sound of slamming dumbbells on the floor, and excessive and unnecessary grunting and growling. Remember, it’s a public gym and not your basement.
So respect the gym, respect others using the gym, and most importantly, respect yourself and your fitness goals which are the reason you are there in the first place. Take care of your gym and your gym will take care of you.