This morning while I was at the gym I noticed that it's getting busier as many people have returned with a renewed commitment to get in shape. I thought it would be appropriate to share a couple reminders about gym etiquette that make going to the gym a more pleasant experience for everyone. I'm sure you've all experienced things at the gym that bother you. I know I've seen plenty. Here are some basic gym etiquette guidelines I think more people would do well to follow.
1) Rack your weights when you're done lifting. I hate cleaning up after other people at the gym! I've noticed a correlation between strength and memory loss. The bigger and heavier the dumbbells, the harder it is for them to remember to put them away... or they are just lazy. Why is it always the 110 pound dumbbells they leave lying around? Put your stuff back where it goes.
Please rack those when you're done.
2) Don't drop weights. Let me first make an exception for people doing power lifting or using weights that were meant to be dropped on an appropriate surface. I'm talking about people who think it's cool to drop all their weights (even metal plates.) I once saw a guy THROW his dumbbells with a disgusted angry look as he finished his set. They bounced about 6 feet and nearly hit a girl.
3) Don't hog the exercise equipment. Let people work in with you if they are waiting. This is especially helpful if you are doing 8 set of 25 reps and are going to be on the same equipment for half an hour. On the other side of this issue, some impatient exercisers feel they need to work in even though you only have one last set left.
4) Wipe down any equipment you may have "moistened". Occasionally someone who is drenched after an intense cardio workout will then lift weights and slime the benches. Nobody likes getting other people's bodily fluids on them. This is a photo I took this morning at the gym. Luckily I spotted the sweat/hair gel/mystery substance before I sat down.
5) Keep the noise level down. I understand that grunting is likely to happen with heavy lifts, but I'm talking about the extremes. I once saw a guy curling dumbbells and screaming at the top of his lungs. He was seriously screaming like his leg was being amputated. He got plenty of attention, which I'm sure was his reason for going to the gym, but he irritated everyone else. Also, the music being played at the gym is usually bad enough, so we don't need people sharing their karaoke skills with us while working out.
6) Taking up other's space. This is my biggest frustration. I always find people who decided to do their barbell curls directly in front of the weight racks so nobody can get weights or put them back while they are working out. It's also common to see people doing arm curls in the squatting racks.
7) Extreme clothes. There is a guy I see at the gym who has a purple and red full body spandex outfit. If he had a cape he'd look like a super hero. It's also common to see people wearing immodest clothing (it's especially awkward when a very out of shape person is dressing like they are ready to go on stage for a figure contest).
Those were just my top 7 peeves, I could have gone on with details about the items listed below.
* excessive posing
* creepy pick up artists who think they are God's gift to women
* walking at a snails pace on the treadmill while watching an hour of TV
* dudes who walk around completely naked in the locker room (usually old guys)
* people spending more time on their phones than they do working out
* people filling up water bottles at the fountain oblivious to the long line behind them
* those who hack up nasty throat debris then spit in the fountain for everyone to see
Sorry for being so critical and picky, but I feel a little bit better now after venting. My hat is off to everyone who has good gym etiquette and makes going to the gym a good experience.