Gym Etiquette

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

I can’t sweat it any longer, I have to speak out. The gym is starting to gross me out.

I’m one of those weird people who actually likes to go to the gym, especially to circuit classes.  For the uninitiated, that’s where a fitness instructor sets up various exercises around the room. During the course of an hour, you spend a minute or so at each station, before you move onto the next. Clearly not a lot of time between exercises but that’s the whole idea; you want to keep your heart rate up without too much rest between exercises.

What’s more, the place is usually packed, all of us working out together in a fairly small space. The sweat flies. Literally.

Some of that is unavoidable.  But whether you’re working out on your own, with a trainer or attending a group fitness classes, can we all just please, pretty please, keep a few common courtesies in mind?

  1. Wipe Down. The number of times I see people working out on a piece of equipment and walking away, leaving a veritable puddle in their wake is ASTOUNDING.  Please wipe down that piece of equipment after you’re done with it. I know the gym is inherently a sweaty place, but no one, I repeat NO ONE, wants to lie on the mat in your pool of sweat or grab the handle bars that you’ve just dripped all over.
  1. Keep the grunting and groaning to a minimum. Your workout is hard, we get it. Mine’s hard too. And of course some heavy breathing is to be expected. But when the guy or gal is moaning and groaning beside me, it’s distracting, in a bad way.  Because you know what you sound like you’re doing, right?
  1. Chitchat with discretion. The gym can be a social place for some. And listening to chatter can be a good diversion, that helps me make it through those last five reps. But just ensure that you’re not blocking runways, walkway, doorways or equipment.
  1. Share the equipment. When the gym’s empty, go nuts. Spend an hour on the treadmill, no one cares. But as with the other points above, it’s all about being considerate and taking stock of what’s going on around you.  If people are waiting, don’t hog popular pieces of equipment.
  1. Save the scents. Of course, a bit of anti-perspirant or deodorant is always appreciated, but I don’t think there’s room for heavy scents (or halos of hairspray) at the gym. I have a hard enough time catching my breath as it is.

Fellow gym rats, did I miss any?



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