So this conversation came about the other day with some friends at lunch, and we were commiserating over awkward/annoying/pissy gym experiences. And I came the realization that there needs to be clear cut, spelled out guidelines for people at the gym. I also realized that etiquette and common sense are clearly commodities in this day and age (yeah I know, I sound old).
Follow these rules, encourage other people to follow these rules, to help ensure that everyone has happy more enjoyable, more fitness-y experiences.
1) The Treadmill is not for prancing. If you’re not going to run, walk, or jog…. get off
This is one of my pet peeves – see the people who get the treadmill, use it for five minutes, then stand on it, and chit-chat with their gym friends, trainers etc. Get off. You can carry on a conversation elsewhere.
2) If you sweat like a man-bear-pig….
There is an abundance of towels and sanitizing wipes at gyms for a reason – clean up of after yourself. Use the towels provided or bring your own, and when you finish on a machine or mat, use an alcohol wipe. And upon completion of wiping down your machine, please, kindly dispose of your wipe and towel in the appropriate receptacles.
3) Don’t be the douche that disrupts a fitness class
Ok, so this is probably gym specific, as I have heard two different opinions on this matter. I have been in a position before where I have been in a crowded fitness class, and almost literally stepped over so someone (who was not in the class) so they could get something. I was not impressed.
However, one of my friends experienced something different, they went into a not-crowded class, to get a step, and was “called out” by the instructor, despite not being disruptive. So anytime you enter a fitness studio – proceed with caution, when in doubt don’t go in.
Also, if a class starts at 6, it starts then, not 6:10, so don’t ask me to make room for you when I’m in the middle of a set of bicycle crunches, and don’t expect me to not give you a murder stare.
4) You get one set of weights – MAYBE two, but only if it’s a slow time
I mean. Do you REALLY need the 10’s, 12’s, and 15’s? Especially during peak time – this is really not necessary. Not only is it annoying for people who want to use those weights to see them sitting (unused) near your mat, but you are taking up extra room in a crowded gym.
Even if a gym itself is not “busy” typically the area where the hand weights, mats etc are kept – always has people in it – at least in my gym that’s how it is, so again be respectful – these are small areas, when you get done with the 12’s switch them out for the 15’s, and so on.
5) Headphones in the ears = conversation is unwelcome
I have been victim to this, and apparently me staring daggers at someone is also not enough to make it clear I am not interested in conversation. This has happened while lifting, walking around, and while I have been on the treadmill – if my headphones are in – my ears are closed for ANY other business.
To other gym members, trainers, etc if a man or woman has their headphones in – they aren’t open for a chat, so don’t bother offering unsolicited advice, training services etc
6) Please consider putting a bra on before blow drying your hair
This probably makes me immature, and I am quite ok with that. But please. If you are going to be getting around in the gym locker room… is it too much to ask that you at least put a bra on? It is typically that I am traumatized enough after a workout, so excessive nudity, is not the first thing on my wish list.
Again, I’m not saying there is anything “wrong” with the human form, this also isn’t an “overweight” vs “skinny” issue. This is a: “why are your breasts out while you’re blowing drying your hair and putting mascara on, and is it really necessary?”
I am also told that this is an issue for bro locker room as well as they ladies locker room. Who is THAT comfortable walking around with their dingus out whilst they do whatever men do in a locker room? Probably the guy that is into the girl who blow drys her hair sans clothes.
7) Unsolicited advice is always annoying, unless you’re telling me where I can get a cupcake
So when I’m squatting, or using my resistance band, with or without my headphones, please do not interrupt my set to offer advice of any type i.e. correct my form, or offer to spot me.
8) There is NO WAY you are using the Bosu ball, the rumble roller, AND free weights all at once.
See the free weight post above. Except at the gym there are far fewer rollers, and bosu balls – so please use them expediently and put them where you found them.
9) The pool is not your bathtub.
So kindly partake in the suggested (mandatory) pre-swim shower. I get it, sometimes it is super relaxing to do some laps after a hard work – it’s literally a fantastic cool down. But after you have been sweating for the past hour, I think you can take the extra 60 seconds to rinse off as instructed at most gyms & pools, before diving in.
10) Speaking of space – be mindful of yours, and others
This goes for in the gym, and in the locker room. Both can be crowded, and awkward and sweaty. A little “pardon me” or “excuse me” can go a long way, so can a little courtesy. For instance – don’t take up a bench, mat, and proceed to spread out your stuff to take up a whole square area. Additionally don’t take up an entire bench with your stuff in the locker room – that’s what lockers are for.
11) No one cares
So keep your phone convos on the down low, or rather go into the entrance area/common area of the gym to have a conversation. This is not only disruptive but sometimes extremely awkward. Additionally this goes for excessive grunting/squeaking/growling while lifting. We get it- you’re strong, but you don’t have to make excessive noise to show everyone.
12) Instructions Please
Please follow instructions – and/or use the equipment as instructed. We all have plans or routines we plan to execute at the gym, leg day, arm day, core day, or the casual individual just trying to get a little more cut, regardless of where you fall please follow equipment instructions. For instance – in the squat rack – use it for squats/squatting like practices.
Taking up a squat rack or other machine and using it as your “workout space” is discourteous, and it pisses people off. So kindly make the rounds like everyone else has to.
Ok I don’t mean to sound like a total B.I. I’m not, but if you’re reading this – there is not way that you go to the gym, and are not bothered by at lest 2 of the things I pointed on on this list. Now no one is perfect, but I think the gym can always be a more enjoyable experience when more people at least attempt to be courteous to those working out around them 🙂