With a lot of hot and sweaty people in such a small place all clamoring for the same equipment, it’s important to practice good gym etiquette.
To that end, here are 11 things that you should never do at the gym:
- Passing in between an exerciser and the mirror. People use the mirror as an aid while lifting to ensure that their posture and balance are maintained. Cutting in between someone that is exercising and the mirror is a big no-no – and downright rude.
- Neglecting to wipe down equipment after use. Be kind; don’t leave your sweat behind. There are few things grosser than leaning back on a piece of equipment and landing in a sweat puddle. Use a paper towel and spray to sanitize the equipment after each use.
- Resting on the equipment. If the gym is busy and people might be waiting for your equipment, don’t take breaks on it. Even if there’s no line, it doesn’t mean that no one is waiting; someone may be eying your machine while killing time on another.
- Don’t monopolize a busy gym by using multiple pieces of equipment. If the gym isn’t crowded, there’s nothing wrong with rotating sets between two different machines. But if you’re exercising during a peak time or if people might be waiting, opt for one machine at a time.
- Talking to someone during a set. Yes, socializing is an important aspect of the gym for many – but be considerate of other exercisers. Talking while lifting can be a big distraction. Likewise, if someone is sprinting on the treadmill, they won’t have the breath to talk to you.
- Don’t talk loudly on your cell phone. People that talk loudly on a cell phone probably don’t realize that they’re doing it – and you may be one of them. If you need to take a call, excuse yourself from the facilities.
- Don’t cut the circuit training line. If your gym has exercise machines, note that there is probably an order to the way people use them. Many gyms number their machines or post a flow chart. Be mindful of other exercisers, and don’t hop on the machine in front of someone.
- Don’t wear unwashed gym clothes. I know people think it’s fine to wear gym shirts and shorts more than once. The truth is, if you don’t sweat – you probably can. But for everyone else, please spare us the odor of yesterday’s workout. If you sweat in it, wash it.
- Don’t spit, snot or blow your nose in the drinking fountain. Enough said, thank you.
- Don’t leave weight plates on the equipment. Gyms don’t have maids. There is no one to pick up after you. And remember, putting the weights away makes you strong, too.
- Don’t be the creepy guy (or gal) at your gym. Unless, of course, the creepiness is reciprocated by the other party. If your inquiring eyes or comments are not returned, save the flirtation for eharmony or manhunt.
That’s my list – but do you have any other no-no’s to add? Sound-off in the comments below!