Hey, we've all been there: so completely focused on our own workout routine (as we should be!) that we let a few simple gym etiquette rules slip from our minds. Of course, this doesn't make us bad people--just humans. But like all humans, we would do well to learn from our mistakes and pass on our wisdom to generations of gym-goers after us. So, take heed--read on to learn from our erroneous ways and ensure that you don't commit one of these gym etiquette faux pas the next time you're hitting it hard at the gym!
Don't Be That Guy (Or Gal): Top 5 Gym Etiquette No-Nos
1) Not Putting Your Weights Away
Totally wrong for so many reasons. First of all, leaving equipment out on the gym floor poses an obvious health hazard to other folks who may stumble or trip over it. Plus, it's pretty annoying to be in need of a set of dumbbells that you just can't find anywhere. Hey, we're reasonable people--we don't mind waiting for you to finish your set, but we don't want to have to awkwardly chase you down so we can get our pump on, too! Perhaps the most obvious reason why not putting your equipment away is a big no-no is that you're potentially giving a lot of extra work (not to mention a subtle yet definite show of disrespect) to the gym staff who has to clean up after you. The reality is, putting your weights away may be easy not to do--but it's pretty darn easy to do, too.
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2) Not Wiping Down Your Equipment
As a follow up to cleaning up after yourself, remember to wipe down your equipment after you're done with it. After all, you earned your sweat, blood, and tears--but that doesn't mean other people want to deal with it. Besides, would you want to sit on someone else's butt sweat during your next set? As a famous fitness brand will tell you, "Just do it."
3) Not Using Your Inside Voice
We don't mind some self-talk to pump yourself up before a heavy lift. Heck, we don't even mind a few accidental but well-intended grunts or groans. But yelling, hollering, screaming, and the like? Come on, bro--it's not necessary nor impressive, and actually pretty distracting for the rest of us. As a corollary, remember that not everyone around you wants to hear about your annoying co-worker or wild story from last night. If you choose to chat to a buddy or talk on the phone (which is a little cringe-worthy in its own right), do your best to keep your voice down and your conversations brief.
4) Not Remembering That Sharing is Caring
Good news: there actually is room enough for both of us in this town! Unless you're working out in the privacy of your own home, you have to anticipate that you'll need to share equipment at some point. This is especially true if you visit the gym during a high-traffic hour (e.g., early morning, lunch time, and early evening). If you notice someone hovering nearby your station, or if they ask you outright if they can work in a set, be willing--heck, even be friendly about it in the process. A little inconvenience in exchange for good manners is a totally fair trade off, in our opinion.
5) Not Asking for Help When You Really (Kinda, Maybe, Probably) Should
At the end of the day, we're all just here to have fun and get fit. No one wants to see you get hurt. If you're not sure how to use a certain machine or perform a certain movement, or if you need a spot, swallow that pride (maybe chase it with a protein shake?) and ask for some help. Everyone needs a little assistance from time to time, and you'd be surprised how much the staff or even fellow gym-goers would be happy to lend a hand.
Have any embarrassing cautionary tales from the gym to share? Be sure to comment below!