The Gym! Tips for Gymgoers Part 1: Etiquette

The Gymnasium has always been a sanctuary for training. In the ancient days of Greece, everyone valued training as a means to develop the body. During those times, citizens must have yielded superior physical strength to ward off foreign invasions. Always remember that physical strength and vigor was required to defend the very origins of Western civilization and ideals.

Milo of Croton became famous for his… effective training methods.

The point is that Gyms can revolutionize your body. The best way to do that is to pursue your goals while respecting those of others.

Gym Etiquette

You may see people being disrespectful, but I strongly dissuade you from mirroring rude behavior. Truth is, to succeed in fitness you must lead yourself. Simultaneously, you can lead others by setting a positive example in your surroundings.

1. Clothing and Hygiene. Make sure you and your articles of clothing are clean because you don’t want to communicate body odor to the cardio bunnies. Also, avoid wearing very bright, eye catching clothing because it can be extremely distracting… you don’t want people dropping weights.

2. Dropping weights. The exercise begins when you grab hold of the weight, and ends when you return the weight. Not only are you missing out on gaining functional strength by dropping weights, but its also a hazard and disruptive to other gymgoers.

3. Hogging machines. Just like we share the road, we also share the gym. So, be a good driver and let someone merge into your lane. Likewise, in between sets I encourage you to stand up from the machine during your rest period. This will reduce the possibility that another gymgoer is thinking very bad thoughts about you.

4. “Working-in” without making human contact. This offense typically occurs during peak hours. The situation is when you are resting in between sets, and another guy just comes up and starts using your equipment without eye contact or anything. Come on dude, be civil!

5. Protein gas. Don’t you realize the cute girl might think its actually me? You ruining my game bro.

6. GRUNTING LOUDLY. I also enjoy lifting heavy weights, so I cut some slack. If you grunt on your heaviest 2-3 reps — no problem. However, if you are doing 12 reps on the incline dumbbell press and grunting every time, you’re going to piss people off for doing what we all understand to be unnecessary.

7. Disrespecting “mirror-space.” Even if people don’t use the mirrors to help their form, they will still be distracted by a goofball who works out directly behind them. Case in point, I was doing squats in the squat rack and an older lady wearing bright pink takes a bosu ball and does crunches less than three feet behind me. If you are going to exercise in someone’s mirror space, please bring your Harry Potter invisibility cloak.

8. Put weights away properly.

9. Loud conversations. Saying hi is great, but when you start talking about your ex-girlfriends sister who is now engaged to a guy she met at the county fair while waiting in line for scones… you might be taking it too far. Again, it’s distracting and inappropriate so take it to the lounge or make sure you aren’t within annoying distance of other people.

10. Using your arms like hooks on the treadmill. You’re only cheating yourself, and wasting time especially during peak hour when others would like to actually use their legs.

What TO DO

  • Be open minded — everyone’s fitness journey is unique.
  • Focus on your goals.
  • Make it fun by respecting people’s differences.
  • Look and appreciate, but do not stare.
  • Be sexy. Feel good about yourself… holistically. At any age, it can help you maintain your physique for all the right reasons.

Stay tuned for the next in the series../

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