By Natalie Black (guest contributor)
This article is about what everyone wants to tell you about gym etiquette, but really can’t because they might offend you. So take a read and I hope you’re not one of the people I’m referring to. If you are… it’s not too late to change! There truly is nothing more annoying than “that person” at the gym. So be mindful of your manners in the gym with the following tips:
1. Don’t hog the benches
Do not, I repeat…… DO NOT put your towel on a bench then walk away to the machines and use them, returning five minutes later to your bench. If you are reading this and it sounds like you… you are really rude.
2. Un-stack your own weights
If you put it on, take it off. If someone leaves weights on and walks away, say something. The gym trainers are not employed to be your maids. They are there to provide advice and training tips, not to clean up after you. If you want someone to stack and un-stack your weights for you, pay for a personal trainer. Oh and don’t put 400kg on the leg press like you’re he-man and then do a quarter range of movement leg press twice. Go lighter and do it properly.
3. Learn how to share (weights and benches)
(photo: Riviera Fitness/French Riviera)
Be considerate and ask if someone wants to share a bench. When they are resting you get in and do your set. It works really well and saves heaps of time. For machines, just ask to share. As above, you do your own thing and swap during rest time. A word of warning – if you are sharing a machine or bench, don’t be precious. Do your set and get up. No need to admire your reflection in the mirror.
4. Use a towel
If you don’t sweat, assume the person before you does. Use a towel to protect yourself from unwanted germs.
5. Wipe down your machine if you’re sweaty
Gross… Who wants to see and smell your sweat? Ewwww…
6. Observe time limits on cardio machines
There are only so many cardio machines that can fit in a gym, hence the time limit so that everyone gets their fair share. So be mindful of time limits.
7. Use deodorant and don’t wear your smelly gym clothes day after day
This should go without saying… but it doesn’t. Don’t be smelly. It’s offensive. And, if you don’t think you smell, just to be on the safe side and wear newly washed clothes every day.
8. Shiny lycra bike pants and other lycra clothing were only cool in the 80’s
I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to see it. And men… not wearing underwear in any form of bike pants (lycra or otherwise) is disgustingly wrong. Do you realize that we can make out every lump and bump (or lack thereof) of your manhood? I’m just wondering if you know that?
9. Texting at the gym? Really?
If you have time to text you’re not working hard enough. If you’re doing light weights you should be taking 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets (not 3 to 4 minutes). If you’re doing heavy weights a longer rest is acceptable.
10. Shower quickly
I will forever be unsure about what’s going on in there to take people so long, but just as a guide: Whatever you’re doing, please do it quickly.
In all seriousness, there seems to be a whole generation of gym-goers that are missing gym etiquette, especially at the new bright, flashy gyms. There are gyms out there where you wouldn’t dare to leave your weights on the machines – not only would you have the gym staff come after you, other gym members who have to clean up after you would be breathing down your neck. It’s not that hard. You put it on, you take it off. Consider it part of your training.
By guest contributor Natalie Black, an accredited Exercise Physiologist who blogs at The Health Guru. Via HealthMatters.sg, a Singapore Health and Fitness blog that aims to help you lose weight, keep fit, and live healthy. Click here to get our free guide “Eat Your Way to Health – Secrets of a Healthy Diet”.