With roughly a 300 percent increase in the search term “gym” as the new year approached (according to Google), you can bet your barbells that you weren’t the only one to make a resolution to lose weight in 2017. Good news for the gyms out there, but bad news for those who like them empty. Take a deep breath, smile and remember a few of these gym etiquette tips to keep you and your fellow treadmill runners and weight lifters happy.
Leave your little black book in the locker room
The gym is not a nightclub. Yes, the music may be thumping and people may be walking around in skimpy, tight clothing, but avoid the temptation to hit on others working out. It’s hard enough to get motivated to go to the gym without having to swat people away like you would a fly at a picnic. Not only that, it’s just creepy.
Keep the stink out
I was working out next to someone one time who smelled so bad I swear I could taste it. It was repulsive. I had to change machines…on the other side of the gym. Layer on that deodorant, make sure your workout clothes are clean (rather than jumping into the sweaty ones that have been festering in your gym bag for the last five days) and while you’re at it, brush your teeth. If you are anti-deodorant, consider more natural deodorant alternatives. What you’re aiming for here is a neutral odor, so don’t douse on the Chanel No. 5 before a workout either.
Wipe it down
This isn’t your home gym; you’re not the only one using the machines. Get in the habit of wiping down any seat, bench or machine on which your sweaty buns sit. Most gyms provide a bottle of solution and towels to make this easy for you. If not, bring your own towel. There’s nothing worse than putting your hand in a pool of someone else’s perspiration. Well, except for maybe smelling it…
Hang it up
Your phone should be used as nothing more than a Walkman in the gym. Remember those? (If not, click here.) Put those phones in airplane mode to force yourself not to respond to hubby calling to ask you to pick up toilet paper on your way home. We’ve all experienced those annoying walking talkers on the treadmill next door. News flash: I don’t want to hear about your date last weekend or what you had for dinner last night, and I really don’t want to hear any pings, dings or rings while I’m trying to focus on the fat melting off my thighs. Furthermore, the gym can be a dangerous place, and distraction doesn’t mix well with heavy equipment.
Put it back on the rack
This rule has been around for a very long time, but invariably, some muscle-bound nimrod will leave a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell or plates somewhere they shouldn’t be left. Don’t be a dumbbell.
Use common sense (and courtesy)
Gym etiquette boils down to respect for others: If you are sick, stay at home. Obey time limits on machines. Step back away from the weight rack when lifting so others can access it. Don’t stand in front of the mirror to flex, do your hair or, god forbid, take a selfie so you can post it on Tinder. You could be in the way of someone who is using the mirror for its intended purpose—to check proper position and form.
Still can’t seem to get into the “New Year, New You” mindset? Try any of these tips to help get started!