Photo credit: Gregory Bull/AP
So you just joined a gym to get in shape in 2015 and you’ve been going regularly. Congratulations!
But you notice you’re drawing grumbles or the stink-eye from other members. What gives?
It’s possible you may be breaking one of the rules of gym etiquette.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind:
1. Adhere to the time limit. Nothing frosts the other members more than someone who hogs the treadmill or elliptical past the allotted time. Get off at your appointed time.
2. No dibs, either. Fitness equipment at the gym is not like a Chicago parking space. Don’t toss your hoodie over the next machine to hold it until you’re ready to use it. Wait your turn for things like everyone else.
3. No one wants your sweat. A good workout can leave you dripping. Use the cloth or paper towels some gyms provide or remember to bring a clean one with you each time to wipe down machines and equipment after use. (Do not disgust everyone by wiping things down with the ragged cloth that hasn’t been washed in months, either.)
Speaking of sweat …
4. Come clean. Don’t wear the same perspiration-embedded workout outfit every time without washing it. The minute you start sweating again it starts stinking again. Invest in some affordable workout duds or wash your lone outfit so you’re always wearing something that’s clean. And please, wear deodorant.
5. Don’t hog the water fountain. Hydration’s a good thing. But that doesn’t mean you should stand at the fountain refilling your water bottle while others wait. If people start queueing up, step aside and let them take their quick sips of water.
6. Mom’s not here. That rack where you got the free weights, medicine ball or jump rope from is where they belong after use. And remember to strip the bar of the weights you put on while lifting as well.
7. Silence that cellphone. Unless you’re waiting for word that the doctor’s found that organ you need for a transplant, you can go through a gym workout without your phone. If you absolutely cannot go an hour without (you might want to get some help with that obsession), keep the ringer on silent and go into a hallway, away from others, if you must talk or text.
8. Keep your music to yourself. Every now and then there’s that bozo who brings his disco-era boom box along and blasts his tunes. Don’t be that person. Use headphones to listen to your tunes. And no singing along out loud.
9. Same thing for conversations. If you’re working out with a pal, keep your conversations quiet. Not everyone wants to hear how much you drank last night.
10. You’re not at home. In the privacy of your own place you may toss your towel in a corner and arrange your makeup across the counter. Remember, you are in a communal locker room; don’t hog the space or act like a slob.