For certain fitness buffs, the gym may seem like a second home. You spend so much time getting your fitness on, that you become super-comfortable. Although being a regular may come with certain privileges, don't forget your etiquette. I've certainly spent my fair share of days in fitness clubs. Pre-Larry and pre-baby, I lived at my gym. Along the way I found certain habits annoying so I always tried to be aware and conscious of others. Here are some pointers on etiquette that are helpful whether you're a newbie or a veteran at the gym.
- Grunting: Try not to. We all get it. You're strong and the weight you're lifting is very heavy. It is annoying and distracting to others who are trying to concentrate on their form.
- Wipe down after use: Regardless of how much you sweat, human beings are vessels for germs. You may be carrying a cold virus, or getting over a stomach bug. To be safe, use the antibacterial spray they've provided and be kind to the next user.
- Sweating: Most front desks will provide a sweat towel at no additional charge. No one wants to lay on a bench if you've just left a puddle, which relates back to number two.
- Deodorant/Antiperspirant: Wear it. Period.
- Be Space Conscious: Move over please. If it's busy in a class or in the weight room, be conscious of how much room you are taking. You're not a peacock strutting with feathers fully extended.
- Observe Time restrictions: If you are at the gym during a busy time and there is a time limit on the equipment, observe it. There are other people who may have a short window to work out. Be considerate of their limitations.
- One machine at a time please: If you are working on a superset and have three or four different machines all customized to your weight and height, be prepared for someone else to share during busy time.
- Cell phone usage: I totally use my iPhone as my iPod when jogging at the gym. But I always put it on silent so that if it rings even if I am not using it to listen to tunes, I'm not bothering anyone. And don't have conversations in the middle of the gym on your phone. No one wants to hear about your boyfriend's Facebook activity or which groceries your wife needs to pick up.
- Put things back where you found them: This reminds me of the clean up song I sing with my two-year old. Just put stuff away in life and you'll be a better person for it.
- Locker room etiquette: This maybe the most important tip of all. I can appreciate someone being comfortable with their body and walking around in the buff, but I'd have to say, one of the most horrific stories I'd ever heard was from a friend who'd walked into their gym locker room and found someone shaving their nether regions over the sink while in their birthday suit. Gross. Some things are not for the gym.