Everyone's happiest when you play by the rules
With coming of each new year and its resolutions, there is always an uptick in the number of new faces at the gym. Unfortunately, their orientation usually doesn't include a quick course in universally known but rarely documented gym etiquette. Whether you're fresh to the exercising party or an old timer at your local workout Mecca, following are eight rules of gym etiquette that all members should abide by.
1. Re-rack your weights
Make sure when you're done with an exercise to put everything away. It is extremely frustrating when you're trying to start an exercise-be it a weight machine or free weights-to find all the weights are scattered or completely MIA.
2. Abide by the posted time limits
In the case of gym equipment, sharing really is caring. Most gyms have a posted time limit for their cardio machines, and these time limits are there to ensure that everyone has a chance to use them. If you're gym has posted time limits, adhere to them! Even if they don't, it's kind to relinquish your machine after a half hour if there are people waiting to use it.
3. Wipe down your machine when you're finished
No one wants to touch your sweat or invisible evidence of your patronage. When you're done on any kind of machine, wipe it down. This will prevent the spreading of germs, and let's face it: there is nothing more gross than jumping on a machine that has someone else's sweat on it!
4. Pick up after yourself
Some gym members have a tendency to think that the gym's cleaning staff are their own personal maids; people leave behind everything from their sweaty towels, to water bottles, to half-eaten energy bars. Please put all towels in the designated laundry bins, and to throw all garbage in the trash!
5. Don't chat people up mid-workout
If we're on a machine, it's fair to assume we're trying to work out, not chitchat. And even if you've found a partner in chatting crime, we're betting the rest of the gym doesn't want to listen to your conversation. It's fine to say, "Hi, how are?" to other members, but conversation smack dab in the middle of the workout room should not extend beyond that. Gotta gossip? Take it to the lobby!
6. If you're sick, stay home
If you've ever tried to run while covering your mouth because someone is hacking up phlegm on the machine next to you-or seen someone wiping their nose then touching everything-you know why this is an important rule. No one wants to catch what you have, so please stay home when you're not well!
7. Don't talk on your cell phone
Yes, this is a no-brainer, but there are still some people who don't seem to grasp that talking on the phone in the gym is annoying to those around them. Please, put your ringer on mute and leave the conversations for after your workout.
8. Don't hover
There may be nothing more annoying than someone standing right in front of you blatantly hinting that they want to use the machine you're on. Wait at a polite distance, but don't invade personal space or make the person on the machine feel you're scrutinizing their every move.
Did we miss anything? Leave a comment and let us know!