13 Golden Rules of Gym Etiquette That You Must Remember!
So, you’re a gym enthusiast? Attacking those weights with a passion and fervour that few can match? Good for you. But when it comes to others, are you the freak who makes them roll their eyes heavenwards and turn their faces away?? Trust me, after going through this list, if you are not able to mentally tick off 13 out of 14 of them, you probably need to work on your gym popularity scores! “Think about that stink” – this one needs no explanation. Disregard for personal hygiene is a deadly sin when it comes to gymming! Make friends with those deodorants and perfumes, and keep one handy in your gym bag. Most people keep their ‘shower’ till after the gym, but face it, if you’re gymming at the end of a long day, you probably need a good shower before you ‘make your presence felt’ at the gym! So attack the iron, not the olfactory senses of those around you. Don’t bring your germs to the gym – It is wise to avoid a gym session if you have any kind of health concern, be it just a cold (runny nose or a wracking cough), fever, skin rash, or allergies. Be kind to yourself and take rest till the worst is over. And be kind to others by staying away and not spreading the germs. Towels, towels! – Yes, those nice things they keep rolled up or folded on the counters, they have a use. If your gym doesn’t provide you one, get your own towels. Towels are helpful in saving yourself from others’ sweat, and also saving others from your own. If you are blessed with a profusion of sweat glands, keep your blessing to yourself. Don’t drip around. There is nothing more abhorrent in watching someone rain sweat all over the equipment you’re planning to use next. And no matter how much they wipe it, they cannot wipe the memory of it from your mind. Don’t be that person. And make it a point to carry your towels with you where you go, do not leave it for others to move it and make space for themselves. Wipe it off – Most gyms have sanitizing wipes or sprays and tissues, and they are meant to be used by you on the surfaces you have made bodily contact with. Even if there is no sweat, it is a matter of plain decency to give it a good wipe. Do not leave it for the gym attendants and/or trainers – they are paid to do other things, and certainly not to clean up after you. Put ‘em back! – Once again, not the duty of gym staff or even of your trainer (though some of them may willing do it for you) to put back the weights, kettlebells, barbells, mats, medicine balls, and all other equipment that you have enthusiastically used at the gym. You use it, you put it back. In the right place. It is that simple. Grunts and Groans – Let actions speak louder than words (in this case, sounds). No one wants a sound show at the gym, and that is one of the reasons why people carry their own music. Exercise control over the equipment you use, and place back the dumbbells and barbells quietly instead of letting them crash, boom, bang! Again, your attempt at self-motivation should not be such that it derails the person sprinting on the treadmill near you. If that weight you’re lifting requires you to exhale audibly, it is ok to do so of course, but be restrained as far as possible. Don’t try to push or pull more than your capacity and end up creating a clamour (or a calamity if you are not careful). Remember, brainless bravado is just that – brainless. Keep your arms and legs to yourself – A respectable distance must always be maintained from others who are working out. When doing flyes or floor workouts, look for a space that doesn’t hamper movement of others. Don’t whack unsuspecting people with your bar as you twist. If your workout requires you to move around a bit, for e.g., when doing lunges or burpees, don’t try to make the most of the little space beside the guy doing squats. Hold your horses for a while. Make sure you allow others to finish their sets and vacate the space that you intend to use. Use polite suggestions to indicate that you plan to use the space after (or alternatively with) them. And do not monopolize common spaces, like the immediate front of the dumbbell rack, the water dispenser, or even the mirror. Keep your advice to yourself – Never offer unsolicited advice. No matter how tempted you may be to share your exciting new diet plan, or correct the form of the guy or girl crunching furiously, remember that everyone has his or her own recipe for fitness. What works for the goose… as they say. So going around tom-tomming your own opinions will only earn you the title of an insufferable know-it-all. If you notice someone committing a serious blunder, intercede in a polite manner and offer suggestions. Then leave it to them to correct themselves. Turn off your electronic devices – Again, something terribly aggravating is to hear the incessant buzzing, beeping and funky ringtones when you expect it the least. And there are those whose sole focus of hanging around on the treadmill at 5 km/h seems to be to take calls one after another. Remember that people around you are probably just as busy but doing a much better job of maintaining gym decorum and courtesy. If you cannot switch off your phones, at least have the manners to take those pressing calls in the lobby instead of making a radio talkshow of your personal and professional lives. Be patient and respect others’ patience – Peak hours at the gym can be a little frustrating, especially when all the treadmills and ellipticals are already taken. Despite rules, there is always the over-enthusiastic bloke who’s running longer on the treadmill than the poster says you should. Looming over his shoulders or hanging around suggestively will only make you seem like a creep. Let him (or her) know politely that you’d like to use the machine after they’re done. That will be sufficient to alert them to the time, and not make them feel rushed or disconcerted. After all, they did get there first. And when it is your turn, don’t be a pain in the proverbial place and keep others waiting for longer than they should. Shutterbugs and Selfie addicts beware – No, the gym is not the place to indulge your selfie addiction in. You might want to flaunt your six packs and biceps or show off your ‘a la mode’ style quotient on social media, but you will end up including people (or worse, body parts) who do not want their gym selves to be splashed on insta and twitter. So if you’re a shutterbug and can’t stop clicking selfies, keep your self adoration for outside the gym, or come back later when the gym is likely to be empty. Don’t Ogle – For many macho bros out there, the gym is where they think they can enjoy happy hours with so much sweat and action to keep their eyes peeled on. Don’t hit on others who are trying to get a decent workout done. Save your ogling and flirtation for the evenings at the pub or disco! The gym is the temple for your body, mind, and soul. There is nothing more rejuvenating like a solid workout, and every fitness conscious person is aware of that. Treat the gym and its members with the respect and courtesy they deserve. Show care for the equipment and do not tamper/fiddle/peel/tear/draw graffiti on gym property. Keep the premises and your manners clean. Honestly, it was about time someone made these rules, didn’t they? Article Credits – Bhavani Rajesh