Gym Do’s and Don’ts

I’ve been doing a LOT of treadmill running lately. Sub-zero temperatures plus feet of snow plus not having any daylight hours to spare means that the treadmill is my only good option. And honestly, as I’ve said before, I don’t actually hate the treadmill. In fact, if I had my own treadmill in my own house, I’d probably run a lot more.

It’s the other people at the gym that make treadmill running less pleasant. You know who I’m talking about. The Grunter. The Weight Dropper. The Phone Talker. The Smelly Guy. They all exist in every gym in some incarnation. It’s like common sense and common courtesy go out the window the second people step into a gym. Here is a simple guide of Do’s and Don’t’s to help you navigate the jungle that is your gym.

DON’T get on the treadmill/elliptical/bike right next to me if there are several others available. This is a widespread phenomenon that I’ve discussed with several of my blog friends lately. There’s absolutely no reason for you to be right next to me when there are 13 other empty treadmills. It’s just plain weird.

DO wear deodorant. Yes, I know, you’re going to be sweaty and smelly by the end of your workout, but you shouldn’t already have noticeable body odor when you walk in.

DON’T wear perfume, cologne, or scented lotion. I need to breathe in order to run, and I can’t do that if I’m choking on your Axe body spray.

DO use the sprays or wipes that are provided to thoroughly clean up your machine after using. This isn’t just about sweat, people (although it is mostly about that); flu season is upon us and the shot doesn’t do jack-diddly this year!

DON’T talk on your cell phone unless it’s an emergency. No one needs to know your latest boyfriend drama.

DO put your weights or equipment back where you found them when you’re done. It’s a safety issue as well as a courtesy issue.

DON’T just sit on a machine playing Candy Crush on your phone. Other people want to use that, and you’re being inconsiderate.

DO offer to rotate sets with someone if they’re obviously looking to use the same machine/weights you are. It’s just plain common decency, and who knows, you might find a workout buddy!

DON’T grunt like an animal when you’re power thrusting/cleaning/jerking/whatever. Yeah, I get it, you’re lifting heavy. You’re really strong. But the animal noises are kind of unnecessary, and make it seem like you just want me to pay attention to how heavy your one rep max is. Good for you bro. Keep it down.

DO abide by your gym’s time limits, if they exist. At my gym, you have to sign up for cardio machines, and there’s a 45 minute time limit during busy hours. Learn the rules at your gym and follow them, so you’re not known as the treadmill hog.

DON’T drop your huge heavy weights on the floor after you barely are able to lift them up. Number one, it startles the crap out of me every time–I don’t need a heart attack halfway through my speed workout. Number two, it just makes you look like you’re desperate for attention (see above).

I was going to go over locker room etiquette too, but I think I can cover it with one phrase: PLEASE DON’T TALK TO ME IF YOU’RE NOT WEARING PANTS.

What are your top gym do’s and don’ts? Did I miss anything that you feel strongly about?

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22 thoughts on “Gym Do’s and Don’ts

  1. dgobs says:

    YES YES YES to all of these!! The only thing I can think to add is DON’T take over an entire area with your stuff… there are lockers for a reason! There’s a big mat at my gym that people use for stretching and yoga and such, and people will spread their shoes, bag, phone, everything over the whole mat, leaving hardly any space for other people (there’s enough room for 3 people to comfortable use the mat, as long as stuff isn’t spread everywhere.)

  2. charissarunning says:

    I think you covered everything I could think of! A gym should be one of the most sacred of places, but other people can sometimes make gym-going an utter pain. I hope you don’t have to deal with many of these “don’t’s” on a daily basis!

  3. kebe51 says:

    It seems like such simple common sense and common courtesy, ahhhh people! And this is yet another reason that while I miss going to classes sometimes, I do not miss going to a “normal” gym. My favorites were the people who monopolized machines while wearing jeans. Seriously? You know you’re not really working out wearing that!

  4. Brittany says:

    I think you pretty much got it covered! I always talk myself into going to the gym; it’s not THAT hot, people aren’t THAT encroaching, nobody’s THAT rude… only for all of these things to happen to me that makes me VOW I’ll never go back.
    …until the next day when I really, really want to run and there’s an inch of snow on the ground….
    Although, I’ve NEVER had someone talk to me without pants! Now, sans shirt… been there lol

  5. Sam @ PancakeWarriors says:

    Everything you mentioned here! Why are people so oblivious to these things! Omg, the body spray. I’m sorry but if you are a wearing enough cologne or perfume and I can still smell you 10 minutes after you walk away, it’s too much. I choked the other day while lifting quite heavy weights on the smell coming off of someone. Oh and I have another one to add…. STOP STARING AT PEOPLE! Ugh this is so annoying.

  6. txa1265 says:

    OK, this was totally hilarious … 🙂 I only belonged to a gym for about a year when we first moved here (Corning has a great usage-based reimbursement so it takes more than half off the cost!), and definitely saw some of this … the ‘next treadmill’ thing is definitely weird. With the gym I went to … well, most of the people worked at Corning so you would see people you knew, or since I was new I would see people and then later see them again! Funny thing about an area dominated by one company 😉

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