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?