10 unwritten rules all gym-goers should follow
The rules of gym club are unwritten, but they’re also just common-sense and small courtesies that make a big difference.
Nobody wants to psyche themselves to get out of bed and into the gym only to find themselves bathing in a pool of someone else’s sweat or gagging on their BO.
Fitness classes and gyms attract all kinds of people and unfortunately, the ‘unwritten gym code’ isn’t obvious to everyone. Here are a few key rules for anyone who missed the memo:
1. Bring a towel
No one wants to lie on a sweaty, smelly bench anymore than you do, so bring a towel and wipe down the equipment when you finish. It keeps the gym hygienic, particularly during peak times when gym staff don’t have time to wipe down the benches for you.
Being in a class environment is usually a little more relaxed, but it always helps to bring a towel, particularly if the class requires the use of shared equipment.
2. Wear deodorant
It’s normal to sweat when you’re working hard, but pungent body odour is enough to throw anyone off their game. Wear deodorant but don’t spray it around like it’s going out of fashion.
3. Keep conversation to a minimum
It’s nice to smile and greet people who you recognise in the gym but it’s not the place for a full-on conversation. It cuts into your workout time, distracts others who don’t want to hear about who you hooked up with on the weekend and can leave them frustrated as you converse by equipment that they might be waiting to use.
The same rule applies to classes. While yoga can be fun with a friend, having a loud conversation while the teacher is instructing is not only disrespectful to the teacher, it also distracts the other students. It’s fine to chat, but be strategic about when, remembering you’re meant to be still and silent in Savasana, the corpse pose.
4. Don’t intimidate others
If someone beat you to the squat rack, don’t stand over them and give them dirty looks. Politely let them know that you’d like to use it after them and use a different piece of equipment while you wait for them to finish.
5. Be quiet
A well executed grunt can help you power through a tough set, but constant moaning should be avoided at all times. Be careful not to drop weights loudly after a set and don’t blast your music so loud that others can hear your Redfoo through your headphones.
6. Don’t hog the equipment
You might pride yourself on setting up the ultimate circuit, but hogging all the equipment will automatically guarantee you gym-jerk status. If others are unable to find equipment because you’ve moved it all, you’re preventing them from getting their workout done.
7. Put your weights back
If you are strong enough to lift the weight, then you are strong enough to put it away. Be considerate and put weights back where they came from so they’re not in the way of others.
8. Sharing is caring
If the gym has limited squat racks and you see that someone else is waiting to use it, offer them to swap in with you. This means that they can do a set while you’re resting in between sets. This will only work if you are using a similar weight, but it’s always polite to offer.
This might come as a surprise to some but most people don’t want to catch a glimpse of your accidental flash. Make sure your active wear sufficiently covers your important bits.
10. Get off your phone
Your Instagram feed may tell you otherwise, but the gym is no place for selfies. Get in, work hard and give the bench or machine to someone else instead of sending snapchats of your guns.
The gym is also a great opportunity to unplug from social media for an hour. Listen to your music (or a podcast) and focus on the task at hand.
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