With the New Year right around the corner, going to the gym will be on many’s list of resolutions. I wanted to write a simple guide to conquering gym etiquette, so when you hit up the gym, you can walk in feeling confident and reassured, instead of wondering why other gym-goers are giving you the stink eye.
1) Avoid Dousing Yourself with Perfume/Cologne
It just wouldn’t be a normal week at the gym if there wasn’t at least one day where someone (usually a dude) hops on the elliptical next to mine that has enough cologne on to choke a pack of donkeys.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had my choice, I’d much rather smell copious amounts of nose hair-singeing Beaver Butt Musk over death emanating from a guy’s arm pits.
However, cologne / body spray / aftershave is never a safe alternative for a good ole stick of deodorant (which I’ll get to in a sec).
Now, don’t think too hard about this. SOME fragrance is totally fine, just don’t shower in the stuff prior to working out.
2) Personal Hygiene
It’s not unheard of for my cologne-bathing elliptical neighbor to be a tad over ripe, causing his manly scent of Burly Spice to turn rancid.
I completely get that bunches of people out there have gone “nose blind” to their own aroma. But that doesn’t mean the other people around them are automatically desensitized to the nose blind’s green cloud of misery.
The solution? Even if you are positive you’re stink-free, take five seconds and load up with a fresh coat of deodorant. You could unknowingly be part of the nose blind community.
3) Share with Others
Many times, there’s a limited amount of machines, so don’t be a greedy butt. While you’re resting in between sets, let the other person get in there to do his stuff.
And vice versa. Don’t be hesitant about asking to “work in” a set.
4) Put Things Back
Right along with sharing, putting things back where they belong is something that has been instilled in us at a young age. When you’re finished using equipment such as free weights, the Bosu ball, etc., take them back to its proper place.
If you find the equipment away from their designated home to begin with, once you’re done using it, take the equipment back to where its supposed to go anyway.
Bonus karma points.
5) Wipe Down Equipment
Nobody enjoys getting on equipment shortly after a man marks his territory with sweat. Additionally, hands are a pretty germy part of the body. Yours are, mine are, everybody’s hands gots the germs, yo!
Almost all of the gyms I’ve been to offers either paper towels and a spray bottle of disinfectant or wet wipes. Once you’ve finished up, grab yourself a paper towel, and do a quick wipe down on the machine or bench you were working on.
6) Don’t Stare
A couple months ago, I wrote about creepy guys who stare at you. The inspiration for the post came from this guy at my gym who continuously stared at me throughout my workout.
What’s baffling is I looked like I normally do at the gym: hair piled on top of my head, no make-up, holes in my clothes. You know, disgusting. He must’ve been one desperate ole puppy to be staring like that. It was super annoying, not to mention scuzzy.
Basically what I’m saying here is don’t be a Slimy McSlimerton.
7) Refrain from Saving Machines
One time I witnessed this broad who had the nerve to kick a poor elderly lady off a treadmill because the chick claimed she was saving it, as well as the treadmill next to it, for her and her friend.
The real kicker was that the chick was nowhere in sight when the old woman first got on.
Another example would be tying up two machines at the same time. Say a person’s going back and forth between two weight stations, and their stuff is on one machine while using the other one.
While it’s no big deal when the gym is dead, keep it down to one machine at busier times.
If you are wanting to change the channel on the tv above a group of cardio machines, ask the people directly around it if it’s cool to do so. Somebody might actually be into the infomercial on Doc Bottoms Aspray.
9) Don’t Encourage a Stranger Simply Because They’re Overweight
Maybe you think you’re being supportive when telling a person who’s overweight “way to go,” or “good for you.” However, it comes across as condescending. Traveling Marla puts it this way.
“Because to tell another person, who you don’t know, or don’t know well, that they’re doing great, and to keep up the hard work, is to project a perceived inequality between yourself and them. You are looking at the “fat girl” or “ugly girl” or “poor girl” you see as downtrodden or picked on, and it’s up to you, in all your magnanimity, to give them encouragement to become something better than what you see in front of you.”
It’s probably best to keep your thoughts to yourself.
10) Don’t be a Space Hog
When you’re getting ready in the locker room, try to keep your belongings from taking up the entire bench. The space in a locker room can be pretty limited, and another gym-goer might be wanting to get ready as well.
11) Limit Your Nakedness
It’s no biggie showing your kibbles ‘n bits while dressing and undressing. But when you’re buck naked, galloping about, sitting criss cross applesauce on the counter to apply your make-up, or even finishing up your stretch session that was cut short while working out, your jiggleberries may have a tendency to make others feel uncomfortable.
So to wrap things up, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the information I threw at ya, just remember gym etiquette pretty much boils down to being respectful and plain ole common sense. As you know, kindness truly goes a long way:-)
Oh, and don’t forget about all those fitness classes out there! Whether you’re brand spankin’ new to the whole group fitness class scene, or you are just getting back into it after a 10 year break, check out my tips here. From where to stand in the classroom to what you should do if you can’t keep up, you’ll find everything you need to know in this post, so you walk in feeling confident!
Hey, did you enjoy this post on gym etiquette? If you did, I’d love for you to share it on social media so other gym newbies know what’s going down! I appreciate YOU! Thanks so much.
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