Exercise for Beginners: Gym Etiquette
Every one of us has a slightly different version of what “good manners” means. But somehow, we find enough common ground to (mostly) get along in our everyday lives. The same reasoning applies to gym etiquette: You’ll find some differences of opinion on the finer points, but if you follow the core etiquette you’ll get along with most other gym-goers, and hopefully garner the same respect in return.
Here are the biggest Ps and Qs to watch out for:
“Locker Room” Does Not Mean “Living Room”
As much as some gym locker rooms mimic a comfortable living room, with comfortable couches, a television and a complimentary phone — they’re not. And although nobody’s going to deny you your right to use the toilet or shower off after a workout, they probably don’t want to watch you clip your toenails.
Another common complaint: While it’s perfectly reasonable to walk your naked self from your locker to the shower and back, people probably don’t want to watch you hold a cell phone conversation or balance your checkbook in the buff, and they definitely don’t want to share “naked jacuzzi time” with you. So save the at-home behavior like lounging half-naked on the couch or loud chatty phone conversations, and the really personal side of personal hygiene, like flossing or naked bathing, for when you really are at home.
You’re Not on the Biggest Loser
Biggest Loser contestants grunt, moan, and puke their way through almost every workout — trust me, I know this because I’m a huge fan. And I’m actually more relaxed on this point than most gym-goers: I think a grunt of determination is perfectly appropriate every now and then. But keep your noise output to a minimum, because nobody else in the gym wants to hear about how much weight you’re lifting or what level you’ve got the elliptical trainer set to.
Your Sweat Probably Doesn’t Smell Like Roses…
…and even if it does, nobody else wants to lie in it. So carry a small towel with you and lay it down on the weight bench or weight machine before you lay yourself down — it protects you from others’ sweat deposits, and helps keep you from creating your own mess. If you manage to leave a sweaty mark with your head or back anyway, use the bottles of sanitizer that every gym makes available to clean it off, then wipe the bench dry. And please do the same when you’re done working out on a cardio machine, even if you don’t think you sweated all that much.
Live and Let Live
Most gym etiquette boils down to common sense: treat others with a little bit of respect — and avoid broadcasting every single detail of your body, personal life, or workout to other exercisers — and you’ll do just fine.
Now I want to know: What are your pet peeves in the gym? Is there anything you wish I’d included in this list?
You May Also Like
Here's your chance to leave a comment!
You must be logged in to post a comment.