For those of us to frequent (and those who don’t) the gym, appropriate etiquette is something that you’d think was commonsense…not so much it seems (at least at my gym)!
After a particularly interactive gym week, I got to thinking about my own etiquette ethos and bugbears at the local fitness centre and thought I’d share…
It’s a no-no: not wiping down equipment. It’s disgusting and dirty and unpleasant for the next person in line. I don’t know how these people live at home, but I think it’s best to treat the equipment how you’d want to receive it; wipe it down. It takes 2 seconds to do with your own towel or use the wipes provided by the gym! I’m no Howard Hughes but GERMS people GERMS!
A-OK: wearing an ensemble. Just because you’re going to the gym to sweat like a pig doesn’t mean you have to look like one!!! I am one for layering & colour co-ordination!
It’s a no-no: gym ponies. You know the type; usually women but occasionally men; they just prance around the gym floor looking pretty and doing nothing. Usually stopping right in front of you to look at themselves in the mirror. They occasionally do cardio – slowly, but usually position themselves on weights equipment like they were sitting on a throne and either primp their hair/clothing or text on their mobile phone. The gym floor is their personal runway and it’s annoying!
A-OK: wearing makeup. I must admit that this would have previously been on my “it’s a no-no” list, but seriously who am I to judge someone for working out with a face full of Bobbi Brown?! And on occasion I haven’t taken my makeup off if I’ve gone straight to the gym after work. Just because I can’t be bothered wearing makeup at 6am and as long as it’s not smeared on my yoga mat when I go to use it, I’m cool with it. Warrior paint I call it!
- It’s a no-no: thinking there’s a gym fairy….who puts your weights back. I love this definition from the Urban Dictionary “Gym etiquette: The act of not only re-racking the weights that you use at the gym, but placing them on the rack that they belong. Usually this concept is too difficult for the meat head to grasp due to the steroids not only shrinking their balls, but their ability to understand common courtesy.”
- A-OK: the early morning perky greeting. Unlike my husband who is a grumpy mute at 6am, I am generally awake & pretty chatty, so I don’t mind a nice perky ‘have a good workout’ greeting when I walk past the gym front desk!
It’s a no-no: equipment hogging. Most gyms limit cardio equipment in peak times (20-30 mins per machine) so I usually find equipment hogging on the weights floor, by meat heads that think that weights are for men only. I haven’t worked out the best way to tackle this one (usually I just go find Jay and get him to come over and stand there looking big & strong & intimidating) but I’m going to have to find out a way to deal with on my own!
A-OK: loud music and those who dance/sing to it. You know how you can sometimes hear the music from the headphones of someone 2 meters away? It doesn’t bother me. And when they’re singing to themselves or moving to the beat? I find this joyful and entertaining! It makes me smile and I probably do it myself…Anything to get you going, I say!
- It’s a no-no: in-your-face instructors. There is this one instructor at my gym who uses every opportunity to recruit people to his Spin class AND instructs you when he’s participating in another instructors class AND wants to chat all the time AND bags out Michelle Bridges! Seriously, I want to drop a dumbbell on his big toe.
So there you have it…my list of gym etiquette do’s & don’ts. Really it’s all in jest because it’s really all about getting fit, getting healthy and trying not to piss off your fellow exercisers!