You know how little things matter? How small good habits can account to so much in the long run? Well, even in the case of fitness, that very much applies. You go to a gym to feel good and look good, but do you leave anything good in return, say a clean shower stall (sadly, I speak from experience), for instance?

Well, going to the gym has its perks, of course, but it also subjects you to a considerable amount of annoyance from fellow gym-goers. For those of you who spend most of your time in the weights area, you know what we are talking about. We believe it’s not wrong to point out that there should be certain etiquette that should be maintained by all gym-goers.

So, let’s take a look at some very basic yet overlooked hygienic habits and etiquette that should be more of a reflex action than a compulsion, and also move on from being Public Enemy Numero Uno at the gym to Mr. Popular:

 

Shower at the gym? Carry your own flip flops!

No matter how high the gym’s sanitation standards are, keep in mind that numerous people (whose sanitation standards may not be as high) use the shower stalls and bacteria are more likely than not, to be present there. So always make it a point to carry a pair of flip flops for you to wear while showering. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Shower at the gym? Carry your own flip flops!

ALWAYS clean a mat or bench before AND after using it!

Unclean stretching mats and exercise benches contain millions of viruses, bacteria, fungi and other germs. Any cuts or scrapes touching them will cause you serious infection; to avoid such complications, always make it habit to use a sanitized wipe or spray, which every gym provides. Don’t get too excited; your fee covers it.

ALWAYS clean a mat or bench before AND after using it!

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DO NOT spit in the water fountain

This is as obvious as it can get; if this needs elaboration, you might as well buy yourself a copy of the 101 Basic Hygiene Habits.

DO NOT spit in the water fountain

Watch where you warm up!

Just because it’s a gym doesn’t mean the entire space is dedicated to squats and lunges; some of it like the entrances and aisles are reserved for foot traffic so you jumping rope there will not only be annoying but also very dangerous for the passersby and for yourself too.Watch where you warm up!

DO NOT go too close to an exercising person

Maintaining distance between you and the next exerciser is not only polite but also a sensible safety method. For instance, walking over a person doing push ups is plain rude and you’d deserve it if you hurt your groin in the process. Besides, you never know when a person doing lifts would suddenly lose control, or if you happen to cling to the space of someone doing arm swings and you get a bruised cheek the next moment.

DO NOT go too close to an exercising person

DO NOT misuse gym equipment

A shoulder machine is a shoulder machine; you cannot use (or purposely try to use) it for any other purpose and expect to benefit from that. Firstly, it will make you appear pretty selfish as you could be keeping it from someone who wants to use for the very purpose it’s been designed and made. Secondly, you could spoil the machine and harm yourself for which you cannot expect the gym management to cover the expenses.

DO NOT misuse gym equipment

Weight collars are NOT FOR DISPLAY

Lifting barbells without using the weight collars is VERY dangerous. Without them, the plates WILL slide causing an upset balance which could in turn bring you serious injury and, not to mention, to those near and around you.

Weight collars are NOT FOR DISPLAY

Grunting is okay, moaning is NOT

Sure, I don’t mind hearing a masculine grunt from a guy pushing himself through that final rep of a lift.  But please hold back on the Sharapova moan every time you move a muscle. It’s annoying and distracting and we can all do without it. Replace it with a well-regulated breathing which will improve the oxygen flow and increase your stamina.

Grunting is okay, moaning is NOT

DO NOT give advice to a fellow trainee, no matter how good your intentions are

Make friends but do not give friendly advice; it might appear to be very unfriendly. Unsolicited advice might encounter defensive attitude at the very least. Even more dangerous than that, your ‘words of wisdom’ could prove to be incorrect or may even result in harmful accidents. Unless you know for sure that someone’s technique is threatening their very safety, refrain from any advising comment. If you’re the condescending kind like yours truly, try rolling your eyes instead, or bite your lip. Helping your neighbor out with tips and advice on this and that once in awhile may probably be fine, especially if you see that he/she is sabotaging themselves, but avoid playing the know-it-all card. You’ll never win. And you’ll only end up becoming the person everybody hates.

DO NOT give advice to a fellow trainee, no matter how good your intentions are

Stop hoarding gym equipment

You need not stack up a selfish supply of kettle bell and dumbbell while you’re using the barbell. Be sensitive to other gym-goers as well. On completion of your sets, avoid lounging around in the locker room while exaggeratingly dabbing your overly exposed skin with your towel. That, to me, is putting too much of a show.

Stop hoarding gym equipment

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DO NOT hit on girls!

The gym is a great way to meet new people and form new friendships with the same and the opposite sex (especially the opposite and, yes, physically fit, sex). Making friends DOES NOT include using inappropriate pick – up lines, staring at women or pretending to give advice. Believe me, you will NOT be mistaken for a gentleman helping a lady in distress, but rather like a weirdo harassing a woman. Word, especially of that kind, travels fast and soon you’ll not only lose friends in that gym but will most likely lose your membership. So if you’re looking for a happily – ever – after experience (or close to it), you’re in the wrong place, my friend. (If you’re a girl, don’t snigger; this applies to you too. Just replace each female gender pronoun with its male counterpart.)

DO NOT hit on girls!

DO NOT text while walking

This is a rule that shouldn’t have to be made a rule; it’s common sense and moral values both rolled into one. If you walk around a gym filled with people lifting weights and doing stretches, not to mention all kinds of equipment, looking down at your phone texting to the President of the country (perhaps), someone might get hurt. If that someone turns out to be you, don’t be too surprised if no one will feel sorry for you.

DO NOT text while walking

So, there you go – ways of maintaining gym etiquette which, if you follow diligently, will most probably make you Mr… okay, okay, you feminists… MR./MRS./MISS Popular! If you like this article then don’t forget to like and share. Your comments are welcome too!

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