Follow these unwritten rules of the gym and you’ll be a seasoned pro in no time.
When the new year rang in, you probably saw a lot of new people at your gym, all resolving to get fit for 2015. Starting on a healthier path is great, but it can cause some problems for gym-goers who’ve been at it for longer.
The problem is, most new members haven’t learned the ins and outs of gym etiquette that help ensure a safe and effective workout for all. So, to solve that, here’s our handy guide that will have you hitting the gym like a pro in no time.
Don’t hog the equipment: Realistically, you’re not going to use two dumbbells, a medicine ball and a foam roller at the same time. Use equipment as you need it, leaving the rest available for someone else. The same goes for cardio machines. Do what you need to do, but be respectful of other people who might be waiting in line. This especially applies to peak gym hours, which occur usually just before the workday starts and right after it ends.
Keep it clean: We all sweat at the gym, which means that it’s good practice to wipe off machines and yoga mats after using them to prevent the spread of bacteria. Put the gym’s cleansing wipes or bottles of disinfectant with paper towels to use. You wouldn’t want to work out with someone else’s sweat-coated equipment, right?
That call can wait: Unless you’re using your phone for music, leave it in a locker. You have plenty of time to chat before and after your workout, and nobody wants to hear you arguing with your boyfriend about which one of you was supposed to take the dog out.
Cover up: Don’t unnecessarily walk around naked in the locker room. Of course, it’s okay to be naked in the shower and when you’re getting dressed, but as a courtesy to others, please wear a towel while doing hair and makeup.
Replace the weights: It’s good practice to put free weights, mats and other equipment in its proper place after exercising. Leaving things lying around is not only messy and disrespectful, but it poses a danger to everyone walking around the gym.
Leave breathing room: The cardio section can get sticky and gross. If there are plenty of treadmills available, there’s no need to grab the machine right next to the girl killing it with her sprint intervals. Grab a more secluded treadmill or elliptical instead.
Do not disturb: If someone’s wearing headphones, chances are they aren’t in the mood to chat. Similarly, it’s best to keep quiet in a group exercise class. Sure, you share a bond of camaraderie with everyone else struggling through push-ups and lunges, but talking is rude to the instructor and other participants. Save the chit-chat for afterward.