If you’ve never stepped foot in a gym before, it can be a scary place. Everyone inside seems to know exactly what they’re there for, what they’re doing, and are usually so wrapped up in their own little world, that it can be intimidating to ask for advice.
To make things easier, here’s a list of some common-sense gym etiquette rules that you should know before going in.
1. Don’t Be Stinky – Chances are, if you have any kind of respectable workout, you’ll have at least a little bit of sweat that will smell somewhat bad. Stick 50 people just like you in a room working out, and you can understand why it smells bad all the time. The only thing that makes it worse is when people show up in clothes they’ve worked out in for a week straight, or who haven’t bathed in a while. Don’t add to the smell, do your part to at least make it somewhat pleasant.
2. Wipe Down Your Equipment – There’s a reason those moist towelettes are placed every few feet: they’re for you to wipe your sweat off the machines after you’re done. Not only is this just common courtesy, it also can help to stop the spread of disease.
3. Rack Your Weights – So you can bench-press 400 pounds, so what? While that’s impressive, you know what’s even better? Racking all those 45-pounders so that the guy behind you doesn’t have to. No matter what you use, make sure you put it back when you’re done.
4. Don’t Hog the Space – The dumbbell rack is notorious for people grabbing weights and then pumping out reps within inches of the mirror. You’re not the only one there, chief, so take a few steps back and let others walk in front of you. Also, if you see someone lifting, take the long way around so you don’t interrupt their reps or get smacked in the face yourself. It’s only polite.
5. NEVER Drop the Weights – Ever, ever, ever. No matter how much you’re lifting, dropping weights is a show-off move that automatically draws attention to yourself. Moreover, dropping the weights can hurt you or someone else nearby. Just don’t do it.
6. Ask Before Working In – Most of the time when you’re working out, there will be other people at the gym besides you. If all the machines or weights that you need are currently occupied, wait patiently until you know they’re done; if they have a towel draped over it, that’s a sign that they are not. If they’re not slowing down, pick a convenient time and ask politely if you can work in between sets.