Don't Be a Gym Jerk.
I always like to be positive. I’m just that way. I like to provide motivation and inspiration.
However (sigh), I was motivated to write this blog because of a “jerk” at my gym today.
I left irritated. I calmed down.
I decided to make it a positive and write an information piece for the benefit of my clients and readers who are “newbies” to the gym. Being armed with some extra knowledge reduces the anxiety of stepping into a gym for the first time.
You’ll see the signs posted around the gym.
They will list the basic rules.
Wipe your machine. Put away your weights. etc.
Everyone is new at some point. We read the rules, take note and get on with our workouts.
So why is it that so many people continue to do things that drive the rest of us nuts?
I hope this helps, and maybe it will be a reminder for some.
- Put equipment back where it belongs. Weights, stability balls, bands, mats, etc. We are not your mother. Clean up after yourself.
- Wipe down your equipment when you’re finished with it. People do not want to sit in your sweat. Also, we don’t want to spread or come into contact with excessive germs or some infectious disease.
- The mirrors are there to help you exercise with proper form. They are not there for you to fix your hair, take selfies, etc. Do not stand in front of someone who is in the middle of their reps.
- Share. Going back to toddler days here. Gyms get busy; don’t be a machine hog. If someone asks you if they can work in, say yes. Other people are quite good at cooperating if you need to work in. Personally, if someone has less than two sets to go, I wait until they are done. This leads me to my next rule…..
- Don’t tie up two pieces of equipment at once. It is one thing if the gym is empty. However, someone may be afraid to ask to work in, and now you are monopolizing two machines for your super sets. That’s selfish. Play fair.
- Be mindful of personal space. At peak hours, you may not have a choice. However if there are eight free ellipticals, don’t jump on the one right next to someone.
- Be careful how you put down your weights. Some gyms do not like the dropping of heavy weights. It can also be dangerous to someone who gets too close. 8. You do not own the gym, or its equipment. Don’t “mark” your favourite cardio machine with a towel etc. until you are ready to use it. At my old gym, there was a woman who used to glare at anyone who used "her treadmill” if she showed up. I just don’t get it.
- If there are TV’s in the cardio area and you want to change the channel, make sure no one is watching it. Don’t just change the channel. This is a gym, not your living room.
- Don’t use this a social hour and chit chat randomly and excessively. If someone is wearing headphones, it usually means “do not disturb.”
- If you don’t know how to use a machine, ask. There are always trainers around. Most people are genuinely willing to help you rather than watch you injure yourself.
These are the rules I consider to be the most important. I will dedicate a future piece on group fitness and change room etiquette.
Remember; everyone is there for the same purpose, for their health. We respect others who are trying to do something good for themselves. Don’t think that people are staring at you or judging you. The truth is that most people are so consumed with their own workouts (or insecurities) they are not paying attention to you.
Finally, smile! I’ve met many of my friends through fitness.
Enjoy your workout.