One of the most important things about working out at the gym, but one of the things that often goes unmentioned, is proper etiquette. People who work out at the gym routinely find that there are some users who do not maintain etiquette. While many gyms post rules and guidelines for behavior while working out, others do not. Therefore, it's your responsibility to ensure that you're being conscientious and courteous to others as you exercise. Doing so will not only avoid frustration, but also help to make the gym experience a safer, healthier one for everyone. Here are four things to avoid doing at the gym:
1. Leaving Machines Dirty
Perhaps the single most important part of gym etiquette is cleaning up after yourself. No one enjoys approaching a machine, only to find that the previous user has left a pool of sweat or neglected to clean up. This is not only a nuisance and a frustrating issue to deal with, but it's actually unsanitary and may lead to a greater risk of contamination of the machines. When you're through using a machine, clean it up thoroughly, using a paper towel or a cloth and cleaning solution found at the gym.
2. Hogging a Machine
Another important element of proper gym etiquette is to not spend too much time on any one machine. Most gyms have a number of people, many of whom will be interested in using a lot of the same machines. If you're on a machine for longer than a few minutes at a time, it's considered to be rude. Make sure that you are aware of other people who may be waiting for your machine, and observe any posted time limits that your gym has set up. Most cardiovascular machines have a limit of approximately 30 minutes for your use.
3. Cell Phones
While it's normal to hear a small amount of talking and even some grunting or groaning in a gym, it's generally considered very rude to speak on a cell phone while you're working out. In fact, it's a good idea to keep your volume level down as much as possible while you're exercising, as being loud can potentially distract other people. If you need to take a call for an emergency or some other reason, be courteous to those around you and leave the workout area to talk in a place where you won't bother them.
4. Being Unsafe
Proper gym safety is an important measure to take not only for you but also for the people who share the gym with you. Do not overload a machine or use weights that are too heavy for you. Don't swing your weights around carelessly or leave them in places where people might trip over them. By ensuring that you maintain proper safety measures, you'll also have proper etiquette as well.
For a more specific idea of the etiquette procedures that are expected at your gym, consult with the front desk or look for posted guidelines.