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Mind your Manners: Proper Gym Etiquette

Fitday Editor

Although some things--like spandex, grunting, and sweating--are common in the weight room, this doesn't mean the gym should be a free-for-all. Follow these tips to become a model member and avoid being a menace to other gym-goers.

Play Well with Others

The first and most important thing to consider while completing your workout is that you are in public. This means other people are present and watching. It also means that someone else might be trying to complete a workout of their own using the same equipment as you. With that thought in mind, don't monopolize the equipment. The equipment is for exercising -- not sitting - and definitely not for reading the newspaper. If it looks like someone is hovering (which is also a no-no), it's probably because you're taking too much time on your set. Instead of giving them the evil eye, remember sharing is caring, so ask if they would like to "work in." While you exercise, they stand by to rest and then you switch.

Keep it Clean

If you're sharing equipment or working out solo, whenever you finish your set it's mandatory that you wipe down the equipment. There's no more egregious violation of gym etiquette than leaving a puddle of sweat behind. Use the spray bottle and towel or disinfectant wipes provided by the facility to clean up before continuing to work out.

On the topic of cleaning up after yourself, it's important to return equipment to the proper location. If it was out of place when you found it or you are unsure of where it goes, take a moment to find out and make sure it gets back to its proper home. When using free weights, remember to unload the bar and return the weights back to the rack, resisting the urge to leave them on the floor. This will make equipment easy to access for other members, while preventing potentially hazardous trip-and-fall incidents.

Mind your Manners

While working out, some people like to use the mirror to watch their form or check out their physique. Either way, we are not judging, just suggesting that you avoid walking directly in front of them while they exercise. If possible, simply wait until they finish their set before going for the equipment you need.

The locker room, not the gym floor, is where your gym bag belongs. Resist the urge to tote your bag, a magazine, and your cell phone with you from machine to machine. After getting changed into your workout gear, stash your bag in a locker, and leave your phone behind. Talking or texting during your workout detracts from the quality of your training and is a surefire way to disturb everyone attempting to exercise around you.

Avoiding these blatant violations of gym etiquette will ensure that you are able to work out, and not stand out, during your next training session.

Joe Vennare is an accomplished fitness entrepreneur who develops, instructs and writes about innovative fitness programs. He is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio, and Race Day Domination.

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