Aside from an actual place of worship, the gym is one of the most sacred and protected places. It’s a home for the distressed and a refuge for the daily grinder. The gym is where we go to release our tension, knock out our problems, and strive to maintain our sanity. So naturally, there are certain unspoken rules that all gym-goers must abide by – or else… get the stink eye.
As in any communal space, it’s important to be mindful of others that may be using the area around you even after you’ve left. But don’t worry, these rules aren’t mandates and they won’t get you thrown in jail if you choose not to follow them…. well, maybe. These rules are more centered around the mutual respect and courtesy we should all have for one another in such a close-knit area. Let’s find out how to avoid being that guy.
Wipe your machine
Although there are plenty of other situations where it’s ok to get someone else’s sweat on yourself, this is definitely not one of them. Obviously, you’re going to get sweaty. This doesn’t give you the license to share that sweat with others. So, when you’re done with a machine or a weight, wipe your sweat off. Most facilities have paper towels and disinfecting spray, so do us all a favor and remove your DNA from the shared device.
Taking over the machines
Just like on the playground, no one likes a ball hog. In the gym, it’s never ok to take over a machine and hog it. This rule applies particularly in those busy after-work hours when half the world is trying to get on the Stairmaster. Do your time but do it efficiently. Don’t meander around and waste someone else’s time that could be on there giving it their all while they’re on a time crunch. Get in and get out.
Don’t be creepy
This next one is a little tricky. The gym is actually a great place to meet people with your same interests. After all, you’re all there for the same reason. While it’s great to meet a new buddy or a special someone, there’s a very fine line between “checking someone out” and just staring with the intent to attract unsolicited attention. Of course, it crosses everyone’s mind. A bunch of fit people in tight clothes, sweating… but most of us don’t enjoy being gawked at when we’re trying to get a job done. If you really want to talk to someone, wait for a better time and don’t be that guy.
Stop talking at the machine!
At the opposite side of the socializing at the gym argument is for those people who already know each other. Many bodybuilders enjoy working alongside a friend who can be a spotter as well. Going to the gym can be the only time some of us have to interact with others outside of coworkers and family. The only time it becomes a problem is when you sit around the machine chit-chatting. It’s simple – step aside and finish your conversation. The bench is not your chill time!
Let’s make sure we keep the gym an enjoyable and functional environment for all. Simply follow the rules, and really your common sense in general, and you’ll be pumping iron with the best of them.