Alright ladies (and gents), while I’m in total support of a good fitness routine and enjoying your workouts to your full capacity, there is still something to be said for etiquette and common courtesy at the gym. I’m talking about good old-fashioned manners, collegiettes! With these dos and don’ts, you can finally master the art of gym etiquette.
1. DO: Run for ten, fifteen, twenty or even thirty minutes on different intervals and accelerations
DONT: Forget to sign out whatever machine you’re using or take more time than you’ve committed to on the signup sheet
As an impatient person, I find this one extremely irritating. Especially when it’s around 4:00 and the gym starts to welcome its evening crowd. Be conscious of how much time you’re putting into your work-out so that other people can still benefit from the machines. If you want to get a quick run in before going home, commit to only running the 15 minutes you signed up for. Still craving more after your time is up? Hop on another machine (after signing it out, of course) and go from there.
2. DO: Dress appropriately: running shoes, shorts/yoga pants, t-shirt/tank-top, sports bra
DON’T: Wear booty shorts and a low cut top the gym, covered in make-up from head to toe
Everyone has their own routine as far as attire at the gym goes. Some feel comfortable in a hoodie and sweats while others are better suited to an old boyband t-shirt from the 90s and shorts from Wal-Mart. Regardless, the gym is a place where it’s expected that you aren’t leaving looking like you’re about to hit the Hollywood red carpet. So, why dress like it? Leave the foundation and mascara in your gym locker until after you’re done. And while we’re at it, let’s talk clothing…booty shorts, while comfortable to lounge around the house in, draw way too much attention when you’re working out on a machine. There’s nothing wrong with rocking a Backstreet Boys t-shirt and shorts with full coverage.
3. DO: Push yourself to different levels and embrace feeling your body sweat and build muscle
DON’T: Walk away without sanitizing the machine you were using last
Let’s be honest, the only time human beings are comfortable being drenched in sweat is when it’s our own. So, I think it’s fair to say that no one enjoys coming up to a treadmill or weight machine to find someone else’s tiny beads of sweat lingering. It really only takes about one minute to wipe a machine down with sanitizer. Take the extra minute or two and be courteous of those working out around you. If anything, it’ll set a good example and encourage everyone else to take your hint.
4. DO: Have a work out buddy
DON’T: Bring your phone to the gym
Tempting, I know. The amount of times I’ve almost forgot to put my phone in my locker is somewhat embarrassing. But in reality, is there really a purpose? If I’m lifting weights and trying to get a new personal best on the treadmill, are Twitter and Facebook really going to help make that happen? Doubtful, unless some sort of fitness secret is trending. Leave it with your lip gloss and booty shorts in your locker and soak up all the gossip you missed after you’re done. Plus, having a work-out buddy to talk to and try different exercises with is way better than trying to search stretching exercises on Google while running on incline.
5. DO: Wait your turn
DON’T: Interrupt someone else’s set
As I said earlier, I’m not the most patient person in the world but when it comes to doing a set, it’s respectable to take a step back and let them finish. There are a dozen other machines to work on while someone else is finishing up. If you’re waiting on a machine, take some time and try doing a few extra sit-ups and then eventually make your way over. Waiting doesn’t have to mean frustration and impatience. With so many different machines to select, have fun with it and switch it up! You may even decide the new machine you discovered was better than the one you (almost!) got mad waiting over.
Don't forget to check out our past Commit to Fit blog posts!