Gyms are nice. They are a convenient way to exercise, especially if, like me, you are usually clueless about this sort of thing. All the equipment you’ll ever need is there and there are plenty of staff on hand to assist. should you need help.
Like most nice things, however, gyms can be easily ruined by other people. It doesn’t matter which gym you go to, chances are we’ve all seen examples of people being inconsiderate which can negatively affect your experiences.
Thankfully, most people don’t want to be inconsiderate towards others (I hope), and so to help all you fellow gym-goers to get along better, here are three quick tips on good gym etiquette.
- Don’t hog the equipment
This one is a particular pet-peeve of mine. Few things are quite as annoying as wanting to use a machine only for someone else to get on and then refuse to give it up. This is particularly frustrating when you’re on a circuit. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve had to stop in the middle of a circuit because someone decided the timer didn’t apply to them. So please remember that the equipment is there for everyone to use and don’t try and keep it all to yourself. And seriously, the circuit timer is there for a reason – listen to it and get off the machine when it goes off. If you really need more time on that machine, wait for the next round.
- Wipe the equipment down when finished
We’ve all been there. We step up to one of the machines, get ready to sit down, and then we see it: a puddle of someone else’s sweat. Yuck. This is one of the reasons you should bring a towel every time you gym. In fact, I’m pretty sure most gyms has a policy that says members should wipe down equipment after use and if they don’t, then they should. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily a health hazard but it’s certainly gross. It’s the exercise equivalent of peeing on the seat. No one wants to sit in someone else’s sweat puddle so make sure you wipe down your equipment properly when you’re finished. If you don’t have a towel with you, most gyms have paper towels readily available which you can use.
- Put it away when you’re finished
Putting things away when you’re done, is something we are taught since childhood and yet some people have obviously forgotten this lesson. I’ve often seen things, like dumbbells and medicine balls just laying around where their previous user left them even though the rack is less than 10m away. Please people, put your equipment back where it belongs when you’re done using it. Not only does it inconvenience others who now have to waste time looking for it, it also poses a potential health risk since leaving this stuff in the middle of the floor can cause people to trip over it.