I know. I’m new-ish to the gym scene. My experience level is nowhere near what one might consider high.
In the last few months, our community built and opened a brand new gym. It’s around 1000 square feet and has a serviceable combination of machines and free weights. Membership is included in our HOA fees, and it’s a two minute drive (or five minute jog) to get there. I’m thrilled to have access to this brand new and convenient facility and love taking advantage of equipment I don’t have at home. Cross training has become so much more accessible to me and I’ve felt great about how I’ve stepped things up this month.
With that out of the way, I never expected this to be a post I would need to write. That I would even be qualified to write. But I’ve seen some things in this local, neighborhood gym over the last few weeks, that lead me to believe that people need a refresher course in common sense.
Sharing is NOT caring!
I’m not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I afraid of little colds or bugs. I believe in perspiring out toxins and if I’m under the weather, often feel much better after a good sweat session. However, dragging your sick self to the local gym where you proceed to liberally hack all over the equipment in an enclosed space is pretty uncalled for.
If you’re sick but feeling well enough to work out, more power to you, but do it outside in the fresh air or in the privacy of your own home. Skipping a few days until you’re in better health isn’t going to make much difference to you but will make a world of difference to the people who weren’t interested in catching your cough, cold or flu.
Clean the equipment you use!
On the days I have been at the gym with other people, I have noticed a disturbing trend: despite the availability of wipes, NO ONE CLEANS THE EQUIPMENT AFTER USE! I just can’t even understand it.
It’s inevitable that working out will lead to sweating, which leads to some form of bodily fluid getting all over handles, grips, seats, rests and other parts of the machines and equipment. I didn’t think much of everyone’s clean up routine until the day I noticed the wipes were out. I ended up borrowing wipes from a mom at the adjacent pool to wipe down after myself, and decided to keep a small container of Lysol wipes in my gym bag for emergencies. Imagine my surprise when the next time at the gym, a gentleman asked to share dumbbells and refused the wipe that I offered him.
Of course, now I wipe down everything before and after I use it, but it’s a little disheartening to see people just walk out without regard for the condition in which they leave the space.
Be considerate with your selfies.
Obviously, if you don’t post your gains to the gram, they don’t count, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the room wants to be insta-famous. If you’re going to snap selfies, be discreet and make sure the only subject is you.
Hey, if you happen to be lucky and you’re the only one in your community gym, go crazy with the solo photo shoot and Facebook live feeds, but if the gym is packed, restrain yourself. Your neighbors will appreciate it. (And I hope it goes without saying that photos should never be taken in a locker room or to shame or mock your fellow gym goers).
This is my dance space. This is your dance space.
Obviously, in a community gym, there’s probably not much empty floor space, so we all have to make the best of it. The current layout is pretty reasonable, and the dumbbells, tension straps and swiss and medicine balls can all be moved to other parts of the gym.
If one person is lifting weights on the incline bench, there is absolutely no reason for a second person to come over and set up shop with the tension bands within six inches of said bench. Grab the bands and a mat and find another part of the floor nearby. I promise you, the first person will be done soon and would rather focus on their lifting form than avoiding elbows and sweat in her space.
So you get to the gym, ready for sprints on the treadmill, only to find all the units are occupied. Bummer.
With limited equipment, getting shut out of your preferred activity is a frustrating risk. However, there’s no reason to cop an attitude. Instead, warm up on the bike, do some stretching or foam rolling, or even get in a light dumbbell routine while you wait. If you are on the clock, hop on the elliptical instead and come back later. It’s a much more productive way of spending your time and some workout is better than no workout.
On the flip side, if you are working out and notice the gym is busy, try not to hoard equipment. It’s unreasonable to expect to reserve the treadmill between squat reps when other people want to use it. Work through one machine or station at a time, even if it means your order of routine is altered. It’s just the considerate thing to do.
And did I mention, wipe down your equipment when you’re finished?
What bad behaviors have you experienced from fellow gym goers?
What are your gym pet peeves?