Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gym Etiquette & Pet Peeves - A.K.A. Why #PeopleAtMyGymSuck

Major Pet PeevesGym etiquette isn’t hard to understand. It isn’t hard to grasp. It’s really just common sense. You already learned everything you needed to know back in kindergarten. Pick up after yourself. Put your toys away when you’re done using them. Learn how to share. Don’t hog all the best toys for yourself. Don’t distract others who are working. So you see, the gym really is a lot like kindergarten. I guess that’s why I feel so at home there… That, and when I’m all done with my workouts I get a snack and a nap. Yup. Just like Kindergarten.

Don't Stand Here#1) Lifting immediately in front of the dumbbell rack. If you're not using something. then don't stop anyone else from using it. When you lift immediately in front of the dumbbell rack you're blocking AT :LEAST six dumbbells, maybe more. You might think its no big deal and people can say "excuse me" but the reality is, people don't want to have to have to ask you to move when you're in the middle of a set, and they shouldn't have to. Its like blocking the door in an elevator or subway car. Just don't do it. If you're strong enough to pick up the weight, then you're strong enough to carry them a few steps away from the dumbbell rack. You really don't need to be THAT close to the mirror. Yes, the gym has mirrors- but not for checking yourself out!  Use the mirrors to make sure you are using correct form.

#2) Leaving clothes, water on unused equipment, even trainers. Unless you're actually using a piece of equipment, don't treat it like your personal closet or towel rack. People do that do let other people know they're using the equipment. So put your stuff in the locker, or closet, or cubby, or on the the floor where you are working out. I can't count how many times I've seen someone walk over to a bench or machine and walk away, because there was a sweater, purse, towel, or water bottle on it, only to find out that they belonged to someone who was not even using that piece of equipment! When trainer do this its even worse. Trainers are supposed to set an example, and if you're guilty of this then you should be ashamed of yourself.

#3) Not letting you work in between sets (and even forgoing their break to prevent it). My go-to line is usually "Excuse me. Do you mind if I work in?" or, if I was already using that equipment "Excuse me. Do you mind if I do another set here?" so they realize I was already using it. I always wait until they have just finished a set before asking. Nevertheless it seems that there are quite a few people who, while they would normally take a standard rest in between sets, instead they forgo their rest rather than let me work in. Gym Etiquette Rule Number 1 The Art of Working In acknowledges that each person can do a set while the other is resting, and lists some "dos and don'ts" when practicing the Art of Working In.

#4) Not putting weights back in the correct place & even leave little dumbbells on top of the big ones. If you're strong enough to use it, then you're strong enough to put it back. Don’t leave dumbbells, barbels, workout mats, etc. lying around when you're done with them. Your mom isn't here to clean up after you. Clean up after yourself! The staff is really not there to clean up after you (even though they are often offenders themselves). Don't assume that the next person is going to want that weight on the bar. Don't treat the dumbbells like a dumbbell rack. Don't put dumbbells in the wrong place when their place is clearly designated by weight. When there's clearly a place for 45 pound plates, don't put them where the 10 pound plates go. Don't be an idiot!

#5 Not respecting the 30 minute time limit on cardio machines (especially during peak hours). Everyone at the gym deserves to get their workout in. And they should also expect to get their minimum of 30 minutes of cardio in during peak hours. If you are looking to get a longer session of cardio plan to visit the gym during non-peak hours or finish 30 minutes and then complete the rest of your cardio at the end of your workout. Don't wait until your 30 minutes are up, and then the next person gave you two minutes grace before asking for the machine, AND THEN BEGIN YOUR COOL DOWN!

#6) They don't wipe down the bench or treadmill when they're done. I admit, I'm guilty of doing this once, and even though I did not leave the treadmill sweaty at all, I'm sorry and it won't happen again. From now on I'll follow Gym Etiquette Rule Number 4: Clean Up After Yourself and you should too.

#7) Trainers unnecessarily position clients so that they are blocking equipment that they aren't using. See #1, only worse BECAUSE YOU'RE A TRAINER!

#8) Using the bench as a place to sit in between your standing sets. Those benches are there for you to workout. They're not a place to rest when you're not working out. That's not to say you shouldn't use them in between sets that require them, but if you're not using them to workout, get your lazy ass off of them when you're not working out, especially if they're limited!

#9) Leaving a mess in the locker room. That includes a lot of things. If you're gong to swim or be in the sauna for 30 minutes, then don't leave your stuff sprawled out on the locker room benches! The locker room sink counter is never a good place to leave your slippers, flippers, bathing suit, etc. And what's worse than leaving your crap unattended in the locker room? Leaving your stained underwear right out there on the bench for everyone to see (now that wouldn't happen if you would put your "shit" away). And what's worse than leaving your stained underwear right out there on the bench for everyone to see? Leaving your very own "rorshat"on the bench! (So pretend its not yours and you don't want to sit in someone else's and put a towel down!)

#10) Clients and staff (mainly staff) will read this and dismiss it all.

When you're in the gym, just like anywhere else, be considerate of others. Ask yourself this question: What if everyone did what I'm doing? If you wouldn't like the result, then you probably shouldn't be doing it.

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