gym etiquette

Our local gyms are melting pots of experience levels, backgrounds, and fitness goals. We’re all there sweating for different reasons. If only we could unite against five all-too-common offenses.

For many of us, gym time is sacred time. It’s a chance to hit the proverbial reset button and forget about the chaos of our personal and professional lives. It’s an opportunity to let off some steam. For some, it’s a place to build community with new acquaintances or meet up with friends.

That’s the magic of your local fitness center – it means so many things to many different people.

Unfortunately, a few bad apples can ruin that hour of zen by perpetuating these bad habits. If you are fortunate enough to work out in the privacy of your own home – we’re jealous. If you, like many of us, share your gym environment with your neighbors, let’s rally for the common good of our space and avoid these misdeeds.

Sweat etiquette

The cardinal rule of working out – thou who sweats, wipes thy space. We get it; you sweat a lot. There’s nothing better than releasing the toxins of an indulgent weekend. But if you’re leaving a puddle behind on the mat or machine, be a responsible human and wipe it down with sanitary spray. Many gyms have spray bottles and paper towels posted around the facility. Use them. There are only a few of us on this planet who enjoy lying in puddles of old sweat. That’s a subject for a different day. Wipe down your space.

gym etiquette

Spreading your junk

Not that junk. Your personal belongings. If you’re like me, you carry some stuff around the fitness center with you. Headphones, a water bottle, a towel, keys. It’s easy to use them as placeholders for machines or stations in our set. But your sweat towel is not a proxy for you. If you’re not using a machine, don’t reserve it with your junk. You’ll get your chance. Let the other guy enjoy his gym time too.

Text machine

Along the same lines of reserving a station with personal items, standing at a station for an hour as you type away is equally wicked. Jump in, work through your set and hop out. It’s always a pain when you can’t seem to secure your favorite station. Don’t be the guy who prevents another member from completing his ideal workout. Save those lengthy text messages and Grindr plans for the stretching mat.

gym etiqutte

Cruise control

There’s nothing wrong with picking up a date at the gym. In fact, your local Planet Fitness can be a great place to meet like-minded guys who enjoy staying fit and healthy. If cruising is your thing – we have zero judgments. But you might consider heading to the bathhouse rather than making other members feel the wrath of your watchful eyes. Put the cruise control on and keep the cardio wall a welcoming and judgement-free zone. Where have we heard that expression before?

Shower time

You’ve made it through your routine, and it’s time to hit the showers. If you’re like us, it’s one of your favorite parts of working out. Rinsing off the sweat from a vigorous workout. Soothing sore muscles in the steam room. Catching a few glimpses of eye candy (careful to avoid the cruisy glare).

There are a few no no’s at shower time. Don’t leave your band aids and razors in the stall. Don’t linger and intrude on personal space. Wear your flip flops. And like our kindergarten teachers taught us, sharing is caring. Don’t spend an hour under the hot water while others wait their turn.

Gym etiquette

Those aren’t so bad, right? All it takes is a collective nod and a commitment to avoid these selfish habits at the gym. The world will be a better place for it.