The gym represents so many things to different people. For some, it is a safe haven after a taxing day at work. For others, it is a glorified happy hour to pick up dimes (chicks). But for most, the gym is an ally to fight that never ending war: “The Battle of the Bulge.”
Whether you’re a weekend warrior at Average Joe’s Gym or a meat-headed freak from Globo Gym, there are a few rules of gym etiquette to follow so you don’t end up being “that guy.”
The Fashion Show
Loose clothing is optimal. CLEAN shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sneakers will do. Please leave the cutoff jean shorts and pajama pants at home. That’s just poor gym etiquette.
Wipe Me Down
Imagine Patrick Ewing at the foul line in triple overtime. Now imagine Patrick Ewing bench pressing and no ball boys there to wipe up his mess. Kinda gross. Most gyms have brown paper towels for a reason, so use them when needed or bring your own towel.
Do a few reps, drink a cup of coffee, read the New York Times, update your fantasy team, do another set, wait 15 minutes, then repeat. Are you (expletive) serious!? Stop hogging the equipment. Hogging will only irritate other gym patrons who actually give a (expletive) about their workout.
Avoid Bad Form
What good are all those swinging and swaying motions during your barbell curls if you’re not intending to audition for “So You Think You Can Dance?” Using hip thrust momentum to get that weight up does not impress the judges. Those out-of-control, spastic gyrations only invite injury.
Gym goers should use strict form during their workouts. Lifting weights require controlled movements to achieve that “orgasmic” pump as Arnold refers to. The “pump” is a great indication that you are performing the exercise correctly. One more rep!
Beware of B.O.
There is nothing worse than having someone with rank body odor jump on the treadmill next to you during your workout. Yes, it is true that women can smell pheromones, but they don’t want to smell your stank ass.
At times the gym can be one big meat market. There is nothing wrong with noticing that Jessica Biel booty walking by, but don’t make it a staring contest. Next time, use the mirrors at a 45 degree angle to check out that hottie.
10 Guys and a Bench
Workout partners are great to have on so many levels. A partner to push you to your max is the best supplement a guy could have in his diet. But do you really need 10 guys to spot you? One person lifts, then the next, then the next, etc. It’s like a merry-go-round. This falls into the same category of the Starbucks idea. How many more sets you guys got? “We’ll be here for awhile” is not the answer I want to hear.
All gyms require you to re-rack your weights when you’re done. It would bother me too if I couldn’t find the matching dumbbell that’s on the other side of the gym.
Man in the Mirror
People fail to realize that the mirror is a great workout tool but not so much for narcissistic purposes. Use the mirror to check if your form is up to par. When you see your muscles being worked, veins start popping out, and you know that it’s working. Seeing is believing. Like equipment, the mirror must be shared with all gym goers. Jumping in front of someone during their seated military press will disrupt their focus and make them go “Hulk Smash” on your head.
I’m sure there are tons of other gym etiquette points I have not touched on. Feel free to leave some of your suggestions in the comments section.