I had an experience yesterday at the gym while running on the treadmill which left a bad taste in my mouth. Another patron of the gym came in reeking of cigarette smoke and started working out on an elliptical trainer near my treadmill. The smell of smoke made it’s way over to me and completely threw off my workout. I am very sensitive to smells whether it be smoke, body spray, perfume or cologne, any heavy smell makes me ill. To make matters worse this same patron continued to talk loudly on her cell phone while working out…..very distracting!
Here is my top ten list of rules for gym etiquette:
- Odors: Everyone has natural body odor that when working out at a gym can be hard to avoid but just remember deodorant is your friend. Strong odors such as perfume, cologne, body spray and smoke can be irritating and offensive to others. Please don’t douse yourself with perfume, cologne or body spray prior to a workout, deodorant is usually sufficient and at a gym some natural body odor is to be expected. As far as smokers go please avoid smoking immediately prior to entering the gym and if that is not possible please consider changing into your gym clothes at the gym so they do not reek of smoke. I consider smoking an unhealthy habit but to each his own, if you want to smoke that is your personal decision just try to be respectful of others especially people trying to get healthy at the gym.
- Clean up: Nobody wants to get on a machine covered in someone else’s sweat. Carry a towel or use paper towels from the gym and clean off the equipment after you use it.
- Cell Phones: Please refrain from talking on cell phones, it is highly distracting and annoying to others. Personally I am going to the gym to work out and when I can hear your conversation over the music I am playing in my headphones it is distracting. I understand wanting to have the cell phone near you for emergencies but turn it to vibrate and if you need to talk to someone do it in the lobby.
- Personal Space: Respect other’s personal space, do not stand within inches of people waiting to use the equipment. If I can smell your breath you are too close.
- Share: Do not hog the equipment, allow people to work in sets during your rest time if possible. Do not leave a towel on a piece of equipment to hold it and walk away. Remember most people are on a schedule and want to get in and out of the gym as much as you do.
- Weights: If you take it out put it away, don’t leave unused free weights all over the gym it is not only dangerous but it’s also not fair to the next person wanting to use those weights. If you put 200lbs on a machine then take it off when you are done not everyone wants or needs to lift that much weight and I certainly shouldn’t be putting someone else’s weights away. Lastly, do not slam your weights on the ground it is startling, be respectful.
- Advise: Unless asked keep your advice to yourself.
- Don’t stare: Staring makes people feel uncomfortable and it is just plain rude. Concentrate on your own workout and keep your eyes to yourself.
- The locker room: Please cover up, nobody wants to see naked bodies walking around the locker room after a shower.
- Be respectful: Just be respectful of others, if you follow any of these tips this is the one that means the most, if you are respectful the rest will fall into place.
What are your rules for gym etiquette?