You can't really blame them, I mean for almost 10 months now the gym has been pretty much theirs. There is an unspoken understanding between 'the regulars'...you know on Monday the guy that always wears the red tank top will be in the squat rack until about 9:30 so you can schedule your training around that. You get to know people without really knowing them and it makes for a better training session for all involved.
But then New Year's comes and in walk 'the newbies'.
In anticipation of this unavoidable event, I decided to throw together a list of some Do's and Don'ts- a gym etiquette posting of sorts to help folks out.
1. DO Shower. Yes, I understand you are going to work out, but if you stink already we have a BIG problem.
2. DO Change your clothes. This goes along with #1. Some folks like to wear the same clothes to train in because they are comfortable..that is fine, but wash them! Otherwise do as the rest of us do and just wear something different..that is clean. And please be sure they fit properly, I don't want to see your junk hanging out no matter how cool you think you are.
3. DO Wear deodorant. I know I shouldn't need to say this, but I will..because you know somewhere....
4. DON'T stand around in the locker room naked. Fine to do when you are at home, but in public this is a bit of a no-no. Don't be 'that guy' or 'that girl' that folks try to avoid... unless of course you are at a nudist gym, in which case ignore this recommendation.
5. DON'T stand directly in front of the dumbbell rack. This area is for loading and unloading ONLY. It is not meant to be used while doing your set.
6. DO give yourself and everyone else plenty of room. I've had this happen many times- I'm in the middle of a set of squats and some guy drags a bench over, sits down and starts doing shoulder press 3 inches away. C'mon man, not a good idea. Don't be that guy, be sure to give yourself and everyone else plenty of room. Collisions in the gym should not occur. Always be aware of your surroundings.
7. DON'T talk to someone in the middle of their set. I don't care what it is you want to say, it can wait.
8. DON'T randomly start talking to someone with headphones in. Head phones in the ears should be considered the international sign for "I don't want to talk". I don't care if you CAN tell they aren't listening to anything. They have their headphones in for a reason. Leave them alone.
9. DON'T sing. This is generally directed towards those of you that wear headphones while training. The rest of us can't hear your back up singers and would really rather not hear you sing "Baby Got Back" out of tune. Save it for the car, or the shower (just not the shower at the gym).
10. DON'T just jump on a piece of equipment. It is never safe to assume that someone isn't using it- especially if someone is standing near it. Always ask. If they have head phones in, simply point to the machine and they will know what you are asking.
11. DON'T talk on the phone while sitting on a piece of equipment. You are there to train, remember? Also, chances are pretty high that someone else is waiting to use what you are sitting on. Never mind the fact that no one wants to hear your conversation anyway.
12. DON'T hover around a piece of equipment while checking FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, or anything else. See #10. Put the phone down and train.
13. DO wipe up your mess. No one wants to sit in your sweaty mess. Wipe down the equipment before walking away.
14. DON'T assume you know what you are doing. Save yourself a time and energy, hire a professional. How do you know if you don't know what you are doing? If this is your first time to the gym- you don't know what you are doing. Hey, nothing to be ashamed of, we've all had our first day at the gym. If you want to ensure that you continue to have days at the gym, be sure you know what to do and how to do it properly.
15. DON'T bathe in perfume or cologne before your session. While you may think it smells fabulous, the rest of us are choking on it. Save it for your night out at the bar; not under the squat bar.
16. DON'T come to the gym if you are sick. For goodness sake keep it to yourself. The gym is kind of like an adult daycare situation..one person gets sick and then so does everyone else..just like the little kids that spread their germs around the daycare.
SO there you go, a few things that can help you out as you venture into some new exciting territory.
Stay safe and have fun.
Happy New Year!