Manners Aren't Just For The Dinner Table: Gym Etiquette

If you've never owned a gym membership before, you might be surprised to find that there are many unwritten rules enforced by bodybuilders and other people there to work out. Gym etiquette is as simple as having good manners, but there are a few things you might not think of as rude until after you have been to the gym a few times yourself and witnessed newcomers breaking the "rules." Here's a list of some tips for good manners at the gym.

Stay clean. This includes yourself, your clothing, and the equipment you use. Shower regularly and please remember to wear deodorant, if not for yourself, for those around you. Many gyms include showers and a locker room, so it is usually a good idea to shower after an intense bodybuilding workout as well. Keep your gym clothing washed-dirty and damp clothing is a great home for bacteria that not only smells but can also make you and those around you sick. If you sweat a lot, that's ok. Carry a towel with you. Some gyms even provide towels for members. After you are done with a machine, wipe down the surfaces and use antibacterial spray if the gym provides it. This will keep the machines safe for the next person.

Be time-conscious. Other people are waiting to use the machines and weights, so only use one piece of equipment at a time instead of jumping from one to another. Also, remember that once you leave a machine, even it is to fill up your water bottle, it may not be open when you turn around. Everyone has a routine and a schedule to keep. It is also generally frowned upon to ask a stranger to spot you as you lift. Be considerate of their time, and only ask for help when you really need it. Next time, bring a friend or ask one of the staff members to help you.

Leave everything as you found it. This includes not only wiping down the equipment, but also replacing weights and reporting equipment that is broken. Always put your weights back in the right spot so the next person can find what they need quickly and easily. If they are sweaty, remember to wipe them down as well. Don't be embarrassed if a piece of equipment breaks as you are using it-it is probably due to old manufacturing. Regardless of if it is your fault or not, reporting the problem will ensure that no one gets hurt.

In general, just be considerate. Your training should be difficult, but also fun and rewarding. Others are at the gym for the same reason, so be respectful of those around you and you won't have any problems with the other people at your gym.

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