Gym Etiquette

When you step into the door of your fitness facility, what are you expecting? If your time is limited like most, you are expecting to get started on your workout right away. To that end, learn to be considerate of others who also are using the gym equipment.

Gym etiquette is important but often forgotten. How many times have you gone in and found a machine sweaty looking or the weights not put back on the weight rack ready for the next person? When you observe the etiquette rules of the gym, others will appreciate it.

Here are a few etiquette rules for those who may not know how to go about it. Don’t be ashamed. If you don’t know, the best way to learn is to ask someone. With these lessons, you will already go into your gym knowing the rules of the road.

* Wipe down your machines after use. If you are working out even at a moderate pace, you will get sweaty. On treadmills and other aerobic machines, sweat can cover handles and screens. Most facilities provide cleaning wipe dispensers. Grab one after you finish your routine and wipe the handles and anywhere else you see sweat. Now the machine is ready for the next person to use.

* Wait your turn. This requires that you be a bit observant. Hopefully there won’t be a line down the center aisle of people waiting for one machine. Gyms usually have enough equipment, but you may want a particular machine. Others lingering around may also be waiting. Simply ask them if they are “in line.” Line jumping is frowned upon and could cause an argument.

* Spend no more than thirty minutes on weight machines. Hogging a machine is not the team spirit. Even when performing three sets, thirty minutes is usually enough time. Give others a chance to enjoy the machine or the weights.

* Avoid talking on your cell phone unless you have to. The person next to you doesn’t want to hear your conversation. Some gyms prohibit cell phone use. If yours is one of them, follow the rules. Place your phone on vibrate and adjourn to another area to answer it.

* Arrive for classes at least five or ten minutes early. Once the class has started, walking between participants to get equipment or to find a spot to stand can be disruptive to them and the instructor.

* Adjourn to the social area for conservations. Leaning on a machine or standing on equipment like a treadmill may hinder someone else from using it. Larger facilities have sitting areas where you can gather and be social after a workout.