If you are new to the gym, you may feel like every visit is a learning experience. You learn how to use the machines, some of the unique gear and you are busily making new acquaintances among your fellow fitness enthusiasts. But, did you know that there is a long list of things that most experienced gym users think of as faux pas or a seriously tactless blunder? We have five you should know about and avoid:
- Doing curls, shrugs or anything other than squats in the squat rack. It is likely that you will find weight lifters who insist on doing curls in the squat rack, but most know that they are loathed for taking this area. Typically, gym goers know that squatters get the rack first and foremost, so don't be that person who upsets everyone else by doing your other strength training in one of the more coveted spots.
- Locker room etiquette. The locker room is easily one of those spaces where it can be far too easy to step outside of certain boundaries. After all, it can be very easy to feel "at home" because you are using a shower, wrapped in towels and essentially in an oversized bathroom. As one journalist wrote, "treat this like the public restroom that it is and not like your personal bathroom. We’re all for free-spirited ladies, but some things can be kept private."
- Refusing to wipe down the machines. If you used a machine, no matter how much or how little it caused you to perspire, it is important you take the millisecond required to wipe down the seat, backrest and other areas you may have touched. It is common courtesy and also one of the biggest pet peeves of gym goers who are disgusted by sweat covered equipment.
- Using the phone. Whether you are gabbing away the entire time you are on a treadmill or using a machine, or checking angles for that perfect selfie, you are committing a major faux pas. Everyone around you has to listen to you, wait for you, or both. Leave the phone in the gym bag or use it strictly for your playlist, but don't make calls or take lots of snaps during a workout.
- Eating and/or drinking in the gym. You will run into fitness enthusiasts who do consume an energy bar or chug some sort of sports drink as they workout. This is actually pushing boundaries because it runs the risk of getting machines sticky or messy. However, you will also see some people actually eating regular foods and drinks. Typically, you want to limit your consumption to nothing more than water or enhanced water.
A bonus tip is to remember that most people are going to find themselves waiting for a machine or two during a visit to the gym. Because of that, try not to recover while sitting on a machine. Waiting three to five minutes and starting another session is extremely irritating to those waiting. You should also limit your use of any bit of equipment to any posted time limits.
Watch out for these faux pas and you should find yourself with plenty of friends at the gym.