Now that you’ve finally decided to start working out and improve your physique, let’s talk about how to conduct yourself at the gym. When you first enter your local gym, you may notice that you’re not the only person there. That’s right, there are other people trying to make the most out of their time at the gym, and the last thing they need is a rookie coming in and wasting gym space. Here are some helpful tips to prevent you from being labeled the newbie and wasting anybody’s time.
Clean Up After Yourself
Preventing the gym from turning into a breeding ground for bacteria starts with you. If you’re working out right, you should have a couple beads of sweat trickling off you. Don’t feel the need to share that sweat with the person who uses the machines after you. Every gym has wipes, paper towels, and disinfectants on standby. Take the extra time to wipe down the machine you just used to help keep your gym clean and germ-free.
“When done with a machine, use a towel to dry off where you may have sat or laid down to exercise, so the next person to use a machine can get on ASAP,” Len Saunders, author of Keeping Kids Fit, told Medical Daily in an email.
Rack Your Weights
Not only does leaving dumbbells lying around waste the time of your fellow gym-goers, but it is also a burden for the gym’s staff. You’ve already done the work of lifting these dumbbells over and over again, why not get an extra rep in by putting them back where you found them? It helps you get an extra pump in and prevents other people from wasting time looking for an out of place dumbbell.
“Clean up after yourself. If you stack weights on a bar or piece of equipment, unstack them and put them away. If you use a Swiss ball, put it back afterward, etc. ... I actually consider that part of my workout to make sure the gym is better than when I found it,” said Scott Malin (NASM-CPT), expert trainer.
Don’t Hog Weights And Machines
Waiting around for someone to get done with a weight or a machine you’re trying to do can be irritating. Especially when they’ve been using it for the past 30 minutes. Don’t let this be you. Besides, using one piece of equipment for too long is not best for your workout goals. The key to an efficient workout plan is variety, and if you’re using one machine for over 10 minutes then variety is pretty much out the window. If you plan on supersetting with a certain weight or machine, let other people work in to avoid ruining anyone else’s workout.
“Let others work in with you if they need to use the same piece of equipment. Don't hog something in the gym, so no one else can use it for 10 minutes,” Malin added.
Get Off Your Cellphone
The gym is not a good place to check your Facebook, text your friends, or have a conversation on your smartphone. Your time at the gym should be spent doing one thing and one thing only: working out. Try not to prolong the amount of time you spend at the gym with outside distractions. This goes for other people at the gym as well. Most people are trying to get in the gym, workout, and leave. Don’t waste their time by checking your Instagram before starting a set.
“When you are on a machine trying to get your good tunes in while busting a move, there is nothing more annoying than a chatty Cathy on the phone gossiping with gal pals or someone on a business call negotiating deals,” said healthy living expert, certified personal trainer, and holistic nutritionist Ashley W. Pettit. “If you can talk at-length, your workout needs improvement. You are at the gym for a reason; the phone can wait.”
Keep The Volume Down
You may love your workout playlist, but others may not. Keep the volume on your iPod down so only you can hear it, and even if you are proud of your singing voice, wait to show it off at a bar having a karaoke night. There’s no reason to distract people from their workout with your high notes. “You may have an amazing voice and the song may be a great tune, but no one wants to work out to you singing along to your workout playlist,” Pettit added. “Please respectfully refrain from gym karaoke.”
Last, but certainly not least, no flirting with other gym-goers. Despite what you may think, the gym is not a nightclub. Don’t be fooled by the revealing outfits and upbeat music. People come to the gym to workout, not to hear your best cheesy pickup line. This is also a matter of wasting other people’s time. Not only are you preventing the person you’re flirting with from finishing their set, but you’re also putting a halt to other people’s workout. Waiting for a machine to open up while someone is playing with their smartphone can be irritating, but there’s nothing worse than watching someone’s failed attempt to get a number before continuing a workout.