The Ten Commandments of the Public Gym

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Hey guys and gals!

Today I’d like to cover some gym etiquette. I go to a university gym and I am appalled at the behaviour exhibited by “educated” people. So I present…

The Ten Commandments of the Public Gym

English: Several stacks of gym towels on a woo...

1. Thou shalt not hog the machines.

We all pay to use the gym equipment so it is only fair that you share. Do not spend 50 minutes on the “20 minute max” treadmill. If you want to spend that much time running, find a track and do some laps or run at a time when the gym is not very busy. Also, do not leave your water bottles or towels on multiple machines to “hold your place”. While you rest or use another machine, someone else can use the equipment.

2. Thou shalt re-rack your weights.

Wow! Did you just bench press 200 pounds? That’s great! Now put back your weight! You have to remember not everyone is physically able to re-rack those plates. It’s so annoying when you have to clean up after people before you can even start your sets. Re-racking is part of the workout. Don’t be lazy!

3. Thou shalt clean up after thyself.

Do you see that lovely sheen on the bench? That’s your sweat. Most gyms provide solution and towels for you to wipe down the benches after you use them. As a courtesy to the next user, please use them.

4. Thou shalt not stink.

Sweating in the gym is natural. Sweat does not stink. What stinks is the bacteria that live in the sweat. If you shower regularly (at least once a day), you may smell a bit after a gruelling workout but you will not stink.
If you do stink (i.e. there is a 2 foot radius of stench around you) then
a) you should probably wear deodorant and/or
b) you should wash your gym clothes!
If you re-wear your gym clothes multiple times and store them in a dark, unventilated locker, they will fester. The bacteria have lovely conditions to grow  in there and your clothes will develop an obnoxious and unflattering smell.

5. Thou shalt not have group chats.

One of the most offensive things that people do in the gym (without knowing they are being offensive) is having mini conferences in the aisles and around the equipment. You came to the gym to work out, not to socialize. Do not congregate in the gym. It not only blocks free flowing movement of people, but it breaks the concentration of those around you. So get back to your set and meet up with your friends afterwards.

6. Thou shalt not throw down your weights.

People throwing down weights when they have finished a set makes me so nervous in the gym. Firstly, the noise breaks my concentration, and secondly, I value my toes just as they are. Dropping weights after a set is a great way to break your, or someone else’s, foot! Don’t be a toe-breaker. Drop your weights lightly.

7. Thou shalt respect personal space.

Gyms can be very dangerous places. You should always be aware of the space around you. Always take note of the exercises that  your neighbours are performing before setting up next to them. I imagine that a lateral raise to the chin or a kettle ball swing to the stomach would be very unpleasant so make sure that your neighbours have enough space to move comfortably. And if someone is using a mirror, avoid walking in front of them while they are performing their reps. That’s just rude!

8. Thou shalt not come to the gym when sick.

This is an unwritten rule (that I just wrote). If you are ill and contagious stay at home. In the gym people inhale deeply and they would rather not inhale your germs. Further if you are not well, working out is probably not going to make you better. Go home, rest, recuperate and come back when you are healthy.

9. Thou shalt not make excessive noise.

We all know guys like this. They pick up the 100 lb dumbbells to do shoulder presses and every rep is “argggh” or “urrr-rrrraaaa” or my personal favourite “hooooo-ahhhhh-urrrrr-shhhhooooo”. It’s annoying. A little grunting is okay, as I fully acknowledge your exertion, but we don’t need the crazy sound effects.

And finally….

10. Thou shalt hide your nakedness.

I once had a woman (that I did not know) have an entire conversation with me while she was nude. Watching her sit her bare behind on the locker room bench and talk about the weather was so awkward and uncomfortable. I did everything I could do to stare straight into her face as she talked (though my peripheral vision failed me!) I know we all have the same parts but I really did not need the details. Please be modest and cover yourself.

So I hope you remember to practice good gym etiquette.
Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you! (Luke 6:31)

Cheers, Angie

By popular demand, the authors of God Guys and Girls bring you the
“Super Annoying Gym Noise” slide show.
One slide, 12 seconds, 817 KB and 2 reps of super annoying gym noises by an avid gym fan! Enjoy!

(Fun for office pranks!)

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5 responses »

  1. Pingback: 6 THINGS I HATE ABOUT THE GYM | Pro Fitness X

  2. AWWW MAN!!!!!! i love this post and i definitely agree, i just don’t understand how people can be naked in front absolute strangers and sit and have a conversation with you lol!!!

  3. I like how you took the Ten Commandments and tied it into do’s and don’ts of the gym. As much as I hate to say it, etiquette isn’t the first thing on ones mind in the gym. I’ve drifted from the public gym to parks and home/office workouts. I find them much more effective than banging and clanging weights, fighting over space. The fresh air is great.

    • Thanks for reading Kirby 🙂 I love fresh air and wish I could train outside more too, but I live in a city where it’s winter almost 2/3 of the year!. So there’s not much choice but to bear the banging and clanging LOL!

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