Bodybuilding: Gym Etiquette

Everyone cannot have their own private gyms, so people who wish to work out on a daily, weekly or monthly basis must seek membership at a local gym in order to stay in shape. In order for gyms to maintain a positive and healthy atmosphere for all, there are a few rules pertaining to gym etiquette that should be followed by all patrons.

#1. Leave Your Cell Phone in the Car

It is distracting to everyone in the gym if your cell phone, pager or PDA sounds in the middle of your workout. You can’t possibly hope to achieve the desired results if you spend the entire time at the gym talking on the phone, so unless you are expecting an important call, leave your cell phone in the car or in the locker room. If you must have it with you – I know that some people have seemingly personal relationships with their phones – set it to silent so as not to disturb the other patrons of the gym.

#2. Bring a Towel

No matter how much you would hate to admit it, when you work out at a gym, you sweat, sometimes profusely. Rather than leaving your calling card all over the equipment at the gym, bring a towel to sit/lay on while you work out. There is nothing more disgusting – or hygienic – than to approach a machine covered in someone else’s sweat.

#3. Put Weights Back Where You Found Them

You learned this back in preschool when you were asked to return your toys to their shelves. Follow this same proper etiquette at the gym. When you are finished with weights, put them back on their racks so that other gym patrons can find them easily. This is especially true if you use larger weights – if someone with less capacity to lift follows you to the weights, he or she will be unable to move your weights back in place.

#4. Don’t Drop Things

Dropping dumbbells, weights and plates can cause unnecessary noise that might break someone else’s workout concentration. It can also damage the equipment. When you are using the weights, have a spotter or use a weight that you can easily set back on the floor when you are through.

#5. Keep an Open Eye

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the gym and had a near collision with another patron who wasn’t watching where he or she is going. When working out, it is easy to become involved with your own exercise and forget that there are other people who are trying to do the same thing. If you know that you are the type of person to “zone out” during a workout, try going to the gym when it is less crowded to avoid a train wreck.

#6. Be Respectful

Although some people go to the gym with friends and want to talk while they work out, avoid trying to strike up conversations with other patrons. A few words of small talk between sets is acceptable, but try not to ruin anyone else’s concentration.

Following these rules of gym etiquette can make working out a better experience for all.

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