You already know about curling in the squat rack, but to truly master gym etiquette, avoid these lesser-known faux pas.
When it comes to gym etiquette, fortunately we’re civilized enough to know that cellphone conversations while exercising are a big NO! Same goes for re-racking our weights. But there are plenty of lesser-known blunders you could be making at the gym that upset and disrupt others. Worse, some of these mistakes could negatively affect your health.
Here’s a list of thing you should not do inside the gym:
- Don’t use a mat or bench without cleaning it
Although we’re already aware of the importance of maintaining a hygienic gym environment but we really can’t help avoid all the sweat around. Given that we’re sharing the gym equipment with other people exercising their butt off and sweating profusely in the process, it becomes our on prerogative to save ourselves the mess of somebody else’s sweat. Dirty stretching mats and exercise benches sometimes contain viruses, bacteria and fungi. If your cut or scrape touches these germ-infested surfaces, you could get a severe infection.
Carry wipes and sanitizers to your gym and use them to disinfect surfaces quickly. Always clean them before and after using.
- Don’t shower without flip-flops
Do we really need to highlight the importance of wearing flip-flops in the shower? Maybe we do because there are people out there who go bare-foot into the shower and send an open invitation to the bacteria present in shower stalls to come and attack them. Carry the flip-flops with you in your gym bag. ALWAYS.
- Don’t give someone unsolicited advice
Giving unsolicited advice should anyway be made illegal, especially when it comes to the gym. Why you ask? Well, there are two reasons why you should never be handing out free and unwanted advice in the gym. Number one, people usually hate being advised unless and until they’re desperate and even if they are, your advice could be wrong and prove harmful to the person you’re advising. Advice should be given only in the case when you see that the person is doing something wrong or you’re friends with the person. Still it’s better to avoid and leave it to the gym instructors.
- Don’t exercise in a heavily trafficked area
We understand that in a crowded gym it sometimes becomes difficult to get space for exercising. In that case you should quit your current lousy mouse hole of a gym, and join TribeFit. And even in TribeFit you should avoid doing your walking lunges or jumping rope in the walkways. Such spaces are reserved for foot0traffic alone. Plus you can either hurt yourself or the passerby in the process.
- Don’t purposely misuse a machine
Every machine in has its specific use. This certainly goes without saying. But there are smart asses out there who think they know better and try to utilize a machine for multiple uses. FYI, use a shoulder machine as a shoulder machine—not as a complex glute exercise.
First and foremost you could put yourself in danger or even hurt yourself by using a machine at your own whim and fancy and secondly you may end up hogging the space and the machine to yourself when someone who knows the correct usage waits impatiently. Lastly you may end up damaging the machine itself causing loss to the gym and your pocket.
- Don’t lift without weight collars
Gym accidents can become a routine in places where people are not careful with the weights. You too may have come across incidents when the plates slide off from one end of the rod as someone happily does his incline bench. Such crash and burns are easily avoidable with a tiny bit of attention to detail. Weight collars are essential while using barbells, regardless of the weight.
- Don’t invade the space of a person who is exercising
Don’t make exercising in the gym a metro ride where people have literally given up the concept of personal space. Be a nice person and don’t invade someone’s personal exercise space. Give everyone exercising a cushion of a few feet. Another way of looking at it is that you may save yourself the trouble of getting hit in the face with a dumbbell. Exercise obviously requires a lot of movement and you could avoid silly accidents just by maintaining a proper distance.
In case you’re next in line to do the exercise or use a machine, be patient and wait for your turn. Also, if someone is doing a heavy lift (like a squat, deadlift, overhead press, etc.), never walk right in front of their line of sight. It’s distracting and rude.
Lastly, never walk over a person doing pushups. That’s plain ridiculous.
- Don’t hit on girls
Stop cringing if you’re a guy and read on. We know that gyms can be an amazing place to meet women who obviously share an interest with you and are certainly fit as a fiddle, but in case you come across as a creep who stares a lot or disturbs women while they are exercising then it could lead to a lot of awkwardness. Be a gentleman and don’t use cheesy pickup lines, harass and stare at women, or pretend to give them advice.
You could end up earning a bad reputation and the word spreads fast. You can easily become the dude that no girl will talk to—or worse, lose your membership.
TribeFit gives you ample opportunities to socialize sex once you’re done exercising. There are multiple events you can be a part of. Heck! We encourage you to fall in love as well, but keep your advances reserved for post-gym hours.
- Don’t borrow equipment without asking
Even though the gym may be a crowded place but it doesn’t mean that it’s a free-for-all. Yes, everyone wants to use the dumbbells and all benches are taken but there’s no point in asking, “How many more sets do you have?”
Gym etiquette is extremely important, especially during peak hours. If you see an open bench with someone standing nearby, ask before using it; if it’s occupied, however, they’ll almost certainly let you work in.
10. Don’t spit into a water fountain
Just don’t. Use the trash can
11. Don’t text while walking
You risk injuring yourself or someone else by walking aimlessly throughout a crowded gym. You could walk into someone doing an exercise, interfere with someone’s lift, or—quite easily—walk into a machine.
This should be obvious, but it still happens. Wait until you stop moving before you text
- Don’t steal a trainer’s exercises
Don’t be a trainer’s nightmare. If someone has to keep an eye on you then you’re certainly doing something wrong. Don’t spy on trainers and you wouldn’t be spied upon. Imitation maybe the best form of flattery, but not in the gym and therefore mimicking a trainer’s exercise could land you and the person advising it to, in a lot of trouble. Ask the trainer and he would be glad to show the exercise to you personally.
- Don’t take your shirt off in public
We know that’s what you’ve been wanting to do ever since you joined the gym. You got a six-pack and BOOM! You want to show off your chiseled body to everyone.
DON’T BE THAT GUY!
But spare a thought for the ones around you in the gym. Please respect other gym patrons and keep your clothes on for the duration of the workout.
As for guys trying to “show off” the truth is that taking off your shirt and flexing only reveals approval-seeking insecurities.