gym etiquette

Stop Your Whining! It's Crowded- Now Change Your Attitude!

Now I must preface this post as I'm not known for taming my tongue.  I tell it how I see it and some of you may not like it, but you must change your attitude!  Yeah I'm talking to you.  You see, going to the gym has been a little frustrating lately - it's packed, chaotic, and hectic.  I know; I hear you; I see it every year!  My normal routine is a little more challenging as my overlooked corner of the weight room is occupied whenever I'm there, and it seems that every hour is peak hour. I know that January is typically a crowded time for the gym as people are making good on New Year's resolutions, and they just received the best membership deals of the year.  Now quit your whining and complaining!  People are making their health a priority; here's hoping it keeps up all year long! 

You see as a fitness professional, I am encouraged that there is motivation to commit to a healthy lifestyle and people are making the effort for real change.  It may be seen as an inconvenience at this time and it may not last, but as the most obese nation in the world and with our nation having the most astronomical health care costs, we must change our attitude and continue to positively encourage those people that want to make their changes, even if it's in masses starting in January. 

Now put your whining aside and let's talk a little gym etiquette. If you are a gym newbie, the gym rats can get annoyed with your lack of gym etiquette so here are a few tips to help keep all happy.

  • Always clean equipment properly- Your gym has disinfectant spray bottles and towels dispersed throughout the gym (if they don't, you best talk to someone).  Please spray down your equipment before and after use.  No one wants to get sick or bask in your leftover sweaty mess.
  • Please honor the cardio machine time limits- If the gym asks that there be a 20-30 min time limit on the cardio equipment, please honor that.  If that is not enough time for your cardio workout, then go sprint some stairs or grab a jump rope to keep your heart pumping.  You don't need fancy equipment for elevated heart rates.
  • "Work in"/share benches or free weights- If you notice the gym is busy and others are waiting for benches and weights, please "work in" or share your equipment after each set.  You can go do another exercise while you share the bench or weights.  Common courtesy here folks!

Gym rats- there are a few things that you can change as well this time of year to help ease your frustration and help with the attitude adjustment.

  • Go to the gym at non-peak hours- Yeah your routine may not be regular, but nothing is regular much this time of year.  It's fitness chaos so get up a little earlier, workout at lunch, or late night.  Check with your gym to see when non-peak hours tend to be.
  • Work out at home to a fitness DVD, on-demand video, or new activity that you haven't tried out before- You won't have to fight the rush, parking, and crowded machines. 
  • Create bodyweight/minimal equipment workouts that you can do outdoors or at home- You don't need a gym to get a workout.  Bootcamps at the park are a great example of a creative way to get a killer workout.  Use your body as your machine!

I hope this sparks some new ideas and new ways of thinking this time of year.  I'm sick of hearing the whining and really we need to do more encouraging and less bitching of others.  You may have been this "annoying" person at one time...  Remember, healthy bodies led to healthy minds so let's encourage all for healthy lifestyles!

Best in health-

Top Ten Gym Faux Pas- A Lesson In Gym Etiquette

Wow!  My Dynamic Edge friends, fans, and gym divas all had their say in what their pet peeves were at the gym.  You all made me laugh hysterically at the gems you listed and I have to admit, they were all so true.  If you are new to the gym environment, then please take note.  If you are a veteran to the gym, please take note as well.  You may have forgotten some common courtesies here.


Top 10 Gym Faux Pas:
*note names have been changed to protect the unknowing... or maybe not?!

1.  Messy Missy- Missy never puts her weights away when she is done and leaves dumbbells and plates all around.  If she took a minute to do a little housekeeping, it would make everyone's workout easier and less time spent at gym cleaning up after other's messes.

2.  Gabbie Gabber- She never misses an overly loud phone conversation while on the treadmill, elliptical, or while lifting weights.  Phones belong in your car, lockers, or outdoors, not right next to your fellow gym neighbor.  Plus, you really cannot be getting a good, sweaty workout if you can coordinate a phone conversation or texting while lifting, spinning, running, or any other activity at gym.

3.  Nearly Naked Nettie- Nettie does not realize gyms are places to work out, not get asked out.  Save the super skimpy, hootchie wear for the night club, not the health club.  P.S. your mascara is running...

4.  Sweaty, stinky, Steve- After a crazy set of bench press, Steve leaves a perfect sweaty impression of his back on the bench, and then walks away.  Nothing a nice gym wipe, sanitizer, or towel couldn't solve.

5.  Cursing Curt- His trucker talk and ridiculous grunting inspires others to scrub their tonsils and larynx with a brillo pad.  Keep it clean and lose the obnoxious sounds as others might find them offensive.

6.  Helga the Hogger- Helga guards the Smith machine like a momma bear protecting her cub.  Helga needs a lesson in sharing or working in.  Let others trade sets while you rest or go do another exercise.  This is especially nice when the gym is super busy.

7.  Perfume-a-lot Peggy- Peggy could melt away your nose hair with her dosage of Clinique Happy.  Go light or sans perfume/body sprays while at the gym so we may all keep our nostrils clean and happy.

8.  Oblivious Olympia- Olympia is in her own little bubble world.  She walks in front of people watching their form in the mirror (some of you need to note this as you may not know how annoying it is***).  Yes, there are other people besides you here.  Please be aware that we are using the gym space too and be polite to respect our space as well.

9.  Stinky Sam-  Sam clears the room after spin class.  You think it may be you; do a quick armpit check, cannot tell, then you quickly leave the room after that last sweaty hill climb.  It may be you and you are getting out of dodge.  You then realize it was Stinky Sam behind you.  Yes, antiperspirant/deodorant was made for you too, Sam!

10.  Way-to-much Wayne-  Wayne always grabs the dumbbells that look like small buildings to do his bicep curls or loads up the bar for bench press with so many plates it looks like it could snap in half.  His reps then look like he is set at chipmunk speed or someone froze him partially down because he cannot get a full range of motion.  Oops, Wayne also just threw his back out.  Hmmm, maybe you need to go down in weight Wayne so you can do the exercise correctly through full range of motion and therefore limit the chances of hurting yourself?

Enough said!

Best in health-

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