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Gym Do’s and Don’ts

There are rules of etiquette in a board room, different rules in social situations, and believe it or not, rules in a gym setting. Unless your gym is brazen, odds are these are rules that won’t be posted under bright lights at the front desk.

So whether you’re the person breaking the rule or the person witnessing the infraction, here are some things to be aware of: 

1. We are all there to work hard and sweat. Please, for the sake of the olfactory systems of other club members, do something to prevent pungent body odor. You shouldn’t smell like daisies after a good workout, but come on, people. Sweat = acceptable. Body odor = unacceptable.

2. Most gyms offer cleaning materials for equipment. Use them. You no more want someone’s dried or wet sweat on your treadmill controls than they want yours.

3. Remember that just because you have earphones on and can’t hear beyond your music that people can’t hear you. You’re not just singing to yourself. And you may not hear that you passed gas, but I did. And so did the person next to me. Don’t.

4. Don’t hog equipment. Being on a piece of cardio equipment for a reasonable amount of time is fine – no need to jump off the second someone asks to use it. However, if the number of available pieces of equipment is limited, be mindful of others. You could be in the position of waiting someday.

5. Wear appropriate attire. I’m fine with “if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” but remember there’s a line. Appropriately cover your “it.”

6. When you’re lifting weights, lift for yourself, not for others. Lifting more than you can handle in an effort to impress someone may backfire and cause an embarrassing moment (or worse, an embarrassing injury).

7. If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, ask. Trying to wing it and figure out a piece of equipment can be counterproductive.

8. Do use the suggestion box if you have a legitimate suggestion for the club.

9. Unless you are friends and have the same goals (like taking a walk on the treadmill), don’t chat up your neighbor. They may have a different goal and chatting detracts from it (especially if they are too polite to tell you otherwise). A bit of polite chit chat is one thing, launching into a lengthy discussion is another.

10. Don’t be afraid to try something new! A lot of women don’t realize there is a world outside the group fitness room, and a lot of guys don’t realize there’s a world outside of the freeweights area. Mix it up!

This list ought to get you started. Now get moving!


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[author_info]About the Author

 Lori Rypka is the Prime Parents Club Fitness Contributor, a mom of two wonderful kids first, a writer, wife, friend, personal trainer and marathon runner in training second. She enjoys helping others in their personal journeys toward living healthier lives. The biggest tool in her tool box: humor. Who says dieting can’t be fun? You can find Lori at http://www.fumbledintofitness.com/, or on Twitter as @LoriRypka.

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Image: photostock

Lori Rypka has been certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise since April 2010, and enjoys helping friends find their healthy selves. Follow Lori on her blog at Fumbled Into Fitness.