When most people join a gym, they’re told a towel is mandatory and then sent on their merry, clueless way to screw things up for the rest of us.
I think I can safely speak for everyone when I tell you that there’s nothing worse for gym regulars than sharing with newbie’s in January. Not because you’re new; aside from fighting for a parking spot, most of us are happy to have more like-minded individuals around who share our passion for fitness. (If you have a good recipe for chicken and rice we can use, we’ll probably love you even more.)
Where you make our gyms a living hell is your utter lack of etiquette. Hopefully, many of you get educated and decide to stick around. Personally, I quite enjoy seeing people achieve success.
But you won’t make any friends without knowing the REAL rules. Do you really want to be the person known as, “Oh, God…here comes that asshat again” ?
Gym etiquette is NOT just wiping shit down. That’s way down on the list. Here are the top 10 cardinal rules your fitness center probably won’t tell you.
Gym etiquette #1: If you use the free weights, PUT THEM BACK. Your mom doesn’t work here.
Gym etiquette #2: ASK to work in. Do not just jump on equipment, especially if a there’s a water bottle, bag, phone, towel, keys or person anywhere near the item you wish to use. Someone could be super-setting. It’s RUDE to do so without asking first.
Gym etiquette #3: Do not SIT on equipment between sets. Do not sit on equipment while on your phone. Get the fuck outta here with that crap. It’s not your personal office chair.
Gym etiquette #4: Do not lift dumbbells AT THE RACK, thus blocking everyone else. Common fucking sense. Step back. Way back. #Hog
Gym etiquette #5: Try to avoid working out directly in front of someone who is already using the mirror. It’s called checking form. Form is more important than weight when working out. (It’s not what you lift/do, it’s HOW you lift/do it.)
Gym etiquette #6: Did I mention re-racking your weights? Oh, I did. Well, fucking DO IT. This means YOU, Leg Press Guy Who Leaves Plates Fully Loaded And Then Just Walks Away. #Cunt
Gym etiquette #7: Too much cologne, perfume…cigarettes…just don’t fucking STINK. Being on a packed treadmill section near you is absolutely nauseating. It can also be quite dangerous for those who have breathing issues and trigger asthma attacks.
Gym etiquette #8: Wipe down equipment consciously. WOMEN DO NOT WANT TO SIT ON WET FUCKING SEATS FULL OF CHEMICALS! #YeastInfections!
Stick to wiping handles and sweaty backs. I’ve been working out a long, long time…back when no one wiped anything down in gyms. In those days, we never heard of anyone catching anything – and I’m an admitted germ-phobic (with several auto immune diseases) who eschews shaking hands in lieu of a fist bump in a business where that is a no-no. No one is catching the flu from sitting on the ass-end of a gym seat cushion unless they’re licking it right after someone else has already licked it. Don’t wipe it and leave it wet for the next person to sit on. Fucking ick. #fungus #CrotchRot #AthletesCrotch #JockItch
Gym etiquette #9: Do not judge others’ workouts. They could be working around an injury, disability or simply doing the best they can. #SomeDaysItTakeALotOfCaffeine #LikeAWHOLELOT
Gym etiquette #10: Do not judge fit people as vain – or heavy people as lazy. We are all in there for the same reason. Everyone wants to get healthier, better ourselves and have a nice, hard stomach and ass. Probably not in that order. #AbsAndBootyForDays
I’m not going to touch upon socializing during workouts, hitting on others, grunting/yelling, dropping weights or wearing almost nothing in gyms. This kind of stuff has been going on forever and always will. It’s a gym. If you want silence, conservative clothing and no sexual undercurrent, go to church or find a place to jog alone. Otherwise, you’ll need to accept, adapt and wear a “fuck off, leave me alone” face with music blasting in your ears. Complaining about these issues is akin to bitching about the amount fur and dander at the local pet store where you pick up your feed. Animals are allowed in pet stores. Tiny shorts, weight clanging and grunting are allowed in gyms. Just because you are now there doesn’t mean you get to change the rules.
If you don’t understand any of the above-mentioned terms (super-setting, form, RE-RACK YOUR FUCKING WEIGHTS, etc), Google it. The more you learn, the better.
Despite what your facility may tell you in order to keep profiting each month, gym etiquette is not just about wiping down equipment. It’s about paying attention to what/who is around you (even with ear-buds in), being considerate and cleaning up after yourself.
These rules are fairly ‘common sense’, but common sense is so rare lately, it’s now classed as a super power. Don’t take offense. This is for your own good. These 10 Gym Commandments are meant to help you on your quest to be successful. After all, people are keen to complain about anything and everything these days and you’re not above having your membership revoked without refund if someone decides they don’t care for how you conduct yourself.
If this offends you, then you’re probably the exact person who doesn’t belong in the gym, doesn’t play well with others and you weren’t raised…you just grew up.
Let’s not be ignorant douche bags. We all have to share space.
Ps. Think about that chicken and rice meal. Seriously. We could use some new options over here.
April Hunter is a national level NPC Fitness & Figure competitor, professional wrestler, former Met-RX & Extreme Nutrition spokes-model, Playboy & comic book model, full-time student, coffee snob, road rage enthusiast and world renowned potty mouth. She uses the C-word as liberally as you use butter on your biscuits.***
***…Which you shouldn’t be eating, since biscuits are useless, crappy (deliciously evil) carbs. But the butter is just fine.
See more of April on Instagram @realAprilHunter, www.AprilHunter.com and Twitter @AprilHunter. She’s also on Facebook.com/AprilHunterOfficial and AprilsScentSations Soy Candles.
4 thoughts on “The REAL Gym Rules”
A-fucking-men!! You just put into words what I’ve complained about repeatedly in my gym for five years. Come on people, your working out with weights….but you’re too damn lazy to put them away? Where’s the logic in that? And for those who can’t wipe their sweat off a machine of bench, would you be happy if everyone in the gym peed on your toilet seat and left it? Gym etiquette is important…but, more important is plain old, common courtesy. Respect everyone in the gym…we’re all there with the same goal, to better ourselves. Great blog!
Thank you. This stuff drives me absolutely nuts, too. I am lucky to live in FL…Jan is our nice time of year, so I’ve probably been into the gym 2x since December, total. I’m just working out outdoors right now. Each time I go back into the gym, I can’t stand what I’m seeing. The hassle isn’t work the workout, honestly. Idiots…everywhere.
Can we please add: Don’t shave your hairy ass in the bathroom sink! I walked in on that…ten years ago…still traumatized