The new school year is upon us and that means new students and staff in the fitness centres. Make sure you’re not the one who’s turning heads for all the wrong reasons by following some simple rules of gym etiquette. RRC Recreation Services has put some tips together to help everyone have a good experience.
Rule #1: Always wipe the equipment after use.
- No one wants to sit in a puddle of your sweat, and they shouldn’t have to. Fitness centres provide paper towels and spray bottles or wipes to clean equipment after use. If they don’t you should maybe consider finding a new fitness centre. Not only is this more hygienic, but it shows consideration for others.
Rule #2: Never rest on the equipment between sets.
- When waiting between sets, do not sit on the equipment checking Instagram or Snap Chatting with your friends, let other members work in. Not only are you not using the equipment but, neither is anyone else. Get up and stretch between sets to give others a chance to work out while you recover.
Rule #3: Don’t dress like you’re on a beach.
- Short shorts, tiny cropped tops, and stretched out tank tops. Dressing in this fashion is not only distracting, but could make those who are just starting to work out feel awkward or intimidated. What ever you do make sure you wear clothing that covers all valuables. It is also a safety issue for you. While you may wipe down the machines(Rule #1) not everyone else does and you don’t know what they may have left behind. Also remember to wear proper footwear. Sandals not only put you at risk of a toe-crushing injury, they’re inconsiderate if you’re plagued by smelly foot syndrome.
Rule #4: Be scent free.
- We all sweat. We all smell when we work out. However, some people sweat and smell a little worse than others. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls, invest in an extra strength deodorant for the sake of those who have to work out near you. Use new workout clothes each and every day. Most of the stink comes from clothes that have been marinating in your locker or the back seat of your car all week. Guys, AXE or your dad’s Old Spice doesn’t actually cover up the smell and can be as tough to take as BO.
Rule #5: Don’t work out in packs.
- It’s great to have friends. They can help push you to a higher level when working out, spot for you and keep you motivated. However, surrounding yourself with too many friends when you train will only annoy others and you wont get in a good workout.
Rule #6: Let people work in with you.
- Some people like to circuit train or do giant sets in quick succession. This is fine if the fitness centre is basically deserted, but during the peak periods (before and after classes and at lunch), it is just a pain. Why should one person monopolize all that equipment, especially when there are people waiting? Be considerate. Let people work in with you.
Rule #7: Always return your weights to the stacks.
- When using free weights or plates, always return them to the stacks when you’re done. Leaving weights on the floor is a safety hazard. They’re the perfect height for people to trip over. Leaving weights loaded is not fair to other members who either have to spend effort and time unloading the bars, or possibly even skip the apparatus because they can’t manage the heavier weights. If you are too tired after lifting and cant possible put your weights back into place, THEN YOU ARE LIFTING TOO MUCH!
Rule #8: Obey time restrictions for cardio machines.
- While everyone’s concept of time is different, the reality is time is the same for everyone. When you ride the exercise bike, it might seem like you’ve only been pedaling for five minutes, when in reality it’s been over 30. In many fitness centres people have to sign up for the cardio machines, especially the popular equipment such as treadmills, and elliptical riders. It’s annoying when people blatantly ignore the time restrictions, reset the timer, or place their towel over the control panel to feign ignorance if questioned.
Rule #9: Don’t create a scene.
- We all make noise when we work out, whether it’s breathing hard during a cardio workout, or the occasional gasp when lifting weights. However, loud grunts, groans, and obscenities are not welcome. Emitting these types of noises only makes you look like an idiot, or a show-off just begging for an audience. If you find yourself grunting like you’re passing a stone, THEN YOU ARE LIFTING TOO MUCH!
Rule #10: The Fitness Centre is not The Pal or The Pint.
- Though there are many attractive members, chatting them up during their exercise routine is poor timing at best. They don’t have time to be distracted by lonely singles looking for dates.
These 10 rules are designed to make your life at at the gym better. Imagine a world where you can work out without drowning in other peoples’ pools of sweat, where muscle heads don’t think they own the joint and the equipment is accessible anytime. Well, the good news is that this utopia is actually easy to achieve. All that is required is for people to think of others, or at the least, follow this easy list.