Brooke Knows: Gym Etiquette

Brooke Nelson, Staff Writer

Here’s the thing: you will all be hitting the gym soon with your New Year’s resolutions tucked into your pockets and Googled exercise routines in your hands, visions of your soon-to-be toned body dancing through your heads… And then you’ll be hit with about a hundred more people with exactly the same idea as you. Congrats. With the huge wave of newcomers flooding to the gyms this month, you newbies are going to need some tips as to how to survive the rush. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to gym etiquette (from a seasoned veteran):

DO say hi to the people at the front desk. Even give them a smile, if you can manage it. They are the fine line between life and death if something goes wrong, so you should probably get on their good sides. DO wear appropriate clothing when you go to the gym. Ladies, I don’t want to see you in a sports bra and leggings. Ew—save that for AFTER you worked out to show yourself off. Boys, that means no short shorts unless you have ripped legs. Chicken legs are not cute. DO wipe down your treadmill/elliptical machine after you use it. No one wants to feel the leftovers of your nasty hand sweat when they’re working out after you. DO put the weights and other exercise equipment back where they belong after you’re finished. Not only will you make it easier for the others after you to find the equipment, but it will also lighten the load for the people who have to put it all away at the end of the day. DO be flexible as to what you do and when. In a public gym, you’re not going to be able to do your exercise routine in the same order every time. People are going to be using equipment you need, so just chill. If you stand in front of them waiting for them to finish because you absolutely need that weight RIGHT NOW, they’re going to hate you.

DON’T sing along to your iPod while you work out. You would think that this would be common sense, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Trust me, it makes everyone around you feel awkward and results in a lot of nasty glares. On a similar note, if you’re watching TV or a movie, DON’T laugh out loud or say anything to the TV. Again, it’s just weird, and you look like a lunatic. DON’T hog a weight machine for more than ten minutes. Hel-lo, this isn’t your own private gym, you can’t use the same weights for half an hour and expect everyone to be okay with that. It’s annoying to the rest of us who want to finish our workout but can’t because YOU’RE A SELF-ABSORBED NUISANCE. DON’T grunt while you’re lifting weights, either. Like the music and TV thing, it’s really awkward for everyone present when you’re sitting there deadlifting like you’re trying to pass a kidney stone. DON’T spread out your personal belongings in the weights area, especially on a busy day. Seriously, if you’re taking up more than a two foot radius on either side of you, it’s annoying to the others who need to use the space, too. Again, it’s not your personal gym. Share. And finally, whatever you do, DON’T bring in McDonald’s/pizza/etc., for the love of all that is holy. It is literally the worst thing that you could do. All these people are here to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, so do you really think they want to smell your deliciously greasy entreé. THE ANSWER IS NO.