Doesn't matter if you are a rookie or veteran in the gym; here are some manners you should practice every time you are in the gym even if other's don't.
Re-rack Your Weights!
You would think this rule would catch on, but it still happens. People grab all sorts of dumbells, exercise, then leave them there. It's a gym and you came to workout; why not get that lightweight farmer walk going to re-rack your weights? Perpetrators are commonly seen at the incline bench, flat bench, and leg press machines. Whatever you use, put it back out of respect for other gym goers.
Wipe Your Spot and Toss Your Towels
Sweating is normal during exercise, so don't be ashamed. You're probably having a great workout! With that being said, be sure to wipe down all the benches after you are done with it. make sure you wipe it with sanitizing solution. Several times I see people wipe the bench with their sweaty towel which doesn't make any sense. Also, to be safe, make sure you avoid staph infections by wiping any bench down before you use it. Can't ever assume!
Additionally, place your towels in the waste basket when you're done with it. Sure you may forget you left it somewhere, but toss it when you can. Would you like to pick up another person's drenched towel?
Don't Hog the Weights
Be logical when lifting weights. Doing 225 pounds for squats? Stick with 2 plates of 45 lbs. on each side rather than two 25 pounders, three 10 pounders, two five pounders, and two twa-and-a-half pounders. Others might need them.
Additionally, if you plan to use multiple dumbells of different weights, don't bring a ton over to an area and hog them. Get them as you are ready for them. You chose to workout at a public gym so please be mindful of others when taking up equipment and extra space per exercise.
Be Spatially Mindful of Others
What if I told you lifting weights could be done without being three feet from the mirrors? Yes, some lifts take practice for form, and mirrors can help. However, once you are advanced enough, or if you're doing a simple single-joint exercise, stay clear of high-traffic areas where people will be passing through or grabbing weights. Less of a distraction for you, and less of a hassle for others.
Respect the Squat Rack
You heard it before: never curl at the squat rack. This is true and people still do it. Generally, the only lifts you should do at a squat/power rack are the push press, back/front squat, and strict shoulder press (heavy). Also it would make sense if you are working on your sticking point for certain lifts like the bench press. There are plenty of other areas to curl and do smaller exercises, but there are only limited numbers of squat and power racks in the gym.
Don't Make Excessive Obnoxious Sounds
Workout noises aren't compeltely horrible, and some studies show that it can help during power exercises. However, don't be the person making enough noise that the whole gym can hear you do your 20 reps of shrugs. Feel free to grunt when needed on the heavy stuff, but practice controlled breathing when you can.
If you're old enough to be in the gym, you should be wearing deodorant. Just because you can't smell yourself, doesn't mean others can't smell you. Slather up and get to work!
Make it Quick
Save the texting, tweeting, and facebooking for later. Stay off the phone while on a piece of equipment. To make the most of your rest time, try super setting a different part of the body instead of sitting around. People may be waiting for you to finish, so be mindful of that.
Also if you are on a strength phase with high rest times, be sure to let others work in with you because your rest time will kill a lot of time.
Have any disagreements? Any horror stories to share? Did we leave anything out? Comment below!
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