And one more thing…
My 19 points of gym etiquette
Put a bunch a people in a workout mode, and there’s bound to be muscles flexed and heart rates elevated.
There are written rules at the fitness center. However, it is best to be aware of the unwritten ones, too. Take it from me. You would be wise to follow them making life a bit more focused on why you are at the gym in the first place. You do know why you are at the gym, don’t you?
Stick to your exercise routine and keep a positive attitude. A little gain takes plenty of pain. Make that your target plan.
You can take or leave my suggestions with a smile on your face. Feel free to lift a courteous tip or two.
No. 1 — Forget about starting a conversation with a guy bench- pressing. How handy that he is an off-duty policeman, and you need advice on how to get out of a speeding ticket. Nah! Wrong scene.
No. 2 — If you are over 50, you are invisible to the younger crowd. Don’t even worry about it. Enough said.
No. 3 — When you hog the treadmill at a peak time, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why someone is hovering behind you giving you the evil eye and checking his watch in time with your stride. You shouldn’t accept the bigger person wins out theory one bit.
No. 4 — Don’t wear spandex if you are the slightest bit overweight; for heaven sakes, black street socks don’t work at the gym under any circumstances.
No 5 — Wipe down each machine after use as courtesy to the next user; it might be wise to sanitize beforehand thanks to the folks that are lazy. By all means, put back equipment to their rightful spots.
No. 6 — No eye contact unless you want to engage in small talk. There are people out there who are craving to make you into a new best friend and take time away from your drill. Be on alert.
No. 7 — Keep a tight time schedule for your workout and you will be in and out of the gym in record time. Exercising your biceps instead of your jaw is what I mean.
No. 8 — Check out who’s working out around you before using your cell phone. Be on guard for the older crowd. They’re adept at eavesdropping and listening in. The under forty crowd pays no attention to you as they are accustomed to never ungluing from their phones anyhow.
No. 9 — Wear sneakers dedicated for gym use only, and save the Velcro ones for home. By the way, didn’t your mother teach you to tie your laces and double them up?
No. 10 — Concentrate on your reps and breathing instead of gawking at everyone that comes in the door.
No. 11 — Never be self-conscious. Gym folks by and large are friendly types. They are bubbly and bouncy more so than ten cups of coffee sloshing through the bloodstream.
No. 12 — Weigh yourself when no one is looking. You can fudge the numbers in your head. You have a complete repertoire of excuses to apply at any given weigh-in no questions asked.
No. 13 — Keep a water bottle close at hand to hydrate. This saves wasting valuable steps and energy getting to the fountain.
No. 14 — Zone out, listen to cool music and think good karma rather than watching mindless political stuff on TV. The recession can wait until you are in your car again filling up the gas tank, and you are figuring out how you are going to pay for your gym membership.
No. 15 — No comparisons allowed or you are in for big trouble. Stick with the cards you were dealt and work to improve your overall physical health.
No. 16 — Bring your own towel from home, and take a shower. That burns even more calories plus your co-workers will be ever grateful.
No. 17 — Cool down and stretch in a somewhat private spot, and not in plain view of everyone on the line of bikes. Otherwise you’ll be diverting their attention from their steamy romance novels propped up on the handlebars.
No. 18 — Only complain about the gym equipment and the management to anyone within earshot if you are willing to do something about it.
No. 19 — Be courteous. Stop hanging out around a machine as if you are going to use it any time soon within the next century. For goodness sakes, don’t ask anyone to get off a machine just because you want to use it right then and there.
No. 19.5 — Repeat after me: It is fun at the gym. It is fun at the gym. It is fun at the gym.
P.S. Please don’t share this with the good people at the gym where I train. I’d appreciate that. Some things have got to be left in the gym bag. (No. I don’t leave my sweaty socks buried in a side pocket to rot away.)