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I remember in times past upon entering a new gym and signing membership papers, I was given a set of rules in which I was expected to obey. The rules outlined expected behavior while utilizing the facility. Many times, these rules were known as gym etiquette.

These days, however, it appears these rules have long been forgotten and abandoned. Since Dr. Michele and I often visit the gym, we thought it very important to revisit these long lost, and much needed, gym rules.

  1. Put up your weights. If you get it out, put it back. If you see someone else leave weights out, remind them to put them back. Don’t be lazy. Don’t be a pig. Don’t expect someone else to do what you should be doing. This rule, of picking things up, would be perfect for everyone to instill as well in their home and office.
  2. The machines are not for resting and texting. Get your butt off the machine. If you want to relax, go home. People may not say anything to you, but trust me, they all want you to move. Machines are meant to share. When you finish your set, get up. Let someone else have some use. You don’t have the exclusive right to use the machine for an appointed time. Do one set, then get up and let someone else have a turn. When they finish, jump right back in. If you want to play on your phone or the Internet, go to the waiting room. Do not do it while sitting on a machine wasting everyone else’s time.
  3. If you leave sweat on a bench or machine, wipe it up with disinfectant. No one wants to share your funk. Gyms are well equipped with paper towels. If you don’t like paper towels, bring your own cloth towel. If someone else doesn’t wipe off their sweat, report it to management. Then of course, wipe it off before you use the machine. Bodily fluids can transport bacteria.
  4. Don’t talk so much. The gym is not for socializing. It is for exercising. If someone is exercising, don’t talk to them while they’re concentrating. Wait for them to finish their set, then speak. Do not speak incessantly and destroy someone else’s time. If it is mutually agreeable, and you and someone else want to talk, carry-on. Just do not include an unwilling party. You may getting on their nerves.
  5. If you have a question as to how to operate a particular machine or perform a lift, find a staff member to ask. If a staff member is not available, look for someone who knows what they’re doing. However, do not interrupt someone’s working set to ask them a question. Always be polite and ask if they would mind assisting you briefly.
  6. Don’t drop or throw your weights. It is obnoxious for everyone to hear the loud clanging or banging on the floor. You’re not impressing anyone. Furthermore, dropping the weights will damage them as well as the floor. Ask yourself the question, “if this was something valuable to ME, would I drop it or throw it to the ground?”
  7. Nobody wants to hear you screaming, grunting, growling, or yelling during your lifts. You’re not impressing anyone. Simply put, you may be intimidating other people or getting on the last raw nerve.
  8. Dress in proper attire. No one is interested in seeing your sweaty, hairy armpits. Dress modestly and stay relatively covered. Further, if you have things that should not be hanging out, make sure you cover them so everyone else does not have to see them too. Try to respect others visual opinions.
  9. Men are forbidden from wearing tights to work out. There is no further explanation needed here.
  10. Practice good bodily hygiene. If you can smell yourself, there’s a good chance others can too. If necessary, take a bath or shower before exercising or spray down with quality smelling body spray. No one wants to smell horrible body odor.
  11. Do not use profanity, obscene, or foul language. Didn’t your parents tell you that was improper?
  12. Do not make inappropriate marks toward members of the opposite sex. Additionally, do not leer or ogle other persons. These actions could be considered sexual harassment.
  13. Be willing to encourage and help others, especially beginners, with all rules stated. In addition, be cordial, polite, and always willing to lend a helping hand.

Feel free to post these regulations at your own gym or spa. Adhering to these rules will make the workout experience, and your gym, a happier and healthier one.