Sweat often makes the handles of treadmills sticky because nobody bothered to wipe it up. I’ve had to stop and wash my hands after touching a sweaty machine. I’ve heard people yelling across the room and other people grunting like King Kong as they lift weights.
Bad behavior such as this ruins everyone’s workout experience. There are a few simple rules every gym user can follow to avoid these behaviors and ensure that they are polite and considerate of everyone who uses the gym.
You don’t have to whisper. It’s OK to talk to the person next to you on the machines. The problem occurs when people get too loud. Don’t yell across the room. Instead, walk over and talk to your friend who just walked into the gym. But use a normal tone of voice which won’t disturb your fellow gym users.
This is not the place to use your cell phone. I’ve seen people yelling into cell phones while they used the treadmill or elliptical. Instead, lock your cell phone in a locker or in the trunk of your car.
Don’t grunt when using weights. Lifting weights can be challenging. Grunting like a pig doesn’t make the weights lighter and easier to lift. It just annoys the people around you.
Share the Machines
Sharing is one of those lessons we were supposed to learn way back in kindergarten. Apparently, some gym users have never learned that lesson. They will stay on a machine and continue their workout even when all the machines are full. I ‘ve seen people standing there waiting in vain for a machine to open up while some users just ignore them.
Instead, follow the 20 minute rule. Don’t use the equipment for more than 20 minutes if all the machines are being used, and somebody is waiting to use one. Be polite and considerate.
If there are plenty of open machines, don’t worry about the 20 minute rule. You can stay on the equipment as long as you want to unless the machines fill up.
Respect the Equipment
Use exercise machines properly. Don’t misuse them, and don’t try to make a machine do something it wasn’t designed to do. If you don’t know how to use a particular piece of equipment, ask a fellow gym member or a staff member for help.
Make sure you turn the machines off or turn them to a stationary position when you finish your workout. I once saw someone get on top of a treadmill which was still moving. She didn’t realize this, fell and bruised her legs badly.
Respect weights, too. Don’t slam them down. This will startle and annoy other gym users and could damage the weights.
When you’re done using free weights, put them back where they belong. Don’t just leave them out. Putting weights in their proper place means everybody who needs them will be able to find them.
Keep It Clean
Sweating is a natural part of working out. But you shouldn’t leave your sweat on the machines where somebody else could touch it. Instead, wipe it off when you’re finished. Use an alcohol based cleaner which most gyms provide. If not, ask a staff member for a cleaner.
If you share, stay quiet and respectful and keep the equipment clean, you’ll enjoy your workout. Most of all, your fellow gym users will enjoy having you there and won’t roll their eyes when they see you coming.
This article was based on a similar article I did for Wikinut