As you read this, I sincerely hope that you don’t see yourself in any of these scenarios. If you do recognize yourself- please stop whatever it is you’re doing! It’s wrong, it’s gross and people are probably talking about you.
1) Never do bicep curls in the squat rack. This has become a running joke at my gym but, seriously, dude/dudette. Don’t do it. The squat racks are for front squats, back squats and bench presses. That’s it. There are places to curl…….in your own home. No, seriously, find another spot in the gym to curl your weights.
2) Wipe up after yourself. No one wants to work out in the crime scene outline of your sweat. It’s disgusting and unsanitary. During the sweltering summer months, countless times I had to tip-toe through man-size areas of sweat, like a hopscotch game, just to get to a clearing where I could do burpees. I know that hurling myself onto the gym floor, face to face with the germ-infested mat is not exactly sanitary, but I want to believe that the gym floor may have been cleaned at some point. In my mind, if the mats are dry, at least that is some indication of cleanliness.
3) Use deodorant before coming to the gym. Put on cologne if your workout odor is that bad. You don’t want to be that guy or that girl. There’s a guy at my gym who smells so bad that you can actually taste the stench that his body is emitting. We are all there to workout and a normal amount of body odor is to be expected but I shouldn’t smell you from across the gym. If you shower regularly and use deodorant, then maybe you have a medical condition, check it out.
4) If you belong to a gym where you shower, keep personal hygiene rituals at home. No one wants to watch you clip your nails, shave your body hair or pick at your skin. If people are waiting, don’t take a marathon shower. Don’t monopolize mirror, hair dryers or other accessories that everyone is supposed to share.
5) Put the weights back where you found them. After you finish lifting, put the bar and weights away. Don’t assume that the next person will lift the same amount of weight you can. The next person may not even be able to put your weights away. This rule applies even if you’re only using 10-pound plates. If the next person wants to use heavier weights, they shouldn’t be bothered with removing your weights.
6) Put all gym equipment away where you found it. I don’t want to have to high jump over the kettlebell that you left on the floor. It’s dangerous and rude. Don’t assume the next class will use it. After you finish your sit-ups, wipe down the mat and back cushion. If I need one, I will get my own. Maybe I don’t want to use your warm, sweaty abmat. I’d appreciate it if you put your jump rope, wood box and weighted balls away when you’re done, instead of me having to leap frog through the random gym equipment left on the floor.
Everyone comes to the gym to de-stress, chill and have a positive fitness experience. Don’t ruin the mood. Rude gym members can disrupt the zen-like, inner calmness that the gym refuge brings.