Despite my last post, I expect many people will be making a New Year’s Resolution. For many, the resolution will be weight loss and their first step will be to purchase a gym membership. I expect to see a lot of new faces when I go to the gym the morning of Jan. 2.
For those of you who are regular gym attendees, you know how crowded your gym suddenly becomes in January. The New Year brings new gym goers. Sadly, most will not stick around and things will return to normal by mid February to early March.
There are many reasons why this happens. Perhaps they joined out of the pressure to start something for the new year before they were really ready (see my previous post). Or maybe they never really learned how to use the gym and its equipment properly, leading to lack of results and frustration.
Making sure the staff at your gym or your personal trainer helps you learn to use the equipment in the facility is something you should not forget to do. One thing they often forget is teach something else very important – gym etiquette. Gym etiquette is the behaviors every gym member should follow so everyone has a safe, productive and effective workout. If you learn and practice the right behaviors from the beginning you will have a much more satisfying gym experience as well as not frustrating your fellow gym goers during this busy season.
Here are the important Do’s and Don’ts.
- Wipe the equipment after each use. Gyms have cleaning supplies on the floor for you to use. If you are a really heavy sweater bringing your own towel might prove useful.
- Ask questions. The gym staff on the floor is there to help you. Your fellow gym members are usually happy to help as well, just wait till they are resting between exercises so not to disturb their concentration.
- Ask to work in. It is okay if you need to use a machine to ask politely to work in during another person’s rest break.
- Put away weights and other equipment when you are done. This makes it easier for others to find and prevents accidents.
- Respect time limits. Many gyms, especially during the Jan/Feb busy season will put time limits on cardio equipment. Check if your gym does have time limits and follow them.
- Wear heavy perfume or cologne. Many are sensitive to fragrance and your favorite scent could cause issues for others working out.
- Talk on your cell phone. It is distracting to others and you will get a more productive workout if you leave it in your locker or car.
- Use benches or equipment as a table for your water bottle, iPod, etc. You might not need to use it but chances are someone else does.
Keep these tips in mind as well as any rules your facility has to keep the atmosphere positive for you and your fellow exerciser.