Friday, March 13, 2009

Proper Gym Manners

By Eduardo Lorenzo

Have you ever come in to the gym all hyped up to train only to find your favorite exercise equipment covered in a puddle of sweat? Yuck!
Ever spent part of your workout time removing weights from machines so you can put yours on? Or searched all over the gym for a bar, pulley handle or weight plates and dumbbells that aren't where they're supposed to be?
Why can't people at the gym be a little bit more courteous?
With so many people coming through the door everyday, being decent and having good manners is key to making everyone's workout time rewarding; not disturbing. Not everyone has two, three or five hours to train. Members all have real needs and goals, whether they are losing weight, putting on some muscle mass, increasing performance, or de-stressing from daily activities.
The main idea is to show respect and consideration. It’s all about proper etiquette and general decency.
With that in mind, there are definite things you want to avoid in order to keep our gym manners at a high level at all times. Let’s go over a few examples:

1. It’s always nice to get along with other gym members; but don’t become a social butterfly. Most people go to the gym to train, not socialize (that’s what Facebook is for). Don’t be screaming, grunting or talking too long to those who are focused on their workout. Don't disturb those who are reading, watching TV or listening to their iPod as they exercise; all of this can be irritating to some members.
2. Keep your sweat to yourself. Wipe down equipment when you're done. Remember Electra Health Club & Spa offers paper towels with sanitizing spray bottles to clean. Also, some gym goers do bring towela: use them!
3. Pick up after yourself, we’re talking food, water bottles, paper and whatever else including the weights.
4. So put your weights back on the rack. Once you're done with weight plates, dumbbells or barbells, put them back. My rule is: “If you can’t drop then nicely, and put them back, don’t even dare to pick up the weight.”
5. Loud grunting, or singing along to your iPod are no-nos, I mean seriously; I once heard this dude singing his heart out to “time after time” by Cindy Lauper… I mean, come on!!! Not in the gym. Turn off your cell phone for courtesy purposes. If you can't miss a call, take your conversation outside.
6. Don't hog the equipment. Many gyms have a 30-minute limit on cardio equipment that is enforced only when people are waiting. At Electra we have not set a 30-minute limit; however we still want you to be polite with other gym members.
7. If the gym is not busy, stay on that treadmill as long as you want. If it's packed, respect the rules. When working with weights, alternate sets with people who want to use the same equipment.
8. Wear clothing and footwear designed for exercise. It’s not a fashion place but at least don't wear pajamas and torn clothing. But do wear undergarments that provide support and cover areas others don't want to see. And if you're going to lounge in the sauna or steam room, please do not go in there wearing gym or street clothes and sneakers, bathing suits or towels are basics. Remember some of our members are children who shouldn’t be exposed, for crying out loud, to certain areas of the human anatomy.

Eduardo Lorenzo – NASM-CPT; specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.

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