Displaying proper gym etiquette in your apartment complex’s workout room does more than make for good neighbors. It helps ensure the equipment stays germ-free, the area stays safe and the atmosphere stays conducive to an effective and pleasant workout. The American Council on Exercise offers a few tips on what proper gym etiquette entails.
1. Mind your noise.
This goes for any personal radios and even personal headphones that may be blasting at an extremely loud volume. Keeping noise levels down also means refraining from loud chatting on your cell phone and loud grunting noises you may find yourself making during your workout. While the gym doesn’t have to be as quiet as a library, it should not sound like rush hour at a circus.
2. Practice cleanliness.
Showing up in muddy shoes or filthy, smelly gym clothes is not the best way to be courteous at the gym. You also want to refrain from wearing excessive perfume, cologne or any products that leave residue on the machines. Wiping down any machine or weight bench after use is a must for being polite. No one wants to work out in other people’s sweat.
3. Don’t show up sick.
Going to the gym with a contagious illness is a surefire way to make instant enemies of your neighbors. Gyms are a prime place to spread around germs and viruses that can infect other gym-goers. Besides, hacking and coughing all over the equipment is just, well, gross.
4. Don’t be a machine hog.
If the little sign on the treadmill says you have a 30 minute time limit, then please heed it. While you may be able to extend the amount of time you may be able to spend on a particular machine if you’re the only one in the gym, pay attention and be polite when others are waiting.
5. Know what you’re doing before you do it.
Whether you read the instructions posted on the wall or ask an employee for help, knowing how to properly use the machines and equipment can save a lot of grief. Not only will knowing what you’re doing with a specific piece of equipment stop you from breaking the equipment, it can stop you from injuring yourself.
6. Put the equipment back in order.
If you use a yoga mat, roll it back up and prop it against the wall where you originally found it. Put any pulleys or accessories you removed from a machine back to their original position. Restack your weights. Leaving things a mess can result in resentments as well as injuries, especially if someone has to move weights that are too heavy for him or her to move.
7. Respect personal space.
Personal space at the gym ensures you’re not huffing and puffing down someone else’s neck during a group class or other workout. It also helps prevent injury. You and other gym-goers need enough space to comfortable as well as to move comfortably through whatever routine you’re doing.