It's a new year and new you. And it's time to get back into the gym. Maybe it's been a while or maybe you're new. Either way here are some simple rules to follow to make sure you don't become THAT guy or gal at the gym.
- Re-rack your weights. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is to have to take four 45-pound plates off a squat rack prior to having to put on my 25s. If you can lift that much, you can do the extra work to put your weights away. The other patrons of the gym aren't there to clean up after you. Finish the job and be respectful of others.
- Don't STARE. I get it. Guys are flexing and girls are in tight shorts. But that isn't an open invitation for you to ogle them. It's distracting. It's creepy. And it's not welcome. A quick glance is bound to happen, but don't stand there and burn a hole in the side of their head.
- Don't wear perfume or cologne. We are all breathing heavy and the last thing anyone wants to inhale is your Axe body spray. A little deodorant will suffice.
- Wipe down your machine/bench/equipment after you use it. There is nothing more gross than butt sweat left on a bench. And there is nothing more likely to ruin that resolution than you getting sick because somebody didn't clean up their nasty germs.
- Don't use the squat rack as your water cooler. In other words - equipment and conversations don't mix. If you want to catch up with a friend, do it when you AREN'T sitting at a machine or taking up space on a bench. Other people are likely waiting to use it - especially when the gym is crowded.
- Don't give unsolicited advice. Nothing is more intimidating to a new gym-goer than someone commenting on what they are doing or how they are doing it. Unless it looks like they are actually going to cause injury to themselves (hello you need a spotter!), don't comment. Keep your opinion to yourself.
- Clean up after yourself. Dirty towels. Protein bar wrappers. Empty water bottles. Throw it away.
- Wear appropriate shoes. Flip flops and open toed shoes are a bad idea. The first time you drop a weight on your foot you'll understand why.
- Keep the music volume down. Nobody wants to hear your music. They are trying to listen to their own. No blue-tooth speakers. No playing music off your phone. Invest in a good pair of headphones or ear buds. I'm begging you.
- Have a plan. Having at least a general idea of what you plan on doing at the gym that day will be less stressful for you and those around you who question while you are wandering around aimlessly looking flustered and confused. Start with a warm-up so you can gage the gym and the equipment available and go in with confidence.
And of course the most important rule...BE PROUD OF YOURSELF. You're there. Walking in that door is the first step to success.