As a girl who really loves her gym (Gold's in Niskayuna), I get annoyed when other patrons don't follow the basic rules of etiquette. Obviously, it's a gym, we're all there to sweat and enjoy exercising, and we all do it differently. Some people couldn't imagine doing cardio without their iPod. Others only work certain muscle groups on certain days. Me, I'm more of a free spirit - I just do what I feel like doing once I get there. I'm just proud that I showed up. ;-) Being that I wander all over the place, I've seen quite a few breaches of basic gym etiquette that I think are worth mentioning...here are my top no-nos:
1. Your cell phone does NOT belong on the gym floor. Despite the fact that almost every machine in my gym has a little sign that clearly states "Cell phones are NOT permitted on machines," I have been stuck next to so many people who insist on taking calls while working out. Usually the conversation starts like this: "HELLO?! *huff, puff* NO, THIS IS A GOOD TIME, I CAN TALK! *huff, puff*" Followed by either a discussion of plans for later that night, or even worse, business details that could certainly wait until after the cardio tour-de-force. Not only do I find this annoying and obnoxious, I really hate it when someone breaks my cardio concentration!
2. If you are sick enough to not be able to go more than two minutes without sneezing, hacking, and/or blowing your nose, please stay home. Nobody wants whatever it is you have.
3. Speaking of sneezing...please do not drown yourself in perfume and/or cologne before working out. I know you don't want to be stinky, but I promise, deodorant and regular showering is enough. Besides the fact that some people (er, me) don't want to get a headache from your liberal application of Shalimar, others may actually be allergic.
4. Realize that not everyone at the gym is looking for a date. Most people at my gym are very friendly, and not creepy at all. But there are a few people that clearly think we are in a nightclub. There are some men who think staring at all of the women on the cardio deck is completely acceptable. And there are women who have enough makeup on to appear on television (not to mention: not enough clothes on to leave the bedroom). Don't get me wrong, when you are single, the gym is a perfectly acceptable place to meet new people who may share your interests. But it is not a place to go trolling for the opposite sex. Most of us are actually here to work out.
5. Please wipe down your equipment if you have sweat all over it. Trust me, after I am done with the elliptical, it practically needs to be hosed down. I would never dream of leaving the handrails sweaty and grimy for the next person. There are wipes all over the place - use them! If not, you will run the risk of getting a well-deserved evil eye from other gym-goers as you walk away.