20-40-60 Etiquette---The men answer about gym etiquette
(The 20-30-40-50-60 men take on a new question about gym etiquette. Newcomer/guest Todd Pendleton weighs in with them today.)
QUESTION: Are there etiquette rules for the gym? Since these rules are not posted at my gym, my questions are these: Should I always I always wipe the machines off after I use them? Can I save my machine by putting a towel or water bottle by it? And how about the weights that other people put on, should they remove them when they are finished? Is it ok to talk on my cell phone or watch television while working out?
20s—NICK TANKERSLEY, Web Editor, NewsOK: I can’t tell you how many workouts I’ve spent lost in speculation over whether I am being a good gym-mate or not. Actually, next to watching Die Hard on AMC, trying to make sure my weight room etiquette is appropriate is my favorite way to pass exercise time.
I have only been able to come to a few concrete conclusions about gym rules. Some of them have very important reasons and others are just polite gestures to other self-improvement masochists. The most important thing in any gym, or any social situation really, is to get a read of the group that regularly attends. The gym where I work out is pretty laid back and I go at low traffic times. For that reason I can be fairly lax on things like machine saving and the immediate wipe-down. If I do workout in a bigger crowd, however, I must adjust my attitude towards gym etiquette. Here is a list of the most universal and
respectful rules I have come up with:
1. Always put up everything you get out. If it was on a rack when you got there it should be on a rack when you leave.
2. A machine is only saved if you are in the act of using it. Unless you come to a polite agreement with the other interested party, if you get up and do something else, then, it isn’t your machine anymore no matter how many stinky sweat towels you put on it.
3. When you are done with a machine wipe it down thoroughly. The human body is not quite the wonderland that John Meyer would have us believe. Doing sit-ups in someone’s power-squat sweat is not an ideal workout environment. If it is non-busy day I have been known to leave a machine in stank condition while I rotate exercises but if there is the chance that someone may use the machine after a set then I give it a wipe down.
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