Most people would agree that a certain standard of behavior is expected while frequenting public places, including the gym. Although the setting may seem like a social gathering where carefree banter and perhaps even a little showing off is permitted, the gym is also a place where many people find it necessary to concentrate and focus while moving their bodies.
When I worked out for nearly four consecutive years about a decade ago(!), at times I witnessed some quite disturbing habits and conduct and made a mental note to myself not to do the same.
Not only is proper behavior conducive to ensuring a safe, comfortable and orderly environment for all patrons, it just makes good sense. Although the gym isn’t the library, it’s also not the place to carry on loud conversations, have kids running around, nor a place that magically cleans itself up.
In other words, what I learned during my tenure at the gym was the following:
Don’t Talk on Your Cell Phone
Talking on one’s cell phone isn’t appropriate while driving, nor is it the thing to do when you are working out. I noticed that particularly when people walk on treadmills that carrying on a conversation on their cell phones is a way to kill two birds with stone. The only thing it does is distract those who are concentrating on walking.
Don’t Grunt/Groan Excessively, or Cheer for your Team on TV
Another verbal assault is the act of grunting or groaning loudly when working out. You may have just lifted 10,000 pounds, but I really don’t care to listen to you grunt out loud. Not only has this scared me before, it’s well, just weird. Keep it to yourself!
Finally, if your favorite basketball team is on television and you are an avid fan, it’s not necessary to cheer out loud when your team scores. You’re not at a sports bar or at home where you can freely and liberally express yourself aloud.
Working out next to someone who has forgotten their deodorant is not fun. Nor is it a pleasure to walk three miles on a treadmill while the person next to you has not washed their workout clothes from the day before. Wear clean clothes to each workout.
And while it may not bother you or even some people around you, wearing too much perfume or cologne is a big “don’t.”
Clean the Equipment and Return When Finished
Additionally, be sure to clean up the equipment when you’re finished working out. I’m not quite a germ-a-phobe, but I found it pretty disgusting that people would work out dripping sweat onto equipment and then leave without first cleaning. The gyms I’ve belonged to provide paper towels, cloth towels and sanitizers and even if there are no signs stating that you must clean, you should do so anyway.
Finally, if you use weights, mats, balls, or any other tools to perform your workout, put the equipment back when you are finished so the next person can easily find it.