Getting Started: Gym Etiquette

Is a gym in your plans for 2011?  Gyms can be a highly effective way to meet fitness goals but it can also be an intimidating place (and busy after January 1st).  Here are some basics so that you fit right in and help you focus on the fitness!

•Share. If you're doing multiple sets on a machine, it's common courtesy to let others work in during your rest periods. This may not always be practical, but offer to share whenever you can. This is especially critical after the New Year when gym attendance goes up!

•Clean up After Yourself. You workout and sweat people expect that but no one should have to sit in it! Always bring a towel with you and wipe the machines down when you're finished. Most gyms offer wipes or sprays strategically located around the gym for this purpose.

•Leave no trace. My next biggest pet peeve is the person who leaves six million pounds on the leg press machine. I don't know, maybe I look stronger than I am. The point is, always put your weights back when you're finished.

•Don't hog the treadmill. Many gyms have time limits on cardio machines during busy hours. There's a reason for that, and you should obey it. And no, throwing your towel over the display doesn't fool me. :-)

•Keep it down. Most gym-goers I know have seen That Guy. The one pumping away on the treadmill while screaming into a cell phone. Unless it's an emergency, save your chat-time for after your workouts.

•Cover it up. I respect the confidence that allows some people to walk around the locker room naked. Know what else I respect? Seeing you wearing a towel after your shower to keep the locker room a comfortable place for everyone.

Now get after it!


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