Gym Etiquette for the Old and New

It's not just your form that needs to be kept in check at the gym.

Civility reigns; even in realms where tank tops are encouraged, profuse sweating is the norm, and mild grunting is perfectly acceptable. While we completely agree that the social graces expected in a gym are a bit different from those expected at a symphony or the Louvre, we’re certain that a generous serving of courtesy will endear you to your fellow gym junkies, encouraging them, at the very least, to keep their smirks of disdain under wraps the next time you fail to bench press your usual 80kg warm-up weight. So before you commit another hateful faux pas at your local Les Mills, educate yourself on the rituals and customs unique to the workout world:

Avoid loud grunting and PDA (Public Displays of Annoying)
The last time we checked, we didn’t sign up for a Body Pump session in a public restroom so stop making noises that shouldn’t extend beyond one. And while we’re at it, standing behind us, lifting your shirt and hitting your abs like a gorilla is also not acceptable – we’re not in a jungle and it is not mating season.

Respect the bubble
Treadmills are a lot like urinals; if there are plenty available, never creepily pick one directly next to another runner. The same applies to bikes and elliptical machines.

Keep banter to a minimum
Overhearing debaucherous affairs regaled by phone has been known to prompt explosive bouts of throttling, so unless you want your fellow gym rats to put what they’ve learnt in Body Attack to good use, leave the Bluetooth headset in your locker.

Advise with caution
You might have a Ph.D. in physical training from Harvard with specialised experience with the national Olympic team, but unless you notice someone about to do themselves some serious harm, keep your tips and tricks to yourself. 

Don’t hog the drink fountain
Who doesn’t love the special few that hold up the entire gym while filling their gallon-sized water jug? When queues start to form, it is wise to take a drink and get back in line.

Turn down for what
Your one-hour playlist of hardcore Miley Cyrus remixes might help get you through your workout, but the people around you who are forced to listen to it might not respond as well to the motivating powers of the wrecking-ball clinger.


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