The Top 10 Unspoken Rules You Need to Know While Working Out at the Gym

Copyright 2006 Adam Kessler

Alright, so the New Year is upon us and this is the year that many people will make the fitness changes stick. If you are starting to workout and have no clue what you are doing, then I suggest you hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to get you on track. But not only do you need to know what to do and how to do it, when you get to the gym, you also need to understand that there are certain things that you can and cannot do that are deemed acceptable or unacceptable in the gym environment.

To help you along, I am providing some unspoken rules to help ease your transition into the fitness workout. Some of these rules are a little tongue and cheek, but they really should be considered when you go to the gym. I will signify which rules are tongue in cheek, just in case you can’t figure it out.

1. More gyms are starting to implement this, but you should really wipe off each machine that you are on, especially if you leave sweat trails everywhere you go. Nothing is worse than having that slimy sweat spot oozing down the seat of the machine you want to work on. It is alright to sweat, and some of you sweat a lot, but it is not cool to let everyone know which machines you have been on by leaving sweat behind.

2. This is more of an attire thing, but please, especially guys, do NOT where knee high dark socks with tennis shoes at the gym. This seems to be a nice fad with 50 year old men, but it was never really the “in” thing. So leave them at home. (Somewhat sarcastic, but I wouldn’t try it).

3. You go to the gym or the personal training studio to work out, so don’t dress to impress. Ladies, please don’t spend a half hour on your makeup and hair before you lift and guys, don’t drown yourself in the cologne. This also applies to offensive body odor. (Once again, sarcasm is here, but try this and see what comments you get).

4. Please, let other people work in with you on exercise machines. Do not sit at a machine, read your paper, and not let anyone workout for the next 20 minutes while your busy seeing if your stocks went up. Be considerate to others.

5. Don’t get territorial with the machines either. You can’t claim to be working on three different machines at once. Understand that you will have to let people do their workouts. If you don’t like that, then buy your own equipment and stay at home.

6. On the flip side, if you want to work in with someone on a machine, for Pete’s sake, ask them. Don’t just stand there staring at them, assuming they know you want to work in. Nice people are more than happy to let you work in, but open your mouth and say “please.”

7. Take the stupid weights off of the machine you just used. Nothing irritates me more when some big behemoth puts 10 plates on a side, yells and screams while he tries to do the exercise, then leaves all the weight on the bar for someone to spend 10 minutes taking the weights off. If you’re strong enough to put it on, then please be considerate and take it off.

8. If you are wearing your I-pod or walkman, that is great, but keep the volume down so I don’t have to hear the music with you. Also, please don’t sing at the top of your lungs either. I don’t need to hear your rendition of Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls.”

9. If you are exerting a lot of energy lifting weights, you can let out some type of yell, but don’t let the whole gym hear it. Also, make sure you don’t sound like you are auditioning for Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally. Please, record yourself lifting and get friends’ advice about your yell before you attempt this in public. (A little bit of sarcasm, but it is funny to hear someone scream if they do it constantly and sound like they could be enjoying it, if you catch my drift).

10. Finally, please don’t wear the butt-hugger shorts or wear tight shirts if your belly hangs out so far that you can’t see your feet. (Just a touch of sarcasm).

These are some items people don’t really tell you, but I think will help ease you back into that new fitness routine.

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