That’s key for that major presentation you’re making to the board, or that round of golf with the founder of the startup you’ve always wanted to join.
In short, it’s about etiquette, and the gym is a great place to cultivate both self-awareness and your awareness of others. Fit people have lower resting pulse rates, and are generally calmer and easier to be with. They’re more likely to be poised in their bearing and comfortable in a variety of social settings.
Here’s how to cultivate great personal gym etiquette.
- Keep in mind that form follows function. Dress appropriately. Gym attire is designed to maximise the benefits of your workout by ensuring ease of movement while being made of breathable materials that wick sweat away from your skin quickly, keeping you dry and comfortable.
- Be considerate about how much you’re sweating. It can be a sign of progress, but clean as you go: wipe down the equipment once you’re done with it.
- Remember, the gym is a collective space. Sharing makes it friendly and conducive for everyone’s workout. Please allow others to use the equipment as you rest in between sets, and they’ll oblige with the same.
- Replace equipment where they can and will be found by others. Dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, barbell collars, etc, should always be returned to their correct stations and positions on the racks.
- Leave room for others, in front of the mirror and on the mat. Be mindful of who you might be blocking from checking their form and allow that others might have to cross into your personal space during group workouts.
- Shower briskly, so that everyone gets to the office or feeds the family on time.
- Go to gym if you’re sick. Go to the doctor.
Use your phone sparingly and only at the right times during your workout, such as when you’re using a fitness app. Otherwise, It diverts your focus and is bad prep.
Drop equipment on the floor or grunt like certain tennis players. It spoils things for others. Barbells and dumbbells are not indestructible, and the floor, and ceiling below it, certainly aren’t.
Make others uncomfortable by staring at them. Don’t assume they know you’re only admiring and mean well.
Offer unsolicited advice. There are trainers for this. If you’re asked and would like to be sociable, volunteer only what you know for sure.
Be afraid to ask the trainers for assistance with how to properly use the equipment. You can ask fellow members too, but only if you’re certain they prefer not to be interrupted.
Be late for classes or your personal session. If you absolutely can’t help being late, inform your trainer. Similarly if you need to leave early, so you won’t disrupt others.
Spread your belongings and used items all around the locker room. Put away used towels where they should go, and tidy up the area before leaving.
With good etiquette comes the self-awareness that allows you to respond suitably to the people and situations around you. It sets a pleasant tone for your workout and makes the gym a great place to be for everyone. It’s great practice for the big, unpredictable world that’s exactly what your workout is for.