Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We’ve never been loyal gym gals. Maybe because we’ve heard about how gross the pursuit of fitness can be. Chris, a friend of Yvette’s had suggested that we write a post about the lack of gym etiquette. We figured who’d better to interview than Chris, a gym loyalist with manners.

What are the most common inconsiderate things people do at the gym?

Monopolizing a piece of equipment or dumbbells. This is usually done by a pair of guys who, despite seeing each other every morning at the gym, chat on endlessly about any and everything. They've forgotten that they're there to work out, not to socialize. While they're "catching up", the 7 sets of dumbbells they've pulled off the rack to do supersets are completely useless to everyone else.

Also, yelling, groaning, screaming and singing. We’re not here to be inundated with a cacophony of sounds because ‘Jimmy Tone Deaf’ doesn’t realize how loud he is.

Anything else?

There’s always the guy who feels that the entire locker room is his personal bathroom. He leaves his dirty clothes on the bench when he goes to the shower, takes over the entire bathroom sink, and then refuses to consolidate his belongings as he's getting dressed. And, of course, he never puts his dirty wet towels in the bin - he just leaves them on the floor.

How are gyms handling keeping equipment clean and what should a member do to help? Obviously, wiping down equipment with a used towel isn’t the way to go.

Gyms ask people to wipe down the equipment when they're finished using it, but as you've guessed, wiping it down with a sweaty towel isn't exactly what they had in mind. I bring two towels with me when I workout - one for me and one for the equipment. That way, I'm not repolluting the equipment with my sweat when I try to make it clean for the next person.

If you could make the rules, what would they be?

The golden rule of "do unto others as you would have them to unto you" would probably be my only rule. Maybe spread posters around the gym - by the bench press, a sign would read "Would you want to use this bench if it were covered in someone else's sweat? Wipe off your equipment with a clean towel when you're finished, please." By a highly used piece of equipment, a sign would read "You were able to use this equipment today because the person that used it before you didn't hog it for an unnecessarily long time. Keep that in mind as you use this."

We thank Chris for his input and if you’re a gym regular we hope that your experience will be less rude and germy from now on.

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