DAYTON, Ohio – Most people who work out at the gym have had the misfortune of encountering poor etiquette at times.
Lori Pines is a lawyer and avid exerciser who believes that everyone is entitled to get a great workout at the gym.
Sick and tired of inconsiderate behavior at the health clubs she frequents, Pines put down the dumbbells and wrote “The Little Book of Gym Etiquette: A Handbook for Dealing With Annoying People at the Gym.”
“This is a topic every gym-goer has probably thought about at some point,” the New York City resident said.
Pines got tired of seeing empty water bottles litter the gym floor and listening to loud talkers barely breaking a sweat on the stationary bikes.
Her “3 C’s” to think about in the gym: Be clean, considerate and cheerful.
Following these three simple rules, according to Pines, should keep everyone in the gym satisfied:
- Don’t be a hog or a space invader.
In other words, have respect for other people’s personal space and time. Nothing is more annoying than being interrupted by a chatterbox when you are trying to work out. The majority of people are limited as to the amount of time they have to exercise, and the last thing they need is to be held captive by a nonstop talker or wait 10 minutes for someone to finish using a machine. If you want to say a word or two, nothing wrong with that, but then move on.
If you are using a piece of equipment and someone is waiting, be courteous and invite him or her to “work in” with you.
As they are taking their turn, be aware that they need to focus on the exercise, not on you, so use this time to get a drink of water or do a quick stretch, and then move on with your workout.
Other no-nos include using equipment as your hanger, taking up the entire bench in the locker room, blocking the mirrors, hogging the water fountain or lingering on a machine if you’re not using it.
- Don’t be a slob.
Wipe your sweat off the equipment, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, don’t leave tissues, sweaty towels, reading material or water bottles around, don’t leave hair in the sink or shower and don’t eat near the equipment. If you are sick, then stay home.
- Don’t be an exhibitionist.
An exhibitionist is a gym-goer who either intentionally or unintentionally displays a need to be seen or heard. The exhibitionist shows us more of his body than we want or need to see, exercises to unsafe extremes to show off her skills, or grunts and groans to excess while lifting weights.
As the saying goes, “When you enter the gym, leave your ego at the door.”