IF YOU'RE a regular at the gym make sure you know the dos and don'ts with our comprehensive guide to gym etiquette. Here's how you can make the most of your visit to the gym and always be welcome there.
• Don't sit on a machine you're not using or when you're between sets. Let a fellow member "work in" (alternate) with you.
• Observe the gym's time limits on the cardiovascular equipment. Many clubs restrict you to 20 or 30 minutes on the treadmills, bikes, and stair climbers during rush hour.
• Keep your grunting to a minimum. A weight room isn't a public library but it's not a championship wrestling arena, either. "Some of these guys scream like it's the equivalent of male childbirth," says a gym owner. Loud noises not only distract other members but alert them to the fact that you're lifting more weight than you can handle.
• After you use a piece of equipment remove your sweat from it (with your own towel).
• Many people socialise at the gym. This is fine, but keep in mind that some people don't have much time to workout and that they may need to use the machine that you are on. Try not to entertain the whole room with your stories.
• On equipment with removable weights like the bench or leg presses, when you are finished remove all plates except one (you can remove that last one too but it is not expected).
• When you work out hard you may get cottonmouth. Keep in mind you are inside a room and don't spit. This is true for the water fountain as well. Please don't spit in the water fountain. Use the basin.
• Don't throw the weights down at the end of your set. This is very dangerous for others and your joints.
• If you work out in the mornings you'll find that most people shower after going to the gym. This is acceptable but do remember to brush your teeth first. You'll be exhaling around others. Some deodorant won't hurt either.
• This one I would think is given but it does need to be mentioned. Clean gym clothes are always expected; it keeps you from developing acne (from the dirt and sweat) and makes other people happier to be around you.
• Don't work out in jeans. It looks bad and jeans may keep you from getting into your work out. Besides, the buttons/rivets on your pockets may dam age the upholstery.
• Leave your cell phone in the car. People go to the gym to escape work and unwind. The last thing they want to do is listen to someone conducting business on his cell phone.
• Do all this and you'll always be welcome.