Gym Etiquette – Part 1 (because I’m sure that the rant will not end here)

What happens to people when they enter the gym? I know I’m about to generalize here, but really just because the gym is not your home doesn’t mean you should treat it as if it is a dumping ground.

For the most part gym members are fairly attentive to their behavior. But on the other hand there are those who just can’t seem to clean up after themselves, put their weights away or throw their trash in the trash cans.

I can’t tell you how many times I have walked up to a piece of equipment in order to get it ready for my client to use and find it covered with the last person’s sweat. Does it really take that much of an effort to wipe down a bench or cardio machine that you have just used? How do you feel when you approach a machine and find it in this state?

I’ve been working in gyms for many years now. I haven’t been in one gym that doesn’t have a designated area for each piece of equipment. Yet at any given time it seems that I still have to go to great lengths to find the right Swiss ball, correct dumbbell or have to look behind some other piece of equipment or find a mat.

Many times I start my day early enough that I open up the gym that I work out of. I walked in yesterday and by the time I walked from one end to the other I must have picked up 8 water bottles that had been left behind (yes not thrown out). Occasionally clothes are left behind (and yes, not in the locker room), iPods, and other personal effects. What would your mother say!?!?!?!

And by the way if you are a trainer reading this, then you have as much responsibility to keeping the gym clean as your clients!

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2 Responses to “Gym Etiquette – Part 1 (because I’m sure that the rant will not end here)”

  1. Evan Says:

    Yup – and I wonder if it is not helpful to have some general rules posted along the way to remind people to clean up after themselves – though posted rules, after losing their novelty, are easy to ignore. And boy do I agree about cleaning up other people’s sweat – I carry a towel with me from machine to machine, to clean up my own, but frequently have to wipe down the machine before I use it too, because there’s a big area of sweat where the previous person’s head rested. And going from plain grossness to actual health hazard, let’s not forget about MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) that pesky bacteria that gets into the skin where there’s a cut and scratch and defies conventional antibiotic treatment. Hospitals and Gyms have been written up as major sources for this bug. Wiping down with the bleach or alcohol based solutions can kill it, but many people ignore this maneuver. Less lethal, but also annoying in the large, franchised gyms that service hordes of people, round the clock – many of the cardiovascular machines have time limits on them of 20 to 30 minutes during peak hours. I’ve seen many folks simply take a small towel (though they don’t seem to be using it to wipe up any moisture) and place it over the timing part of their machine so people waiting to use the machine won’t notice the participant has been on it for 45 minutes to an hour. It’s just not etiquette! And neither is taking a shower, existing the stall streaming with water, tracking it all over the floor and then plopping down on the bench to dry off, soaking everything within a 10 foot perimeter of the locker. Hoo Boy, now you got me started too. . . !

  2. longevitypt Says:

    Thanks for sharing Evan!!

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