Let’s face it; the gym is more than a place that you frequent from time to time; it’s a second home. And those people you spend so much time with at the gym, they’re kind of family like. (Granted, they may be from the weird side that you don’t really care for, but you don’t get to pick your family.) The point of this prolonged analogy is you should treat your gym and gym mates with some respect. Don’t be the guy or girl guilty of committing these dastardly deeds!
DEED #1: NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS – There isn’t much that’s clean in a gym, but your hands should be the exception. Clean hands help keep you and your fellow lifters healthy by preventing the spread of disease. Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, after touching the garbage bin, and especially after going to the bathroom. Oh, and while you’re in there, flush the toilet when you’re done!
DEED #2: NOT RE-RACKING THE WEIGHTS – We know that you train like an animal, but weight room needn’t look like a pigsty when you’re done. Gyms are not self-cleaning entities. And, unless she happens to train at the same gym you do, your mom isn’t picking up after you either. So, please put the weights back on the rack when you’re done. What’s that? The weights were already like that when you got there? Be the better (wo)man and leave the gym better than you found it.
DEED #3: NOT WIPING DOWN THE EQUIPMENT WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED – According to one report, weight equipment contains over 350 times more bacteria than a typical toilet seat. Pretty gross. What’s worse, 70% of them are potentially harmful to humans. Pretty scary. Do your part and wipe down benches, boards, bars, and cable attachments that come in contact with your skin with the antibacterial solutions provided by the gym. Even if you aren’t particularly sweaty, you’re still passing along germs. Can’t help but notice others don’t wipe things down when they’re finished? Use an antibacterial wipe on the equipment and/or cover contact surfaces with a towel before you lift. With antibiotic resistant bacterial infections on the rise, you can’t be too careful.
DEED#4: HOGGING THE GYM – Giant sets are a great way to shock the muscles into new growth. During peak hours, they’re also a great way to piss off your gym mates. Even though the New Year’s resolution herds are thinning, gyms have peak hours all year long. Avoid workouts that require monopolizing multiple many pieces of equipment, or using the same machine for too long. Demonstrate your G.I.Q. (Gym Intelligence Quotient) by saving your mega exercise stacks and ultra-endurance cardio workouts for weekends and off-peak hours when you pretty much have the gym all to yourself.