Happy New Year!! Like me, I'm sure a lot of you have paid for gym memberships as one of your New Year's resolutions. Now all we have to do is go. If you received one as a Christmas present, I hope you looked sideways at the person and said, "Thank you. I hope you're going too." As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, it's hard for me to maintain the discipline to work out regularly. However, since I am on my THIRD fitness center, I will give you, the reading public, some advice on gym etiquette.
Tip 1. Wipe down the equipment – Most fitness centers advise you to wipe down the equipment when you finish. Some even provide spray bottles of sanitizer to support the process. If you know you look like a drowned rat when you get off the cardio machine, please don’t leave it soaking wet for the next person. Your sweat is not holy water.
Tip 2. Wait till it's available – You are going maximum speed on your favorite cardio machine and notice someone standing there trying to get your attention. You manage to get an earbud loose only to have him ask if you are almost finished. Not only am I not close to being finished, I am going to add another hour to my workout just to annoy you. Feel free to stalk my cardio machine in the background like it’s prey, but don’t interrupt my workout with nonsense questions.
Tip 3. When you finish, get up – If you're using a machine like in Tip 2, people understand, but don't tie up a machine that you’re not using. In a busy fitness center, it's annoying to see someone crank out six reps on a weight machine, then sit there playing with a phone for 15 minutes. I know you’re waiting to crank out another set, but while you’re downloading music on iTunes, a bunch of other people could have gotten in a set. In fact, by the time you get ready to do another set, the machine will probably be available.
Tip 4. Don't drop your weights – Bang! What was that noise, what happened? Calm down, that’s just He-Man over there dropping his weight stack. AGAIN!! In fairness to He-Man, most guys who lift a lot of weight never drop the weight stack or barbells. It’s the grunting, look-how-strong-I-am guys who want everyone to know that it's heavy. Take some weight off the bar and stop scaring everybody. You'll lift it one day, but not this day.