Things you shouldn’t do at the gym: Part II

If you work out at a gym with multiple users, proper etiquette is very important.
Here are 10 tips that will help everyone have a better workout experience:
1 Don’t wear inappropriate clothing – Take a second to thinik if you’re dressed appropriate for the exercises you’ll be performing and your body type. If you’re a super hairy guy who tends to sweat like he’s in a sauna, don’t wear a little tank top that will leave sweat everywhere. Wear a t-shirt that will help keep your bare skin off the benches and machines.
If you’re well overweight, don’t wear skin tight spandex. On the flip side, don’t wear shorts that are way too big on you and give everyone a glimpse of your undercarriage while your feet are up in the air doing situps.
2 Don’t hog a machine – If you notice the gym is busy, or someone is waiting for your machine, try to be efficient with your time. Don’t take long breaks between sets as you chat up the single girl two machines over. Get your work done and allow the next person to use it.
3 Don’t leave machines covered with sweat – Germs can easily be spread at the gym so make sure to clean off machines after each use. Most gyms should have spray bottles and towels to do so, if not you may want to ask to have them added.
4 Don’t leave weight plates a mess – Put weights back on the weight trees and dumbbells back on your stand. It will make it easier for the next person to get their exercises done and find what they need.
5 Don’t coach others – You may know a lot more than the person lifting next to you, or think you do, but don’t make it a habit of coaching up others at the gym.
If they need a spot or help they’ll ask, but people probably don’t want to hear your pointers.
6 Don’t talk to people during their set – If someone is in the middle of a set, absolutely don’t come up to them and ask a question. Wait until they’re done.
7 Don’t walk in front of mirror while someone’s lifting – People often watch their form in a mirror and it is pretty distracting, not to mention rude, to cut in between them and the mirror. Take a different path if at all possible.
8 Don’t have bad personal hygiene – Don’t wear excess perfume or cologne to the gym. Others probably don’t want to smell it. Also, please brush your teeth sometime that day so your dragon breath doesn’t slay the person on the treadmill next to you.
9 Don’t spit in the water fountain – People do not need to see a big honker in the fountain when they’re getting a quick drink between sets.
10 Don’t use the cell phone – Keep the cell phone out of the gym unless you’re expecting an urgent call. No one wants to hear you talking about plans for Friday night while they’re working hard on the neighboring bench or machine.
And by all means – don’t talk on the phone at the same time you’re lifting weights! That’s about the worst form imaginable.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at