Going to the gym is something that tons of people do. Whether it’s to lose lots of weight, tone up, or completely bulk, everybody has a reason. With all these different motivations comes lots of different people who do things in unique ways. For the average Joe who has a pretty consistent gym schedule and routine, going there is a relaxing, casual experience. Hitting the gym isn’t about setting records and being tougher than the person next to you, no matter how many people make it seem that way.
Unfortunately, getting to the gym isn’t always so easy. No matter how old you are, you have family and friends. Squeezing in time with these important people, along with dedicating enough time to work, and trying to get some sleep somewhere in there makes it difficult to get to the gym in the first place and there’s usually no desire to even want to. So when people finally do have time to go to the gym somewhere in their busy schedules, the last thing they want is to be annoyed the entire time they’re supposed to be focusing on working out.
There are just some courtesies that should be acknowledged when going to the gym. It doesn’t matter how big your muscles are, how toned your body is, or how comfortable you are in the gym – it’s time to realize there are other people who use the gym, too. Here are the 10 gym mistakes you could be making.
10. Listening to your music without headphones
There’s a really cool reason why headphones were created; so you can listen to your music as loud as you’d like, without annoying or interrupting another person’s thoughts. People who bring their cell phones to the gym and let them act as a personal boombox aren’t helping anybody else out. Sure, the gym plays music and most others bring headphones, but for people who forgot their headphones or just don’t want to listen to your music – you’re annoying, bro. Bringing headphones and keeping personal music, personal, is a gesture that many appreciate. Not everybody can get hyped to Jumpman by Drake.
9. Strutting your stuff
Everybody who goes to the gym can attest to one thing: there’s always a guy who gets done lifting and feels super tough afterwards and proceeds to walk around menacingly. It’s not even to the next machine, either. It’s usually just around in circle, right next to the machine, with a seemingly angry face on. Nobody is ever scared of this kind of guy, but more entertained by him. This is the type of person who adds max protein into every meal, thinks everybody is impressed by him and his lifting abilities, and always has to wear a muscle shirt. Do everybody a favor and act normal after you’ve lifted something, dude.
8. Only going to the gym during peaks
There’s a couple of times during the year where people suddenly realize they want a nice body. A couple prime times that might ring a bell are post New Year’s resolutions and right before summer hits. During the month of January, the gym is a madhouse. Regulars can tell who just started going and who didn’t, so the newbies are usually the source of a lot of glares and annoyance. If you’re serious about a fitness journey, no matter what the end goal is, don’t use a new year or a season to be motivated to improving yourself. Not only does this crowd the gym for people who really are committed, but it makes it that much easier to quit a few weeks into working out and finding a future excuse to go for a month and stop going all over again.
7. Judging others
At the gym, there are a lot of different personalities, people, and body types. For many people, going to the gym can be a stressful experience due to body image issues or weight issues. It’s important to remember that everybody has to start somewhere, and judging somebody for being overweight and running on the treadmill, for being lanky and in the lifting section, isn’t helping anybody work towards their goals. Oftentimes this can discourage people from coming back when it took a lot of work to come in the first place. Everybody has different fitness goals that don’t have to mirror yours. Keep to yourself and don’t let your thoughts about somebody else ruin their motivation.
One of the worst feelings is powering through a workout and feeling somebody watching you or the machine you’re at. Gyms do get crowded from time to time, and during those times, switching up a regular routine might have to happen. It’s gym etiquette to let people finish their time at a machine instead of standing right behind them or in their line of vision to let them know you want that machine, too. Most gyms have a 20 minute limit when there is a line for certain machines, but it hardly ever comes to that – so let people finish up their workout without feeling pressured to rush.
5. Sitting on machines without using them
A common pet peeve for regular gym goers are the people who are sitting on a machine but aren’t using it. The gym machines aren’t places meant for you to check your social media, talk to your significant other, or space out. Even if the gym isn’t busy, this is annoying. The best place to be if a break is needed or if you need to look at your phone is the warm-up section or the locker room. Don’t occupy a machine if you’re just using it as a rest stop.
4. Warming up too close to another person
Most gyms have pretty considerably sized warm-up areas as it’s something that most people do before beginning a workout. More often than not, these areas aren’t that crowded as everybody comes and goes in a timely fashion. As long as a warm-up area isn’t completely swamped, there is no reason that it is okay to go warm-up uncomfortably close to a complete stranger. Not only does this make that person feel awkward, but they’ll be wondering why you decided to pick the mat directly next to them to warm-up at when there are twenty other spots to choose from.
The weirdest thing is getting done with a really tough set of lifting and realizing that somebody has been staring for an undisclosed amount of time. Some people like to show off at the gym, but it’s easy to spot who those people are. The majority of people, however, don’t like to be stared at while working out. Even if it’s just a harmless case of spacing out, try to direct your line of vision somewhere that doesn’t really have people working out – a television, a vending machine, or anything that isn’t somebody working out. Staring at people outside of the gym is considered to be rude, so the process inside of the gym is no different.
2. Coming with your friend(s) but not working out
Occasionally, there is a group of guys or girls who come with a companion (or several) to the gym. In some cases, having a gym buddy helps one motivate to work out harder and longer, making it beneficial. In other cases, however, bringing a friend or two to the gym just annoys everybody around you. Guys, nobody cares to hear the whooping and hollering that goes along with the little lifting contests you have. As for you ladies – it isn’t cute to get all made up to go to the gym only to take selfies and giggle over the fact that you can’t use the machines correctly. The gym, as most know, is for working out – it’s not a hangout spot.
1. Bad hygiene
The absolute worst thing that any gym goer, new or veteran, can do is avoiding exercising proper hygiene. No matter where you are in the gym, people pass you, work out near you, and stand by you in the locker room. It’s guaranteed that most people do not want to smell the fact that you don’t wear deodorant while running next to you on the treadmill or after taking over the machine you were just at. It’s important to always wear deodorant as well as shower regularly if you work out intensely and often. Not only does this promote a healthier body and lifestyle, but it’ll save the noses of those around you.