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VOL. 38 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 03, 2014

Gym etiquette for dummies

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Don’t be the person holding up the line for the butterfly machine while you’re sitting on it adjusting your iPod. More gym tips from “Weight Training for Dummies:”

Sharing equipment

In a gym, weight equipment is considered communal property, so don’t sit on a machine while you rest between sets. Especially don’t sit there reading a magazine, talking on your cellphone, or rehearsing an opera.

Instead, stand up and let a fellow gym member work in — let the member alternate sets with you. The same rule applies if you’re using a pair of dumbbells.

The only time you should retain possession of weight equipment while you rest is when you’re using a barbell stacked with weight plates.

Unloading your weight bar

After you finish using a bar, leave it completely empty. Don’t assume that everyone can lift the same amount of weight you can. This clear-the-bar rule doesn’t just apply to heavy lifters.

Putting weights back where you found them

When you’ve removed a weight plate from a bar or when you finish using a pair of dumbbells, return the weights to their designated spot on the rack. Never leave dumbbells or barbells on the floor when you’re finished using them.

Keeping your sweat to yourself

Carry a towel and wipe off any bench or machine you use. Nothing is quite as gross as picking up a slippery weight or lying down in a stranger’s pool of sweat.

Helping the flow of traffic

Don’t block the traffic flow. While you shouldn’t camp out on the equipment while you’re resting between sets, neither should you clog the pathways between machines or congregate with a dozen of your buddies in the free weight area.

Hogging the drinking fountain

Don’t stand at the drinking fountain trying to catch your breath when the line behind you is longer than the line for World Series tickets. Take a drink, and get back in line. Better yet, carry a water bottle.

Toting around your gym bag

Some people carry their bag from machine to machine. Don’t be that person.

Treating the locker room like your own bathroom

  • Don’t take a marathon shower if people are waiting.
  • Make sure that you remove all your shower supplies and that little pile of your hair from the drain. (Carry a latex glove or two in your shower supplies if picking up your own hair.)
  • Don’t hog the mirror or the hair blow dryer.
  • Don’t take up three lockers and spread your clothing over the entire bench.
  • Share with others. Shut your locker when you leave.
  • Don’t leave your belongings in lockers overnight unless you have permission from your gym to do so.
  • Limit yourself to one or two towels. After you finish using your towels and other paraphernalia, place them in the laundry or trash bin instead of dropping them on the floor.

More information: www.dummies.com/store/product/Weight-Training-For-Dummies-3rd-Edition.productCd-0471768456.html.

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