Want a better work-out? Exercise gym etiquette

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
The gym is for improving your body, relieving stress, bettering your overall health and staying fit to fight. But some people could be more courteous to their fellow gym rats, making everyone's work-outs more enjoyable and effective. Here are some common sense guidelines that are very simple and easy to follow that can help enhance everyone's exercise experience.

Don't treat the gym like your home away from home.
· When you finish using a piece of equipment wipe it down. No one wants to lie in your sweat.
· When you are done using weights put them back where they belong.
· Don't leave empty water bottles or dirty towels on the floor or on top of equipment. The fitness staff is not there to clean up after you.
· When you are in the locker room, be kind and cover your behind. No one wants to see you parading around the locker room in your birthday suit.
· Cell phones are one of the biggest annoyances to others trying to exercise. It can break other people's concentration on a heavy lift and it is annoying. Leave your cell on vibrate and step outside if you need to answer a call.
· Please don't smoke near the entrance or in the parking lot. Some people are going to the gym to help kick the habit.

The gym is not the place for a fashion statement.
· Black soled shoes will leave scuff marks on the basketball and racquetball courts.
· Your choice of clothing can also prevent some unwanted stares or pick-up lines.
· If it takes you more than 30 minutes to get ready for the gym, there is something wrong.

Be courteous and aware of others while lifting free weights.
· Don't slam weights on the floor over and over again.
· Make sure you give someone lifting weights plenty of space.
· Don't hog the equipment. Your towel and bag are not place holders while you go talk to a friend.
· If someone asks you to spot them, spot them, unless you are absolutely sure you cannot handle the weight.
· There is no need for shadow boxing in the weight room. There is a room with a punching bag if you feel the urge to swing.
· Try not to scream for every rep you lift. If you need to scream for the first rep then you should probably use less weight.
· When exercising keep your eyes to yourself. No one likes to be watched while they are working out, and you have no idea who you are looking at.

Cleaning up and being courteous are habits every gym patron should exercise, and they're easier than dead lifts or Pilates.