The Do’s And Don’ts Of Gym Etiquette

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ever get stared at in the gym and not because you look good? Now that 2012 is here, maybe your gym etiquette needs a little workout of its own.

There are a couple ways to keep other gym members from rolling their eyes as you keep your New Year’s resolution.

Cindy Barlage is hoping to drop a few pounds and gain a good-looking figure.

“Just recently moved up here and it’s time for some change, some really good change,” she said.

But up until this point, intimidation was a factor, just like it is for millions of Americans.

“If you’re not in really good health and not a size 2, you’ve got to start somewhere,” she said. “That’s the point — got to start somewhere.”

Being intimidated in the gym holds no weight with trainer Jeff Fliehs at Lifetime Fitness at Crosstown.

“They’re worried, ‘Am I going to fit in?’ Well not all of us are world-class athletes,” he said.

In fact, Fliehs said 95 percent of members want to be in better shape. Only 5 percent are in the shape they want to be in.

“There’s something that they really have an area of passion about, and that’s what brings them in,” he said.

Fliehs hopes that members bring manners too, like wiping sweat from the equipment so it’s ready for the next person to use.

Another tip from Fliehs is to refrain from spending too much time on one piece of equipment. You should let others work in.

Also, don’t lift more than you can handle.

“Grunting’s annoying, and it doesn’t help,” he said.

The top tip from Barlage: “Forget the intimidation and just go for it.”

She hopes hard work and determination will someday add up to a new self-image in 2012.

  • Jonathan

    Just keep it simple and remember common sense. I’ve watched every year while complete slobs sweat all over the machines and not only leave it there, but don’t put their weights back. I’ve also seen the other, obsessive-compulsive extreme where these people may as well wear a haz-mat suit to the gym. Most people don’t comprehend that, over time, spraying down every machine every time wears down the equipment, plus it’s ineffective. Sanitize when appropriate; otherwise a simple sweat towel will do. Be nice to others, and take a hint if someone doesn’t (or does!) want to chat. Grunting, like leg warmers and people wearing sweat bands running around collecting phone numbers, needs to stay in the 80’s. Every one comes to fitness clubs today for very different reasons. Respect that and we’ll all coexist happily.

  • tellatubby

    Same thing every year. January 1st, no parking spots at the YMCA. Machines are full of tubbies who push for about 5 miuntes (at least they’re trying). By Valentines day they are all gone and you can park next to the door again. Next door at the Cub Food store, parking is full again. Same thing for the past ten years.

  • Hugh

    Good gym etiquette is important and if you just use common sense most folks at my gym are more than willing to offer pointers and help out.

    The only issue with this article is the point about grunting. It certainly does help when lifting. You just have to understand the environment your in. Most hardcore lifters probably are not going to the local YMCA to lift, they are going to Golds or another location where serious lifters and body-builders go.

    But to say that grunting doesn’t help. I guess we should tell all the power lifters in the Olympics to stop grunting and such.

    • Sam

      I agree! Plus, most of us have mp3 players or there is loud music playing in the gym; grunting is of little concern.

      My concern is about the people dropping the equipment from up high, that can potentially damage it.

    • JustSayin

      Stop grunting, you pig.

  • bigcatmpls

    This was a about Etiquette not the type of people who go to gyms but how to act when you are there.

    1. wipe down the machines
    2. return weights to the appropriate rack
    3. Don’t drop weights
    4. No grunting
    5. machines aren’t someplace to read the paper on
    6. you can’t use two machines at the same time, share
    7. Laying your towel on a machine while you go talk to a friend doesn’t mean it’s yours till you feel your done.
    8. Get your business done and get out, it’s not a singles bar

    • Sam

      I noticed that there is always one individual that would read a magazine or read from their gadget, instead of working out, at the machines.

      What’s the point of going to the gym?!?!? Is your mom or dad forcing you to go? XD

      • Nothing new

        Many insurance companies require people to go in order to get a discount on their insurance. They check in and sit in the locker rooms and watch tv. Very common at the YMCA. You see it every afternoon with obese people.

  • richard

    bigcatmpls….Good suggestions. May I add…

    *Please do not bang plates together when putting them on the bars or machimes; and when putting them back on the wt. racks. VERY annoying!

    *Please do not change the station on the TV’s unless you ask the people near them if they are or are not watching that station.

  • BM Grunter

    I really don’t mind the grunting unless things start falling out of their britches.

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