Every day, herds of fitness maniacs line their smelly bodies up like cattle, aiming to achieve the 2.5 recommended weekly hours of cardio and resistance training.
Some glisten, some grunt and others gawk as gym members log miles and pump weights. Sure, sweating your butt off isn’t always pretty, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be polite. I’m not talking royal dining polite, but there are a few simple rules of gym etiquette that gym rats should abide by that are too often forgotten.
1. Ditch Febreze and combat stink the smart way.
There’s nothing more offensive than the rank smell of gym shorts that have been living in a locker for two weeks. Wash your gym clothes after at least every other wear.
While most people wear deodorant, it turns out, only a percentage of people carry the gene that actually makes armpits stink.
If you’re one of the smelly folk, use deodorant. You’re going to smell when you work out, but why should everyone in a 20-foot radius have to suffer, too?
2. Give runners some breathing room.
Treadmills are a lot like urinals; if many are open, you should never pick one directly next to another runner. It’s creepy and rude. The same rule applies to bikes and elliptical machines. Give your fellow gym rats some space.
3. Wipe down your equipment.
A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training reported that 24 percent of samples taken from gym equipment and locker rooms contain methicillin-susceptible S aureus, forms of which can cause nasty stuff like boils and food poisoning.
Disinfect weights, machines and mats after you sweat all over them. Do a wipe-down before use too since you have no way of knowing if the person before you did.
4. Buy pants that aren’t totally see-through.
Sorry, but no matter how many squats you’ve crushed lately, no one wants to look at your butt. They don’t want to see your crack hanging out or your thong through your pants when you bend over to grab your weights.
There’s a reason why Lululemon was sued for their see-through pants. It’s not a style — it was a mistake.
5. Avoid loud grunting.
This isn’t a public restroom, so stop making noises that shouldn’t extend beyond a toilet.
6. Turn down your tunes.
Your neighbor does not want to hear you blast Katy Perry on repeat and it’s actually bad for your ears.
One in six adults suffers hearing loss strong enough to affect social interactions, and 12.5 percent of teens have lost hearing due to high-volume noises, according to an article published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.
7. Don’t be a hog.
Gyms are packed, especially right before spring break and swimsuit seasons hit. Don’t monopolize the equipment; this isn’t a board game.
If you see a line for the treadmills, cut your 60-minute run in half, take a weight break in the middle and come back to the machine later. You deserve a pat on the back for staying fit, but so do all of your fellow gym rats.