Hallmarks of good gym etiquette

I recently joined a gym, and boy would I be looking good if working out didn’t make me so hungry for Mexican food. And it’s not just any gym – it’s the most state-of-the-art, LA/Manhattan/Madonna-worthy gym in Virginia. I get a discounted membership because of my mob connections. Also, my sweat doesn’t stink.

I have been loving the gym, but here are some tips to make my personal fitness experience even more enjoyable.

1) If you can get away with wearing only short shorts and a sports bra when you work out, please mount the machine in front of mine. This will inspire me to work harder so I can have your body.

2) I feel a lot of goodwill between strangers at the gym. The natural amiability seems totally asexual, which is understandable because everyone looks so gross. But boundaries can still be crossed. If a girl is doing a stretch that involves bending over or spreading her legs, it’s not appropriate to talk to her. Whatever you have to say, she is going to feel self conscious about you looking down her jog bra or into her perspiring crotch area. Wait and talk to her when she is performing a less provocative stretch, like the neck stretch:

Neck stretch

3) If you like to make locker room conversation, at least make a show of getting dressed while you’re talking. For most people, it’s hard to think of smart and funny things to say when staring at a naked body. Putting on clothes should be your first priority, not making small-talk, clipping your toenails, or blow-drying your hair.

4) Be creative with your gym outfits. It always makes my day when I run into the guy who works out in jeans, bare feet, and a halfshirt.

5) Don’t leave clumps of your hair in the shower. I am actively trying to contract a foot fungus as a gym rite of passage, but I still balk at stepping on other peoples’ hair wads. Figure it out, ladies.

6) If you are way into Nia dance aerobics classes, try not to look like such a dork. Just kidding – dance is all about free expression. And you can do what you want because I won’t be taking any more of these types of classes.

7) Please spray down my machine after I use it.

8 ) Don’t throw down your iron barbells after every set. The loud noise scares me to death when I’m on the treadmill trying to watch Drumline. Last time I had my headphones on so I couldn’t hear myself cursing, but everyone else could. If you’re strong enough to lift the heavy weights, you are strong enough to set them down gently.

That is all for now. Does anyone else have advice for uncouth gym-goers?

7 Thoughts on “Hallmarks of good gym etiquette

  1. I wonder if “crotch area” is too lude a phrase to put on a PG blog. Maybe I should have said “crotchy vagina.”

  2. When your yoga teacher asks how you’re feeling you shouldn’t really answer. Because one time this lady let us know how her sister made her some food, and she doesn’t really get along with her sister, so she is pretty sure the sister put a lot of bad energy (especially resentment energy) into the food, thus her bowels have been upset for days. It’s sort of tacky to say that to a group of strangers.

    Another thing is you should just ignore it when people getting stretchy fart by accident. It’s so hard for me not to laugh about the combination of serious face + deep squat + uncontrollable toots, but I’ve found that hysterical giggling just isn’t considered part of a yogi’s practice.

  3. I would like to be offered a limited ( and therefore not million dollar) membership to the pool/sauna/hotub only. This is the only part I liked. Plus, I still got to feel like somebody because I was allowed into the boo boo gym. Also, I enjoyed telling ladies that I like their outfits before I had all my clothes back on. Squirm!

  4. Alice,

    That lady’s story helps explain why I always get an upset stomach after eating Wendy’s after midnight. Someone at my local Wendy’s must be putting bad energy into my Baconator combo.

  5. Sian,

    You should join a gym that lets you soak in the hot tub while smoking cigarettes and listening to Jim Waive.

  6. So by “inspire me to work harder so I can have your body” do you mean “have your body” or “*have* your body”? Some of us might be more inclined to come to the gym if such things were made clear.

  7. thanks much, guy

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