How to Not Be a Horrible Gym Resolutionist

20_NewYearResolutionUs gym rats are bracing for it. We remember last January, and the January before that. A sea of resolutionists motivated to get in shape for the year will swarm the gym, invade our space, and take over all the machines and equipment.

Luckily the cruddy Chicago weather has kept most of them away, but they’re coming. By February, most of them will be gone and everything will go back to normal.

If you are one such resolutionist, welcome! We may bump elbows in the jam-packed locker room. Even though I am complaining, I really hope you’re one of the few who stick around. To help you get into the groove, here are a few rules to follow — they apply to newbies and seasoned gym goers alike!

Locker room etiquette: Condense your stuff to the smallest surface area possible
The gym is packed before 9 and after 5. And since we’re coming from or going to work, these peak hours also mean everyone’s lugging tons of stuff. The ladies’ locker room can get to be a madhouse with everyone’s extra clothing, shoes, hair dryers, makeup bags, and I don’t even know what else.
Don’t hog locker room space, especially during this crazy busy month. You don’t need to lay your towel on the floor, then place every single item in your bag in a circle around it. This isn’t your personal dressing room.
Also, the women who bring various changes of workout clothes and try them all on before working out to find the best combo — is that really necessary? Could you do the fashion show at home instead?
Move as quickly as possible to make space for other people. If you have texts or emails that need your attention, it’s best to grab your stuff and do that in the lobby. It’s annoying to have to reach over, under, or around someone who’s on their phone to get to your locker.
Machine etiquette: Wipe it down and turn it off
There are containers of disinfectant wipes everywhere. Use ‘em! And if the container closest to you is out of wipes, burn 10 extra calories and walk a few feet to the next one. Turning off the TV after you’re done with a machine is also a nice thing to do.
Equipment etiquette: Put it back
It’s annoying when you can’t find a jump rope or the right weights because someone left them in a heap in a corner. It’s super simple to put things back where you found them. So simple, that I can’t fathom why more people don’t do it.

I frequently see the personal trainers and the cleaning crew tidying up the equipment, which they shouldn’t have to do. You’re an adult. Do the considerate thing for other gym goers, and clean up after yourself.

Grunting etiquette: A little bit softer now
You impress no one. People are snickering. If you can’t lift it without screaming in pain, maybe go down a few pounds. Same goes for weight slammers. If you don’t have the strength to maintain control as you return the weight to its rack, you probably shouldn’t be lifting it at all.


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Betsy Mikel |