Sharing is Caring
Don’t workout with passive aggression as your motivator. Sure, it’s rude to hog the machines — but it’s also rude to breathe down someone’s neck while you wait for them to come off whatever contraption you’re trying to get on. Chances are if they’re using it longer, it’s because they’re really working out. Are you going to work as hard? No. You’re probably just going to grunt excessively while you pump a couple of puny 20-pounders and daydream about a martini. Let’s face it — there are limited resources in the world, and the gym is just a microcosm of that notion. Sharing is caring, but being forced to do so will certainly get tempers flaring. Deal with it.
Not Like That
Why are workouts such stressors for so many people? And why are so many people clueless when it comes to their physical abilities, or lack thereof? If you see someone about to dislocate their back or bend their bodies in ways nature never intended, you have a duty to at least attempt to help set them straight. If you’re not actually sure what “straight” is, but can see from all that flailing and jiggling that a tragedy is unfolding, all those tattle-tailing days on the playground will be put to good use when you notify one of the trainers. Not only are you likely preventing them from seriously injuring themselves, you’re also keeping them from screwing up equipment you might want use later. Life’s all about the give and take.
Alright, I get it — sometimes when you finish with your workout, you actually want to use those sketchy community showers. And, generally, an effective shower requires taking off your clothes. But here’s a rule of thumb: If you’re naked, don’t touch anything. If you want the truth, naked people in public are unsettling to say the least. Watching naked people touch things like lockers or doors kind of makes you want to wash your hands over and over and over again. This goes for the steam room, too. At least in there, everybody else is naked, too, so we’re all equally pervy. But even then, if your body is forced to come into contact with something — like, say, the communal bench — use a towel. Note: Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes does not make you not-naked.
Spare the Stare
Don’t ever under any circumstances make eye contact at the gym. With anyone. Ever. No human being is more emotionally vulnerable than when they’re working out. The feeling of another pair of judging, pitying eyes on you intensifies every one of your insecurities. Suddenly you can feel — and hear — the regular smacking of every bit of your body that, well, regularly smacks together. Even the slightest and most subtle glance can evoke a sense of deep shame. Don’t drive somebody to throw themselves off the nearest StairMaster — keep your eyes to yourself at all times. No exceptions!
Wear & tear
Fashion, grunting and sweat very rarely look good together…well, at least when you’re combining all three at the gym. Although it may feel like one, the treadmill is not a runway, so leave your designer duds and bling at home. If you’re working out, chances are you’ve got jigglies, dimples, and bulges in all the wrong places, and you’ll be way too distracted to remember to suck anything in. Don’t wear sexy t-shirts, mini-skirts or pumps and please leave those too-many-karats-for-the-gym diamond drop earrings at home. You know what one of those does if it falls into the gears of an elliptical? It ruins our workout.
If you’re expelling loogies as you’re doing laps, it’s time to go home. If you’re hacking swine flu on the medicine ball, not even Dr. Kevorkian will be able to help you escape the wrath of your fellow gym-mates. Oh, what’s that – you’ve got allergies? Well, guess what — we don’t want to catch those, either. If there’s a chance you’re going to fleck flem on something or someone else, stay away. And don’t give us that lame line about you not being contagious anymore. In case you’ve forgotten, cooties are symptom-less.