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By JeffreyThurber

Ten rules to avoid being “that” person at the gym

1. Always ask

Ask if you can help if someone is using a gym etiquette roles machine. Do not reach up and grab a weightplate from the rack while someone is squatting. It is not only rude but also dangerous. You could knock someone squatting down or bench pressing under a heavier weight. This could prove to be fatal.

2. Do not forget to take your weight off.

It should be obvious, but this is the most important rule in the gym. You can earn extra points by putting a weight back where it belongs. Similar to the above, do not leave your weights on a hard surface. It’s not only rude but also dangerous. Have you ever fallen on a dumbbell weighing 50 kilos and lying in the middle the floor? It makes you appear like a huge tool. You can take it with you if you are able to pick it up.

Don’t also leave your machines loaded with hundreds of kilos. You can even leg press 500kg! Great! It’s great!

3. Keep your equipment where it belongs.

You may have seen a bench blocking your dumbbells when you walked into a weights room at a gym. This is a huge no-no. To put it another way: Do not drag a bench onto the deadlift platform. Do not deadlift in front the dumbbell racks. Do not attempt to lift weights anywhere but the deadlift platforms and other designated areas.

4. Take care of your surroundings

If you aren’t alert, gyms can become dangerous. Particularly at busy times of the day, it is important to pay attention to other patrons. Don’t do dumbbell kickbacks if you don’t check behind you. You might also find that gyms with poorly designed equipment have their plates loaded arms swinging out into the street. If you don’t look, you could be in for a headache.

You can be a true champion if you look out for fellow gym-goers.

5. Use a towel. It is important to use it.

Gyms are one of the most germ-ridden places. A study showed that 63% of gym equipment was positive for rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. Weight training equipment was more susceptible than cardio machines. Nonporous surfaces, such as steel weights, are a favorite habitat for viruses. Use that towel for your own protection and the safety of others.

6. Take care of yourself and other patrons.

Similar to the last point, if your towel gets wet or you have any other reason to leave sweat on an item of equipment, grab a paper towel and disinfectant spray (hopefully, your gym has it — if not hassle them) to help your fellow gym-goers. It won’t hurt to clean up any sweat on a piece of equipment or bench that you come across. (Shame on the other gym rats for being so disgusting.

7. Selfies: Be discreet.

We know that you want them, and we should encourage you to do so. They’re an excellent way to keep track of your progress. There are limitations. You can keep it in the locker rooms, or on quieter days, if you aren’t causing any inconvenience to other patrons. This is the general rule: Do what you like, but don’t interfere with anyone’s experience at the gym.

8. Respect your personal space.

You can’t reach a bench Monday night. Too bad. You shouldn’t be more than 20 cm from someone who has one and is ready to strike. It’s dangerous for you both and it can be deadly for the other person.

9. Do not hog the equipment.

This is subject to changing times of the day. However, it’s not a good idea to stay at one station for more than half an hour while others use it. You shouldn’t be occupying an equipment piece at a busy time. Don’t check Instagram while you wait. Everyone needs to sit down — no one should monopolize the rack at 6.00 PM on a Thursday night.

10. Do not engage in chitchat.

Many people find the gym a refuge and a haven. However, it is also a great place to socialize. Do not chit-chat with a friend or colleague at the gym.

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