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Gym Etiquette: How Not to be a Meathead

Gym Etiquette: How Not to be a Meathead

    Being courteous.  Polite.  Mindful of others.  These things seem like common sense in any type of workplace environment.  So what happens to people when they step through the doors of a gym?  It seems that all these things get thrown out the window.  Most gyms have their own rules about these things.  But shouldn’t we as fully functional adults have the common decency to behave conscientiously without the rules?  What may seem obvious to some may not be so obvious to others.  Trust me —  I’ve seen them all.   It’s time for a change.

    Wear Sneakers: Not sandals, not boots, not loafers, and certainly not the shoes you wore to work this morning.  If you’re going to work out, do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair of sneakers.  Chuck Taylors are my favorite.

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    Appropriate Clothing: You don’t have to cover yourself from head to toe but please stop wearing these ridiculous tank tops, t-tops, and spandex shorts.  Other people would like to work out on the same equipment as you.  It would be nice to have peace of mind knowing that I will not be coming in contact with something that your flesh just became intimately involved with.  On the other end, if working out in a corporate facility, don’t workout in the clothes you came to work in this morning.  It seems a bit silly to me that someone would go through the trouble to hit the gym during their lunch break, but not have the common sense to bring a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  (Please also remember to wash them on occasion.)

    Ditch the Aftershave: It’s a gym, not a night club.  Keep the sex panther at home.  The need for fresh air in a gym environment is critical.  The last thing you want to do is pollute the air of hard working individuals.  The ladies will forgive you; I promise.

    But Wear Deodorant: It’s the hardest conversation a gym owner will ever have.  One of their patrons has extremely kicking BO, and none of their passive aggressive attempts at letting them know has worked.  You smell.  Everybody smells, especially when they workout.  Do yourself and others a favor, and just put a little deodorant on.  You can wash it off right after if you don’t like it.

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    Wipe Down Machines: That big sweaty imprint you just left on the incline bench?  Get rid of it.  I don’t care how you do it, just make sure it’s not there when it’s my turn to use the bench.  I’m pretty sure, by law, most gyms have to provide some sort of antibacterial spray for just such causes.  Find out where it’s kept, and use it.

    Put Weights and Equipment Away: Put it right back where you found it.  It blows my mind how many people go to the gym, the ultimate “I’m not lazy” thing to do, yet they leave a trail of clutter everywhere they go.  Remember when you were little and your mom taught you how to put your toys away?  Use those skills.

    Don’t Drop Weights: Simple. If you have to drop them, they’re too heavy.  Please, everyone in the gym does not need to know how much weight you just lifted.  Alerting people of your strength by crashing weights to the floor is not an appropriate way to gain attention.  It might work in the jungle of Congo but not in the gym.

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    Respect People’s Privacy: It might not seem like a private atmosphere but a lot of people would just rather tune out when they’re at the gym.  Learn the signs.  If someone is reluctant to respond to your conversation with normal social cues of interest, please just leave them be.  It’s not that they don’t like you.  Some people just need to be left alone when they are working out.  By the way, headphones usually equal “don’t talk to me”.

    Ask Before Using: Be aware of what pieces of equipment people are using.  If I want to go get a drink of water at the fountain it would be nice if I didn’t have to mark my territory before I left.  In the same respect, don’t camp out on any one piece of equipment like a lion over a fresh kill.  If you’re not using it, leave it.

    Be a Pal: Don’t be afraid to help people out once in a while.  Especially if they ask for it.  Give a stranger a spot.  Hold doors where applicable.  Help re-rack weights.  It won’t cause you any harm to go out of your way once in a while for someone who may only be an acquaintance.

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    It’s time that decent, civilized, well-mannered people take over the gym.  The Stone Age is over, people.  The gym can be ours now.  The meathead is endangered and it’s time that he be retired for good.

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    How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

    How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

    Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

    But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

    Sight – Visual Stimulation

    The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

    1. Maximize your exposure to light.

    Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

    Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

    2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

    Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

    Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

    Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

    3. Take note of your environment.

    Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

    By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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    Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

    What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

    4. Engage in conversation.

    Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

    Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

    Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

    Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

    5. Listen to upbeat music.

    Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

    Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

    Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

    If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

    6. Work your nose.

    Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

    If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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    Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

    Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

    If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

    7. Have a good breakfast.

    Start off with the most important meal of the day.

    Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

    Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

    Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

    20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

    8. Drink lots of water.

    Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

    So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

    How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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    Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

    3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

    9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

    Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

    Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

    Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

    25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

    Touch – Tactile Stimulation

    Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

    10. Splash cold water on your face.

    Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

    This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

    5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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    11. Use acupressure.

    Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

    Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

    12. Get moving.

    Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

    And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

    You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

    Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

    Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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