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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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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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