Advice from a gym worker
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 22:03
If there is one thing I’ve learned from working at two gyms for the past three years it’s that no matter which gym you go to, there will always be “that guy.”
“That guy” is the person who doesn’t know proper gym etiquette or is new and not sure how to navigate crowded gyms. Here are some tips to avoid this.
Always re-rack weights when you finish. Don’t make another member or an employee pick up after you. This is an easy way to earn a bad reputation. Do not drop the weights either. Although most gym floors are padded, it does ruin the floors and the weights. It’s also extremely obnoxious to everyone around you. You show maturity and more strength by bringing them down properly anyways.
Try your hardest to avoid grunting or making loud noises while exercising. When you are lifting heavy weights or really pushing yourself these are sometimes involuntary, but if you try you can muffle it to a volume that nobody will hear or be bothered by. Nobody likes a show off and whether or not you are trying to, that is how it will be perceived.
Wipe down equipment when you are done using it. You may not only be sweaty, but you may have germs that you don’t need to spread. Be considerate. Even if you have not broken a sweat yet, do it as members and employees watching will feel more comfortable. Depending where you are, you can actually be reported and have consequences for not wiping down machines. Spray the towel and not the machine directly as it is better for the machines.
Whether you go with friends or meet up with someone, do not hover. Young people are notorious for this. If you and a friend are sharing equipment, that is one thing. It’s not okay if you and sixteen other people are standing around in a crowd while one person exercises or is just sitting. If your friend just shows up and comes over to you while on a machine a quick conversation is fine. However, if you would like to have a long conversation just clean the machine, and walk away from it so others are not waiting.
If your gym requires you to sign up for cardio equipment do so. A lot of gyms require this and even if you don’t during slow hours you are being rude to anyone who shows up wanting to know when you will be done. It sounds ridiculous, but I have seen grown men and women engage in loud and violent behavior over this. Avoid the situation and just sign up if it’s required. The UConn Recreation Center does not have sign ups, but others do.
If you want to avoid a crowd go at the right times. On campus this is a huge concern as there are so many of us. The morning is really the best time. When they open is ideal. At a college gym there will not be many people around at 5 or 6 a.m.. At other gyms there will be more people this early but no crowds. Around 9 to 11 a.m. there are periodic large waves as people are waking up and attempting to get a work out in before their day begins. Depending on the gym these waves vary. On campus it should still not be too busy. Around noon to 2 p.m. it should not be too busy anywhere. Around 4 to 6 p.m. it will get busy as people are done with work or class. Most gyms die down after, but a college gym will be busy still from 6 to 8 p.m. After 8 p.m. there will be small waves, but nothing serious.
On the weekends there are different times to avoid. If you go very early on the weekend there will be nobody. If you go around 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. it will be busier. College gyms will not be so busy until around 11 a.m. or noon. If there are holidays or anything special about that weekend attendance will be down. Afternoons on weekends are generally not busy. It will be dead late afternoons and at night.