When you buy a gym membership, you enter a community. As is true for every community, there are certain rules and customs that apply also at the gym, defining the relations between its members. There is an unwritten code of conduct – a gym etiquette, if you will. With that said, how do you avoid making a faux pas and become adept at deftly navigating this fit-reality?
Start on a ‘hi’ note!
It may not seem like much, but it goes a long way. After a few visits to the club, you’ll notice that everyone says ‘hi’ to each other as they enter the locker room. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they all know one another. This is a typical gym custom that helps form bonds in the community which you are now part of. So don’t forget to throw the good old ‘hi’ at everyone as you enter the locker room – even if you don’t know anyone. You’ll see how positively people respond to it.
Also, don’t forget that all club members are equals. So don’t be surprised when someone calls you by your first name. In fact, you should address others like that as well. This isn’t a sign of disrespect, but rather a way to get rid of unnecessary barriers.
Mind the weights
Let’s be honest here, a good workout creates a mess. Cross-fit enthusiasts or practitioners of giant sets know that particularly well. And there’s nothing wrong with that – if your training plan has you performing giant sets that combine several pieces of equipment, you don’t necessarily have to put away your dumbbells after each finished set. Get the most you can from your workout. After all, a gym is there to help you push your limits as effectively as you can. Keep in mind, though, that others have a similar goal. If you’re done using a given piece of equipment, put it back where it goes and let others use it. Clean up as you go along, so that others can exercise safely. This brings us to what you should do if someone is still using this one machine you need…
Do you sometimes let another vehicle into your lane when stuck in traffic, in what is known as a “zipper merge”? It’s a recognized fact that doing this eases congestion and causes traffic to run smoother. A fitness club is no different. If someone wants to join in to use a machine with you, and it doesn’t disrupt your workout – let them. Lending equipment “for one set” helps build good relations, meet new people and efficiently go through our workout. So if someone asks you to scooch over with your mat, don’t take it as an attack. You can also ask this of someone and it will never be seen as a bad thing.
The locker room
Flip-flops and a towel – they sound like obvious things, but we still manage to forget them. Exercise with a towel, as it will go a long way towards keeping the machines clean and prolonging their life cycle. Should you happen to forget something, you can always buy it from a vending machine. Once you’re done with your workout, wipe the equipment clean and you’re free to go to the locker room, and once you get there… keep the place clean, too. Don’t leave empty bottles or trash in the lockers. Also, don’t forget your flip-flops when you go to take a shower. A quick change of clothes, a ‘see you’ to your fellow members and it’s finally time to eat.
The post-workout meal is often the most anticipated meal of the day. Rather than scarfing down cold chicken from a tupperware container in the locker room, go to the relaxation zone instead. You’ll find one in every CityFit location. There, you can heat up your meal, recharge yourself and your phone, and just relax. Remember to clean up after yourself.
Should I say something or not?
Exactly. It’s likely that on more than one occasion you’ve wondered if you should say something to people behaving inappropriately in the club. You must be thinking: ‘that’s not my job’. But remember, we are all part of a community and we should all care about creating a pleasant training experience. Keep in mind that the way you choose to resolve the situation is very important. If you prefer to avoid such confrontations, report the issue to the Gym Assistant. And what about comments on correct exercising techniques? Here we have to be careful not to cross the line and appear overzealous.
Remember that being a club member isn’t only about your commitments. Indeed, it’s more about your privileges. Feel at ease. Take advantage of everything that the club offers. If you need advice, don’t be shy and ask our Gym Assistant. If you think that something could be improved, share your thoughts with the club Manager.