Don’t Be That Person At the Gym


I’m a huge fan of the gym. No, incorrect; I am a huge fan of our brand new YMCA. Not only is it only five minutes from our home, but it’s amazing. I’ve never been a gym person. I like yoga, but I’ll take classes or work out at home – until the first week of May when the YMCA opened and everyone began raving about it. We joined, and now I’m 7 weeks into my 6 day-a-week gym habit. No, I’m not trying to lose weight and no, I’m not trying to become a body builder. I’m a work-from-home mom with four small kids; and it is summer vacation.

The YMCA offers 90 minutes per day of free childcare in their very awesome Kid Zone, and they have a great pool area with life guards (because swimming with four kids isn’t fun without a second set of eyes and hands and everything else while my husband is at work during the day). The perk of going to the YMCA is my kids getting to bother someone else play with other kids, have fun and really enjoy themselves as well as me feeling so much more energized. On that note, I have to say that I’m still learning the rules and the etiquette that comes along with being a “gym” member. On that note, I thought I might share a few with you so that you, too, know how to behave in a gym – it seems that not that many people actually know.

Get off the phone

I may or may not have made up this rule, but I like it. I love the leg press machine – I’ve always had very muscular legs from being an athlete growing up. It seems to be one of the more popular machines, and I’m always watching it so I can grab it when it’s free and there is no one waiting. Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me feel as annoyed as watching someone sit down on that machine and play on their phone when they are not working out. Get off and go home. You can sit on your couch with your phone and scroll social media – I want to work out.

Wipe the machines down

But for the love of all things kind, don’t take the spray with you when you do it. Spray the towel right there and put the spray back. I cannot stand when I’m waiting on the spray and someone else takes it to their machine and stands there with it. In addition to that, I’m fairly certain it’s recommended you spray the towel and not the machine.

Don’t overuse the time

Listen, if you are in the gym alone and there are 20 free treadmills, by all means continue running past the 30-minute time limit on the machine. However, if I am working out and my husband wants to run on the treadmill with me but there is only one available, obey the time limits. I was floored when my husband and I went to work out together recently and he let me have the one available treadmill while he hit some other machines and the machine next to me with a woman walking clearly read, “53 minutes” on the timeframe even though 30 is the limit. Um…there are no more available, GET OFF!

Don’t stare

Listen, I get that some people want to stare at other people at the gym. The guy with the arms the size of my SUV is impossible not to ogle because, well, I’ve never seem arms like that and I’m a little curious when his massive veins will bust out of them. The exceptionally cute workout outfit gets a glance, and the people jumping from the floor onto that platform feet up in the air are always stare-worthy. But please, ladies and gentleman, don’t stare just to ogle. My husband enjoys his workouts with me a lot less when he notices that men are staring at me. He feels that it’s rude and annoying (even though I think he secretly enjoys it since it makes him feel like he has an attractive wife). But really, don’t watch other people – it is creepy.

Keep your advice to yourself

I know that you might know more about working out that me but if I wanted a personal trainer, I’d hire one. There are fitness professionals trolling the gym at my local YMCA who are happy to point out how to use a machine, what you might be doing incorrectly that might cause you to injure yourself or whatever – but no one wants unsolicited advice from a stranger.

Be kind in group classes

Twice a week a group of my girlfriends and I participate in a Body Pump class because we enjoy feeling like we might die the burn. Nothing is more irritating than when people load up on the weights during a full class because they “aren’t sure” what they want to use for any particular set and leave nothing but the heaviest for everyone else. On that note, personal space is always a good thing.

Photo by Getty Images


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