I go to the gym four times a week — no fail.
I don’t need to trick myself into going; I genuinely want to.
Some people may call me crazy, but what they don’t realise is I actually would be crazy if I didn’t get my weekly gym sessions in.
It’s my de-stressor.
That being said, there are a few things I see fellow gym goers doing that make my — and others’ — workouts less enjoyable.
If we’re all sweating together, we might as well have a little common courtesy for each other, right?
Here’s my beef.
1. Sitting on a machine and texting
Chances are you know what expression I’m referring to when I say work or get off the machine. The gym is a place to exercise, not a place to figure out what you’re doing after you finish exercising. There is nothing worse than being pulled out of your workout zone by someone who is on the machine you want to use — and they’re not even using it.
Plus, if you can text during your work out, you’re probably not working hard enough.
2. Grunting excessively
The other day I was running on the treadmill, listening to my music, minding my own business, when the man next to me started grunting — loudly. It was as if I had just stepped into one of Sharapova’s tennis matches. I get it, you’re working hard, but come on, grunting while jogging? Is that really necessary? If you’re benching your weight or more than fine, but even then keep it to a low roar.
3. PDA while working out
To all those couples who choose the gym as their PDA spot: why? Wouldn’t you rather save that for a time when you’re less sweaty (ie any time you’re not at the gym)? Personally, I like to work out alone, but if you need a little motivation and your significant other is the one you go to, great. All I’m asking is for you to take a break from the kissing, hugging, etc. for the hour you’re working out.
4. Taking up too much space
If your gym is anything like mine, it gets pretty crowded during peak workout times. So it’s always a good idea to use space wisely. That means if you’re doing planks on the mats, don’t sprawl out in between sets so that others can’t use the mat space around you. Or if you’re alternating between exercises that involve different types of equipment, make sure that equipment isn’t blocking others from getting anywhere near you.
5. Not putting equipment back where it belongs
Sometimes I spend half of my workout looking for weights rather than actually using them. People don’t come to the gym for a scavenger hunt, they come to exercise. So if you’re going to transport the 15-pound weights all the way to the other end of the gym, just be sure put them back when you’re done, so the next person who wants to use them can actually find them before their workout is over.
6. Wearing your street clothes to work out
Let me preface this by saying that you don’t need to have the latest and greatest gear to exercise in. You can wear your grandpa’s old swim trunks for all I care. But your street clothes? Do you really have a full radius of motion in those jeans — and do you really want to sweat in them? I can almost guarantee that you’d be more comfortable in stretchy cotton — trust me.
7. Wearing anything but athletic shoes on your feet
Yes, I’ve seen men working out in dress shoes. It’s very confusing to me since — sorry for stating the obvious — sneakers are designed specifically for working out and dress shoes are designed specifically for the office. And then there’s the fact that your street shoes are probably tracking in all kinds of dirt that the gym staff works so hard to keep out.
8. Going barefoot
As I just mentioned, your gym staff probably works hard to keep your gym clean. But it’s a gym, which is a place where people sweat — a lot — and there’s probably all kinds of bacteria on the floor that you don’t want to be picking up on the bottom of your feet. Plus, it’s a safety hazard with all that heavy equipment you’re surrounded by. If going barefoot is your thing, just use that as motivation to finish your workout, so you can leave the gym and return to your natural state.
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