Be polite. Be courteous. Wipe down your machines.
However, if you have been going to a gym for an extended period of time your subconscious has no doubt become aware of certain unwritten rules that are never spoken of. These are the rules that every gym member knows, yet they are never mentioned.
What are these unwritten rules of the gym?
Rule #1 - Keys mean the equipment is occupiedIf you see a set of keys anywhere in the vicinity of a piece of equipment you immediately know that the machine is occupied.
You look around and nobody appears to be in plain view. Don't think you are safe just yet.
Big bro Joe is around the corner doing the first half of a superset. Keys signify that he will return to this machine sometime in the next 1-40 minutes.
In short, keys generally mean: sorry bro but this machine is occupied. [imagemap id="12040"]
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Rule #2 - Towel on a bench means this space is reservedThe nature of this unwritten rule is similar to number one. However, a towel is more likely to imply this person is strictly using this one machine but either:
a) Is at the water fountain or
b) that pre-workout kicked in and he's in the middle of an intra-workout bathroom sessionEither way this bench is reserved buddy, so unless you want to throw down with the bro down, find a new piece of equipment.
Rule #3 - No talking during the middle of a setFor most people this is common sense. There are still individuals that think it's perfectly permissible to interrupt your set. You know the people I'm talking about here.
You're in the middle of a set of curls and out of nowhere comes a dude who not only blocks your view of the mirror but has the audacity to ask you how many sets you have left. Can't you see I'm lifting here bro?
Rule #4 - Headphones means I don't want to be botheredHeadphones in the gym mean one thing.
I don't want to talk to you.
If I wanted to have a lengthy conversation I wouldn't be listening to the new Drake album on full-blast. Headphones are a polite way of saying please leave me alone I need to lift some damn weight here.
Ha! Little does he know we're not even listening to music! I'd talk to him, but all his does is curl is the squat rack.
Rule #5 - Re-rack your weightsThis is not a complicated idea here folks. There are designated spots for the 30 pound dumbbells you have been curling for the last 90 minutes. So why is it that you insist on putting the 30's in the 60's position?
You have officially disrupted the entire weight continuum and started a chain reaction where every single weight eventually ends up in the wrong place on the rack. Now nobody will ever be able to properly find the weights ever again.
Rule #6 - Don't be a weight hoarderInstead of taking one set of dumbbells at a time off the weight rack, they insist on encircling themselves with endless dumbbells. This creates a sort of landmine effect making it extremely difficult to walk past.
Even more annoying is the fact that you can't get one single set in because Joe Bro is guarding the weights with his life. This is worse than those people on TV that hoard dead cats in their closet for years.
Rule #7 - Wipe off your benchSome people find it perfectly acceptable to slobber all over the bench like a Great Dane. This makes you wonder if there is a severe leak from the ceiling directly above that bench.
Some guy just decided to sweat all over the bench profusely for over an hour and did not clean up one single ounce of sweat.
Rule #8 - Wear proper attireAgain, this seems like it should be common sense. However, I still see guys wearing flip flops around the gym while benching 100 pound dumbbells.
A part of me is just hoping and waiting for this guy to drop these weights on his bare foot. I also have a difficult time understanding why someone would wear sunglasses inside the gym. At night.
So unless you think you're that kid from the movie Big Daddy and you're wearing sunglasses so that nobody can see how bad your form is, take them off. This isn't the World Series of Poker buddy.
Rule #9 - Don't critique someone's form unless they're smaller than youIf you go up to a guy deadlifting 500 pounds and attempt to correct him on his form, this likely won't end up well. On the other hand, if some newbie is swinging around 25 pound dumbbells in a dangerous manner you may save his life Or at least his rotator cuff.
Hand out advice accordingly.
Rule #10 - Use proper locker room mannersFirst off, don't use the hand dryers to dry off your sweaty balls. This mainly applies to our elderly gym members who for whatever reason do not give two shits about their goods being on full display for everyone to view.
Also, as Towelie always says: "Don't forget to bring a towel."
These Gym Rules Should Not Be BrokenThe unwritten rules of the gym are simple to follow but you must be aware of them. Get caught violating them and you will have problems with fellow gym-goers.
Abide by them and there will be no issues. Just remember that not all rules are stated on a wall. Some rules such as these are not made to be broken.
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