Is one of your new year's resolutions to go the gym more often? It is for me. And because tonight is the night that I am crossing off my goal of "hitting the gym more than 5 times this month" - I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts on exercise etiquette. So here are some big ole fat DON'Ts when it comes to your local workout facility...cause after all, if you get shunned there, your weight loss goals are down the crapper.
KATIE's TOP 10 GYM FAUX PAS
#1 Do not leave sweaty equipment.
Go ahead - get your sweat on! Drip that salty perspiration all over the elliptical. We don't mind. But please do not get off the machine and walk away forever. Nobody wants to climb all over your wet treadmill and gag while trying to ignore the puddle you left. We see where that sweat has been and we don't want anywhere near it. Grab a paper towel and wipe it off the machine. Sure, we know slopping it up isn't the same as applying anti-bacterial (or buckets of bleach) but not slipping when we grab the side bars makes us feel a little bit better.
#2 Do not stare people up and down.
This is not the time to evaluate whether your butt is as big as a fellow exerciser...sure, a quick glance is fine but do not try to count the cellulite pockets on the back of a person's thighs for comparison purposes. People are in the gym to lose weight and get fit, not so that they can feel intimidated by the masses. Stop staring.
#3 Do not sing along with your ipod or talk loudly on your cell.
You would think that most people know that ears still work even when legs are moving...but still, it happens. I am jamming out to Britney...please don't sing Justin out loud. Not only are you butchering the song, but it's a painful reminder of their breakup. And when the phone rings, hit ignore or run into the locker room to talk...I bet you'll burn like ten calories on the way there. Some people gotta get a certain mojo going to offset the box of girl scout cookies they inhaled at lunch and hearing the conversation about your recent gynecology visit is a sure fire way to unhealthy calorie loss...aka bulimia.
#4 Do not wear a thong on the outside of your clothing.
Never is this ok. Never. It is time to move on. The 80's are long gone. The cold war is over. Ronald is not the president. We all miss the Cosby show. Denise Austin put the leotard thongs away - so should you. I swear you'll barely miss them. Bonus points - it'll make bathroom breaks so much easier.
#5 Do not leave the free weights on the machine.
Leaving your six hundred pounds on the leg press is just rude people. Not only do we have to pull a muscle to remove the weights but you are reducing the amount of time we can watch reality TV. And that is a punishable offense. Men are generally the guilty party for this one...so girls, try to remind them that it is a good thing to clean up after themselves. Try "Wow - I noticed your arm muscle really pops out when you lift free weights onto the machine - could I see that again?" It works like a charm :)
#6 Do not disrespect my personal space.
Know that little hook that holds the optional five pounder on the hamstring machine? Yea...it's not ok to reach over me while I am bent over in the downward facing dog position to grab that weight! And when you get on the treadmill
for the first time in your life, it is not ok to lean over into my treadmill space to see my settings. I almost fell. And when I am doing sit ups on the mat, do not grab my shoes to help hold me down. Anything that is attached to my body, that counts as my personal space. Including but not limited to shoes, shirts, hair, Ipod, earphones, and waterbottle (do not even think about me sharing!)
#7 Do not go topless or wear clothing that sags or that is too small or too short.
Boys and girls - shirts are a good thing...keep them on. I don't care if you have chiseled abs and a great rack. I don't care if you kept the sports bra on. I don't care if you wanna make sure your upper delts are bulging correctly. We don't wanna worry about a stray boob or the possibility of back hair falling onto the equipment - keep the shirt on. Also, girls, look in the mirror before you go to the gym...if you can see the cottage cheese (I have it too) through your clothing...it's time to change your outfit. And please do not wear short shorts on the abductor/adductor machines. Flashing cootchies are for drunk celebrities and for places called "Vaginas-R-Us".
#8 Do not forget to trade your bling for deodorant.
Don't wear your chains and your rings and your four-pound earrings into the gym. Maybe it's because I live near a city that appreciates a gold covered and diamond inlaid grill but when possible it is better to leave the bling at home. Primarily because then I don't have to worry about whether your Ethiopian inspired earlobes are going to tear under the great weight of your jewelry. Secondly because it will be much more comfortable than having your platinum pimp tags bang repeatedly on your chest while you run. Also, while you are stashing your clocks and dollar signs away, grab your antiperspirant. Wipe it on. And no, organic deodorant is not the same...
#9 Do not hit on people in the gym.
If I wanted to go to a meat market, I would have hit up Al's Butcher shop. I am here to work out. Please do not come up to tell me that your friend wants to know whether I am single or into Thai food or likes a 'good time'. I am married, I obviously eat only chocolate covered food and my idea of a good time is sleeping in a big bed...alone...till noon. Pleasant conversation is fine. A comment about the emblem on my tshirt is ok. Friendliness is welcome. But please respect the fact that I am not in a club or a bar or a single's activity group. I am here because I wanna be skinny to impress my girlfriends...ok?
#10 Do not use profane language.
For heaven's sakes - there are kids in here! And I think it is great that these fat children are there with their chubby parents trying to lose weight - and when I have kids, I will get their fatty butts in there too so please, please, please cut the foul language. Even if there is no kid around, and your ligaments feel like popping, it isn't nice to drop the F-bomb at the top of your lungs. Sure, I have been there. I feel like cussing when I am doing squats and busting blood vessels. But then I remember that I am there to get hot...and cussing is not hot. It can be ridiculously humorous in the right situation...but I just can't imagine Audrey Hepburn saying "mother-effer" upon finishing a jazzercise set.
So there you have it. My top ten DON'Ts for going to the gym. And I know that there are probably eight hundred more that could make the list. Can you tell that I am more irritable since I started working out? Or maybe it's the diet I have been thinking about starting...just the idea that I will have to go on one makes me cranky :) So what about you...what are the things that just drive you batty in the gym? Nakedness in the locker rooms? How about spitting in the pool? Spill it you guys...it might be something that I have been doing at LAFitness and need to fix!
(hope you enjoy my little past-life's sports modeling photos! Aren't they a hoot?!?!)