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Health club etiquette part two

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EB

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Notice how no one is peeking in or disrupting this dance class. Well done! Photo courtesy of Terriko on flickr.

Going to the gym or taking Park District classes this week? Then read this, yes, even if you've been going for 10 years. Some of the most inconsiderate health club patrons are those who think they know what they're doing, but invariably annoy others with their actions. Like the guy who sweats all over the treadmill.
I don't care if you're working out at the Y, the Broadway Armory, or the East Bank club -- demonstrate some basic courtesy.

Five More Tips -- Gym Etiquette:


  • Don't be a looky-loo. You're walking past the dance studio, see a bunch of people bouncing around, and wonder, "What's going on in there?" and you go to the door. You peek in. You stare. And stare.
    This is only slightly less creepy than a 40-year man hanging out at the schoolyard. Stop staring. If you must know what's going on, genius, there's this thing called a "schedule" and they have one at the front desk.
  • Don't join in. Looky-loos who stare, then decide, "Looks like fun! I'm in!" suck. It's bad form to join a class late; even worse if you really don't know what you're doing. Go see that schedule, and....
  • Read the class description before attending. If it specifies "intermediate" or "previous experience required" do not attend if you haven't done this before. And I don't mean two years ago. I mean, like, last week. You'll injure yourself. And the instructor, if s/he is a good one, will not disrupt the whole class to focus on the arrogant newbie who decided to give Advanced Twisting a try. 
  • Dress for the occasion. Jeans at the gym are just as bad as jeans at a black-tie event, and just as disrespectful. You can't work out properly when you're constricted. Street clothes at the gym scream, "I have no idea what I'm doing!"
  • Stay for the whole class. Leaving early is bad form, but also bad for your body. You're missing the cool-down that was designed to keep you, ideally, pain-free.If you're in pain, you get a pass. But if you're cutting out early to make it home for "Idol," well, you're just plain rude. 

Story: One of my worst workout experiences combined pretty much all of these no-nos. Two female passers-by STARED into my dance class for 30 minutes and decided to give it a try. Their attire? Jeans and sweaters and street shoes (not gymshoes). They planted themselves right next to me, but couldn't follow along (surprise) and ended up blocking my view (and the views of others) the whole time. Sure enough, they walked out before the cool down. Let's hope they were sore enough to not barge in again!

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5 Comments

sanford solvene said:

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I think it's also the responsibility of the instructors and the gym mgt to lay down the rules. These rules should be posted outside the door. Also, if the door shut, then class has started - attend the next one. If someone comes in late or is disturbing, then the instructor should say something to them.

EB said:

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Sanford -- you're 100% right, but the problem is most gyms DO publicize the rules/guidelines, and the patrons just ignore them, willy-nilly. Many gyms won't say anything to offenders because they're afraid of losing one member (but okay with pissing off 100 others).

And, agreed, the instructor needs to say something. Very few do.

Iapetus999 said:

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Umm...how am I supposed to not sweat on the treadmill? I can't exactly leave the sweat at home.
The thing I sweat the most on is the stairclimber for some reason. Sorry.
And a couple times I've left class early...cause I was done. No point just sitting around while everyone else is working hard. Better just to leave.

EB said:

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Iapetus - what to do re: sweat *on* the treadmill will be forthcoming. I probably worded it poorly...I don't mean you (the exerciser) shouldn't sweat...I mean when a club member drips sweat on the machine, you walk up to it, and...eww. There's sweat (spit?) everywhere.

Lauren Strec said:

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Yeah, people! Spray it and wipe it up!!! There's a reason clubs provide the cleaners. This entry made the "Hot Blogs" on today's 'Hot on ChicagoNow:"
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/hot-on-chicagonow/2010/01/hot-on-chicagonow-january-5-2009.html

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