Article care of Don Lemmon
So ladies, you've been training for some time now at the same gym. You're feeling good and making progress. You actually enjoy every workout now and you even have the girl at the front counter feeding you compliments with each visit. In a sense, you feel like you got a little bit of poll going on and this can be a good thing if you use it to your advantage in a smart way. BUT, it can also start to work against you if you're not careful about the way in which you carry yourself.
It's common knowledge that the way in which we present ourselves, even if it is only in the gym, really can make a difference in the way that others perceive us. Sometimes, we fall prey to behaving in a way that we feel is acceptable simply because we are on a ego trip and we don't even realize it!
We become so self absorbed into our training and our recognizable status that we fail to acknowledge the fact that either our gym etiquette or our training rituals have become annoying to all of those around us! In both a serious and humorous manner, I have put together a summary of several unacceptable 'GYM CRIMES' that YOU may or may not be guilty of. Yes, that's what I said, 'criminal-like' behavior in the gym? The only way to know what I'm talking about is to simply read on! Note: this list was not meant in any way to be offensive, but rather to serve as what I like to call 'eye openers' for you, or anyone guilty of these gym etiquette crimes!
To begin, let's discuss GYM HYGIENE. In a nutshell, good hygiene is a BIG deal. It really is ladies, especially in an environment filled with germs just waiting to attack. Practicing good hygiene habits will not only keep you from getting sick, but it will also save you from potentially uncomfortable and embarrassing infections. Here are a few points to keep in mind regarding good hygiene practices at the gym. "Germs, Germs, Germs AND more Germs! THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!"
FIRST. I don't care how new the facility that you train in is or how often you see the staff cleaning or wiping down the gym equipment, "ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER YOU WORK OUT!" I absolutely can not emphasize enough how important good gym hygiene habits are. The gym is, without a doubt, one of the biggest germ and bacterial infested places you can be in. Just think about it, from the early am hours, to whatever time your gym closes, people are coming and going all day and everyday! Not even the best cleaning crew in town can keep all the equipment 100% germ free 24 hours a day. It's just not feasible. So ladies, PLEASE wash your hands after each workout if you want to avoid illness. And keep this also in mind, it's not just weight machines that carry germs, but what about that pen you use to sign in with each visit, and how about those change room and bathroom door handles? And what about that water fountain that you keep running back and forth to? This takes us to my next tip.
SECOND. When it comes to drinking water during a workout, DRINK FILTERED BOTTLED WATER. If you don't have any, then see to it that the water fountain you're drinking out of at the gym has been through an effective and safe sanitation process. Again, it's better to be safe than sorry folks. I'll bet that there's been times when you were feeling partially ill after a work out and it didn't even occur to you that it may have been from all that tap water you were drinking at the gym in between sets.
THIRD. Even though we are told and reminded often to bring a towel with us to the gym, very rarely do I see people carrying them. Come on ladies, be courteous to others, ALWAYS WIPE UP AFTER YOURSELF. No one wants to use equipment that's been marinated in someone else's bodily fluids. And besides, what if the next person to use the equipment that you were just on happens to be the last person on earth that you would have wanted it to be? Yeah, you know yourself who it might be... So ladies, save yourself from a very embarrassing moment and wipe up!
ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR.
If you are someone that claims to not care what others are thinking about you, quit lying to yourself and consider this. If you are going to the gym for any other reason than to workout, then you really don't belong there. It's that simple. Yes, it's true that most gyms are for everyone, but this means for everyone who is serious about their training. People who go to the gym for reasons other than to workout usually are guilty of displaying what I like to call "ATTENTION SEEKING" rituals. Yes, every gym has them. Ladies, you know who I'm talking about. The annoying 'dressed to impress', bronzed gym chatter bugs. Those who will do almost ANYTHING to make sure their presence is known. If you know that you are guilty of any of the following Six Attention Seeking rituals, THEN STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!
FOR MEN - Ladies, please, we go to the gym to
pick up weights, NOT MEN!! If this is a ritual
of yours, why don't you try really getting into
a steady workout program and you'll soon realize
that to feel good about yourself, you don't need
to be on a manhunt 24/7. The confidence that you
will accumulate from working out and feeling good
will eventually have the men coming to you, wherever
you go! High self esteem and confidence in a woman
is definitely refreshing these days.
2. THONG WORKOUT WEAR - Quick, somebody call the fashion police! Ladies, if your gym attire consists of a thong bottom, it's time to redeem yourself. The days of Jamie Lee Curtis workout wear are long over! The serious folk are always the first to point out that if you are guilty of this attention seeking ritual, then YOU are 'lost in the 80's'. Sometimes, tight spandex just isn't the way to go either. Think twice ladies about what you choose to workout in. Choose comfortable clothing, like a T-shirt and shorts, preferably cotton as it will allow you to move better while you perform all your exercises. But hey, if tight spandex is what you're comfortable in, then wear it. But remember this, sometimes people can be real cruel and some of them have no problem in letting you know this. So, if you know that emotionally, you're really sensitive, then it might be a good idea to choose workout wear that you know won't draw attention.
3. OVER TANNING - Okay ladies, a nice healthy complexion with a little color is always nice, but looking like a live replica of an Oscar award is just plain wrong! Being bronzed is great if you're lying on the beaches of Jamaica, but in a gym full of people training hard, is a sure cry for attention (especially when it's the winter time). Besides, tanning too often can be dangerous to your health. I know that I'm not the first to bring this fact to your attention, so wise up ladies and don't be afraid to just be yourself. However, if you do insist on tanning, please take the following tanning tips into consideration: Never tan if you are without eye protection or without a lotion best suited for your skin sensitivity. Make sure your tanning package is reviewed and approved by both your doctor and the staff members at the facility that you choose to tan in. This is why most states regulate tanning bed exposure times. Check too, exposure times also vary with each brand of bed, so! make sure you are following the manufacturer's guidelines. And always be sure to use your T.J. Clark Minerals!
4. LOUD GRUNTING & MOANING - All right, this one is a classic. Ladies, Ladies, Ladies, if this is you, I must say it's excellent that you're really serious about your training and working real hard to meet goals, but there's no reason to announce it to the rest of the world. You might as well get up and yell out loud, "Look at me everyone, look at me! HEY!!!! I SAID LOOK AT ME!" I mean working hard through a set and letting out a little exertion here and there is acceptable, but going out of your way to make sure everyone around you hears it is not. It becomes bothersome to most people trying to focus on their workout, and some will even leave because it's annoying. It's one thing to work hard, but to have to walk into a gym that reminds you of a maternity ward is another! Remember ladies, if your actions speak louder than words, sometimes those actions will be misinterpreted and are going to leave people with the wrong impression. Further, keep in mind that building muscle and putting on size is great if that is the goal you have set for yourself, but we are women. Just because we are putting on muscle or training with males doesn't mean we have to start behaving like them. Especially if they are the kind who strut around the gym and look like they've got basketballs under their armpits. Aren't those guys hilarious? There was this fella back home that used to always train back and walk around the gym trying to impress everyone by always spreading his lats, he thought the ladies loved it until one day this young girl asked him if his back was like that because of a birth defect. GETTING attention is flattering. SEEKING attention is unimpressive.
5. MAKE UP & BIG HAIR - All I have to say here is that if this is you, YOU MUST STOP! Save the make up and outrageous hair styles for the dance clubs. Further, if you're one of those who feel like they just can't do anything without makeup on, then you need to ask yourself what it is that you're really hiding from. I'm telling you that real beauty comes from within, so lose the make up and hair spray and just be yourself! I don't know of anyone that's really serious about their training who goes to the gym looking like Zsa Zsa or Eva Gabor. No one will take you serious if you're decked out to the max just to workout. Sorry, but that's the reality. And if you're doing it with the hopes of attracting men, the only thing they're really going to think is "Holy, High Maintenance."
6. GOSSIP - Okay, so I saved the most annoying for last. Ladies, NOBODY LIKES A GYM CHATTER BUG!! If you want to chat, save it for your spouse. And if that's not satisfactory enough, you can call any one of the hundreds of party lines that we see so often advertised on TV. Also, keep the rumors and what you might categorize as 'juicy gossip' to yourself because making a point of discussing other's personal business just tells us that you are so insecure with yourself that you have to take pleasure in trying to make others look bad. This is a clear signal to stop and re-evaluate who you are as a human being and ask yourself what right do you have to question other's behaviors, especially when you know darn well that nobody's perfect. What goes around, comes around.
Well ladies, I hope that these gym hygiene and etiquette tips were helpful to you. If you found yourself guilty of more than one of these behaviors, don't sweat it. It's NEVER too late to make changes and I encourage you to make your health a priority. Trust me, you'll feel better, look better and function better. You'll see!Don Lemmon's Nutritional and Exercise Know How