Gym Etiquette, LEARN IT!

Since coming off of my summer break and teaching full time my workout schedule has changed. This year my 5 year old son Jett is attending Kindergarten at my school so he rides to work with me in the morning. I absolutely love it! Since I am driving him in the morning I am no longer able to train in the early AM like I did this whole last year.

I am back to night workouts. I usually arrive at around 5pm and the problem is, so does the rest of the world. Gone are the days of free machines and no congestion. There have been lots of new faces, nice and with attitude.

Typically before I jump onto something I will stand there for a min or two waiting to see if someone is using the area, I might even try to scope out the machine or weight before I go over to it. Needless to say this last week I apparently didn't wait long enough and had a young man call me a fu**ing duchebag as he walked away from me.

I have never been called a name at the gym before and certainly not disrespected in such a manner. I decided I needed to go and talk with this kid and find out exactly what happened. As I confronted him he said that he had asked me to move and that was his area. I pointed out that I had my headphones in and did not hear him and that maybe tapping me on the shoulder would have worked better.

After he realized I wasn't intentionally trying to invade his space, he apologized and said he overacted. You think? He is lucky it was me and not some other guy who would have punched him.

There is always going to be the exception like in this situation but overall I have had good gym experiences and developed many friendships within the gym. Here are a few tips that have helped me to have better experiences in the gym.

1. Ask? If you are not sure that someone is using a piece of equipment, ask. I know mind blowing. ;-) If they are you might even ask if you can work in with them. Most people aren't going to be jerks and let you work in.

2. Share-If you see someone eyeballing the machine your on, or my favorite standing by you as you are working out, offer for them to work in with you. If they want to they will if not they will get the point that you didn't sign the observation sheet for them to watch you and they will wonder off.

3. Be courteous- Smile, don't bulldoze your way through a crowd like your an NFL fullback trying to break into the end zone.

4. Offer advice if wanted- How often has the jacka** who thinks they are the expert offers advice to you or the attractive girl where they just want her number? You can tell when people are sincere and when they really are teachable and those whom you may learn a thing or two from. Often people will ask you for advice. Be honest and detailed, and hopefully quick. After all you are there to work out and not offering a class on weight training.

5. Wipe machines off- there is always the sweaty guy who leaves a pool on the bench before you and you have to clean it off. You don't want people to be nice to you at the gym.... don't do this one.

6. Don't gauk- Yes there are people there that want attention that are looking for a significant other. If your not there for those reasons it's not a big deal but if you are. Don't make it so obvious by staring at the person making them feel uncomfortable or maybe like they need to file a restraining order. If you are hitting it off with someone, go find someone else to talk besides on the machine I am waiting for. ;-)