In order to lead healthy and successful lives, you have to keep yourself in shape. And, there is no better way to stay in shape than by going to the gym.
Working out burns fat, builds muscle, boosts energy levels, increases sex drive and augments self-confidence.
Gym memberships are becoming more popular than ever, and fitness clubs and athletic centers are thriving with new members every day.
That said, many people just don’t know how to appropriately act when they work out.
It’s a new, foreign and uninhabited terrain for some denizens, and they simply don’t realize there are certain protocols to follow.
Unbeknownst to many men and women, they break these protocols almost every time they set foot inside a gym.
So, listen up if you think you might be one of these offenders, or if you’ve never heard of such a thing as gym etiquette:
1. Re-rack your weights.
This is the first and most obvious rule. In fact, most gyms clearly have signs posted about racking your weights after you're done using them.
I know it’s a pain sometimes, especially if you have 20 plates on your leg press machine, but it’s even more of a pain for the next person to un-rack them after you're done.
2. Don't yell.
Whether you're by yourself or with your buddy, yelling at the top of your lungs is never acceptable.
People don't need to scream when they are lifting weights. All too often, however, there is that proverbial meathead who wants everyone to know how much he can lift.
Look, I understand a few grunts here and there or a shout on the last rep of a 500-pound bench press, but screaming out like a tortured animal on every rep of a bicep curl is just ridiculous.
3. Don’t do exercises on the wrong equipment.
I'm not against doing bicep curls at all. I am, however, against doing them on a squat rack!
For one, you don’t need to be inside the rack to do curls; it’s completely unnecessary.
Secondly, you are taking the rack from other, more serious lifters.
But finally, and most importantly, you can’t possibly be using anywhere near the amount of weight that’s usually attached to the squat rack (i.e. 4-to-10 45-pound plates).
So, by having the Olympic bar hold two 10 pound plates, it just makes you look foolish and weak.
4. Wipe the machine if you’ve been sweating on it.
This is simple: If you sweat on a machine or use a machine while perspiring in any way, wipe it down!
5. Don’t go with all of your friends.
Going with your buddy to the gym is absolutely fine. However, like they say, “One’s company, two’s a crowd.”
Going with no more than one person — like two, three or even four of your friends — is not okay. This is clearly beyond the gym etiquette. Stop it!
6. Give people space.
Be courteous when you lift. Saddling up right next to a guy with two 100-pound dumbbells on his chestand doing lateral shoulder raises, or even jumping jacks, is not a good idea.
The guy doing the serious weight is already under a lot of stress; he doesn’t need you adding to it.
Give him at least 3 feet past your arm reach. This way, he can concentrate on the weights and not you accidentally dropping one on him.
7. Don’t be a machine hog.
If you’re doing 20 sets on one machine, let others hop in between sets.
Don’t be a machine-hog and sit resting on machines while others wait, wait and wait some more in frustration.
If you see someone waiting for your machine, allow him or her to hop on and work while you rest.
That's it. Follow these rules, and enjoy your time at the gym. You may even notice people start to smile more and be more friendly to you when you follow these rules.
You will no longer have to walk around wondering why so many people are giving you dirty looks.
You can now successfully integrate yourself into the gym population. Enjoy!
This article originally appeared on givingshyguysgame.com