Or as I like to call it, Sweatiquette.

Words by

Eliza Sholly

So you’ve acknowledged your alarm, made it out of bed and actually walked through those gym doors. Congratulations! the hard part is over! (Especially if your gym is next to a supermarket, like mine.)

Once inside, however, you’re often blessed with insight into a whole new facet of human behaviour. And it can be a little disturbing.

Fair enough, I was no Steph Claire Smith when I first joined the gym, however there are some people that just don’t ‘get’ it. 

I’m not talking about wiping down equipment and remembering to BYO towel – those are just common courtesies. I’m talking about those people that entirely disregard any fraction of gym etiquette. So from one gym-goer to another, please give these a thorough read: 

Dress to Bench-press

There is an age-old debate among my friends about loose v baggy clothes while working out. I say it’s totally a personal preference, but make sure you dress for comfort. While it feels good to look good, if you’re planning on sweating, maybe ditch the rayon mesh zip-front bomber for something a little more practical. Also men, please wear something under those too-short footy shorts. I can see your balls.

Respect the headphones 

Although the music played at the gym is the total worst, there’s a more pressing reason why we’re wearing headphones to the gym. Like any other circumstance in life, headphones are a universal way of saying, “do not talk to me.” Please understand and respect that. Don’t be the guy that approaches every sweaty man and woman, resulting in an awkward smile and nod because we literally have no idea what you’re saying. 

Personal boundaries exist 

Picture me, enjoying my endless space of floor, pretending to know what stretch is doing what. Then abruptly, I hear the breath of another person to my left. This person has literally planted their mat inches away from my face. They’ve clearly ignored the vast amount of empty floor space they could have taken, deciding to set up camp in the closest possible proximity to me. This person is on a whole new level of annoying - kind of like the person who sits across from you on public transport, even when the entire carriage is empty. Just, why?

Keep it down

Is this a tennis match between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova? No? Well with the grunting noises you are making, I could have guessed otherwise. We get it, weights are heavy, and you have to lift them from Point A to Point B. But making near-sexual noises between those two points? Totally not necessary. 

Tread lightly

I could write a whole piece on treadmill etiquette alone. Firstly, to the people who talk on the phone while running at full pelt, you are ridiculous. This is a quick way to be hated by the other people running in the same room. We are all sharing a small space, so please take the phone call elsewhere. Plus, if you can run on a treadmill while maintaining a conversation, quit the gym game and join Australia’s Got Talent. 

Hopefully that clears up a few grey areas some of you may have had. Honestly, gym etiquette is simple – just be respectful of those around you and your selfies will feature on a #fitspo account in no time. 

Illustration by Twylamae who also draws Seinfeld characters on T-shirts.

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