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Author Topic: Gym Etiquette  (Read 40181 times)

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lilfox

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #60 on: June 25, 2010, 06:56:04 PM »
The pool: Don't swim fast in the slow lane, or slow in the fast lane.

Someone mentioned that it's not appropriate to dawdle in the lanes. They are for laps; lanes are usually set up with the majority of the pool open, so there's no need for that.  I think it's also important not to steamroll the people swimming slowly or hold up the people swimming quickly.  Usually there's a slow, medium and fast lane. It's good etiquette to choose the one for the speed you'll be swimming at.  Feel free to switch speeds and lanes if needed.
The gym I work for does not have speed lanes. There are dedicated lap swim lanes and the open area of the pool. I have no idea how I would gauge my speed, so if I want to swim (rare, I admit), I'll swim in the dedicated lap lanes no matter what. If it becomes too complicated to figure out where I should be, I just won't do it at all.
Well, if there are no designated speed lanes then people just have to do their best and share.  That's different than deliberately ignoring a speed sign.

You should feel free to swim in undesignated lanes at your comfortable swimming speeds.  This is not rude. :)

Edit: As long as you're still swimming laps in the lap lane then you're good to go. :)

Yesterday I had this option at the gym's 3 lane pool (no lap-speed rules and no open areas, just the 3 lanes):
Lane 1.  Two women, one giving the other one a "water familiarity" lesson (e.g. putting your face underwater, using a kickboard), occupying only the first 5 feet of the lane.  Not laps, but definitely swim-oriented and not a social chat.

Lane 2.  Woman slowly swimming laps/walking (she would switch to walking halfway through each length).

Lane 3.  Woman slowly swimming laps, primarily sidestroke with snorkeling fins on (the big ones, not the smaller training fins)

I swim laps at a moderate speed.  I chose Lane 2 because I didn't want to have to stop short every other length and obviously didn't want to run in to the standing people especially if one is not comfortable in the water, and I also didn't want to dodge the long fins in Lane 3.  I felt that, ideally, the woman in Lane 2 should have moved to Lane 1 to use the 90% of the lane that was free since she was walking the second half of her lengths and thus wouldn't need the last 5 ft.  But, Lane 2 was hers first so I would never ask (and she didn't move until the 2 people left - she moved right before I was going to).  I did feel bad for swooping by her every time, but that's my workout and I stayed on my half and didn't splash.

BTW, is there an etiquette rule on whether you should ask to share a lane?  I think you shouldn't surprise someone by joining their lane when you know they can't see you (when they're swimming away from you).  But I also don't think it should be required to ask to join the lane if, say, the person is at the far end taking a break, sees you approach the lane, and knows to expect you.  If the lapswimmer and the newcomer are at the same end, then I think it's just polite to mention/ask because the newcomer will basically be entering the pool very close to the lapswimmer's personal space.

VorFemme

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #61 on: June 26, 2010, 09:16:35 PM »
Gym clothes should not resemble the painted on swimsuit (I saw a photo in an issue of Sports Illustrated some years after I read about a similar "outfit" in Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil) - tight does not begin to describe "paint".

Gym clothes should cover more than a string bikini and some support for ANY part of your body (male or female) that needs to stay in place to avoid damage to you.  Distracting those around you is also a bad idea - because they can get hurt and, if someone drops something, so could you. 

Use the dressing area for dressing, the toilet area for that function, the shower area for showering, the whirlpool & sauna should NOT be clothing optional unless your gym agrees to that, and strongly smelling anything (lotion, soap, shower gel, etc.) is not a good idea.  This includes the strongly smelling cream that is supposed to relax your muscles.

Speaking of strong smells - your gym clothes should be laundered on a regular basis.  Depending on your exercise program, your age, how much you sweat, and your schedule......well, twice a day would be nice for the really sweaty - but interrupting the workout to launder clothes is asking too much.  Daily would be great.  Twice a week is good.  Once a week is the least you can do.  Please don't go more than a week.......

Don't stay within an arm's reach of anyone unless you are their trainer, spotting them with the weights, or they have a medical condition that they NEED your help with.  Not everyone is looking in a mirror to see if anyone is coming up behind them while they go through their routine - even if they are in front of a mirror......not everyone is really LOOKING in the mirror to monitor where other people are, they are more likely to be monitoring that they are doing the exercise properly.

No comments about other people's appearance - unless you KNOW them, know what they are aiming for (loss, gain, toning, or sitting in the sauna because that's what their doctor told them to do.  Absolutely no derogatory comments about how someone looks - this is definitely a "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" situation.  Since you might not be correct about what is nice - say something vague if you have to get a conversation going.  "How are you enjoying the yoga (jazzercise, water aerobics, etc) program?" is about as personal as the conversation should get.

If someone is breaking the safety rules or really acting odd - contact an employee. 



Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

kitty_ev

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2010, 11:46:52 AM »

The showers are not your personal bathroom - please don't even BRING a razor to the gym. m'OK?


Actually, this was fine at the gym I used to go to. They even provided a yellow medical sharps bin for safe disposal of razor blades. Even in the ladies' changing room.

If you want to gossip with friends while in the gym, that's fine, but please don't block the machines while doing so. In my old gym there was a group of young men who would regularly spend 30 mins at a time sitting on but not using lots of the upper body machines and would give you a dirty look if you asked them if you could use the machine. Seriously guys, there's a cafe downstairs.

Please don't remain naked just for the sake of it. I'm not a prude and I understand entirely that nudity is expected in the changing room. I don't mind that. It's the excessive nudity that I mind. There was one lady at my old gym who you really couldn't miss. I only ever saw her in clothes when she was working out. She'd shower, presumable dry off, then wander around the changing room, dry her hair, do her makeup etc completely naked. I don't normally notice nudity in the changing room, but she was really impossible to miss- most people stay naked for a relatively short time before covering up. She would wander round and inspect her physique in the mirror. It was strange.

iradney

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2010, 12:36:20 PM »
Gym clothes should not resemble the painted on swimsuit (I saw a photo in an issue of Sports Illustrated some years after I read about a similar "outfit" in Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil) - tight does not begin to describe "paint".



Oh my goodness, there is a gentleman at my gym who regularly wears lycra shorts, with short t-shirts. Suffice to say, I know more about him than I am comfortable with  :-[

Sauna:
Please do not throw aromatherapy oils on the coals!!! They are flammable, and some people are highly allergic (and not everyone might love sweating in clouds of rosemary and coming out smelling like a roast).
Please, if you have to stretch in front of me in the sauna, please wear a bathing costume (our sauna is clothing optional (same sex only!), but you have to have a towel to sit/lie on) or something a little less brief than a thong
“It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.”
-Thomas Huxley

mrs_deb

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2010, 03:00:34 PM »
Number Umpteen:  Please, PLEASE do not drench yourself in strong smelling artificial scents before working out.  When you get on a treadmill three down from me and I can still smell you, it makes it difficult to breathe while running.

I don't care if it's cologne, perfume, aftershave, body spray, or deo.  Please don't do it.  You're expected to smell sweaty in a gym.

JoW

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #65 on: July 11, 2010, 09:54:06 PM »
My club also supplies razors and shaving cream in the ladies locker room.  Obviously they don’t object to us shaving in the shower.  The key is in the timing.  If you are going to take extra time in the shower - shave or wash your hair -  wait until all the folks on a tight schedule are finished.   The time to shave is when at least a couple of the showers are empty and there isn’t a class about to start or end. 

I can think of one occasion when remarking about someone else’s workout wear is acceptable.  Chlorinated pool water is very hard on spandex or nylon swimsuits.  The first sign of wear is when the center back seam goes translucent when wet.  That’s something the wearer may not notice right away.  So a quiet comment in the locker room “Its probably time to think about getting a new swimsuit” could save someone significant embarrassment.   Ladies have thanked me when I’ve said it, and I’ve thanked others for saying it to me. 

wrenskibaby

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #66 on: August 23, 2010, 07:01:52 PM »
I work as a cleaning lady at a gym.

1. Please don't leave hair in the sink.  I can't clean or check the bathroom after every shower.  And if you squash a bug, pick it up with some tissue and throw it away, don't leave it on the floor or wall, please.

2.  If you have dry or flaky skin, could you please wipe off the places on the equipment where it landed?  Again, I can't check every treadmill after each person gets off and sometimes it looks like artificial snow has been sprinkled. 

3.  If you use that loose mineral makeup, wipe off the sink after you apply it while using the sink mirror.  It lands everywhere.

4.  Thank you for acknowledging me and telling me I do a good job.  My wages are low and your kind comments keep me going.

BluePaint

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #67 on: August 30, 2010, 01:28:09 PM »
I feel like a lot of this is great general gym etiquette, but some of it changes depending on the kind of gym you frequent.  I lift weights in a Gold's Gym that is very bodybuilder and strength athlete-friendly, but also very accessible to the average soccer mom crowd, so often times the clash of the two cultures can cause some etiquette misunderstandings.

Be aware of the culture of the gym you're at before you join.  Look to see if they have a childcare center, a pool, and lots of group exercise classes, or if they have lots of chalk, olympic lifting platforms, and posters for bodybuilding competitions.  You don't need to do the same thing as everyone else, but if you're angry that some lady at your Planet Fitness is using the incline bench to do a million situps, or that some really muscley guy in your gym with Arnold painted on the wall just grunted and dropped some weights really loudly, it might not be that they're being rude.  It might be that you're in the wrong place for the kind of gym experience you're looking for.

There are two magic sentences:  "How many sets do you have left?" and "Can I work in?"  If someone is using a piece of equipment that you would like to use, the only truly polite option is to ask to take turns with them.  Don't sneak a peak at him surreptitiously through the mirrors hoping to catch the thing as soon as he's done so you don't have to talk to him.  Don't walk by every minute to see if he's done and hope he gets the hint.  Don't stand behind him and glare.  And don't run over and start unloading the plates the second he gets up for a drink of water.  Just ask.

In the gym, I feel like it's better to assume that people are doing things the way they're doing them for a good reason, not just because they're a rudey McRuderson who doesn't care about anyone.  Especially if they're really fit.  And unless it's specifically against gym policy, you should probably allow them to use the membership that they paid for without judging them on the specifics.  For example, earlier in the thread someone said that you shouldn't bring a gym bag to the gym floor.  There are plenty of situations where a serious lifter would need something from her gym bag while she's working out.  A towel to dry your sweaty hands between sets, a protein shake or some BCAAs to drink during your workout, a weight belt for deadlifts and weighted pullups/dips, wrist wraps, knee wraps, straps, extra collars, microweights, tons of stuff.  You need the bag.  You shouldn't put it in the path of walking, or anywhere that would make it look like you're "claiming" a machine that you're not using.  But there's nothing wrong with having a gym bag with you on the gym floor.

I mean it all goes back to the first thing about making sure that you're at a gym that has the kind of atmosphere you're looking for.  You shouldn't do deadlifts in a Planet Fitness, and you shouldn't drag your yoga ball into the squat rack of a Gold's.

BuffaloFang

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #68 on: August 30, 2010, 01:56:16 PM »
BTW, is there an etiquette rule on whether you should ask to share a lane?  I think you shouldn't surprise someone by joining their lane when you know they can't see you (when they're swimming away from you).  But I also don't think it should be required to ask to join the lane if, say, the person is at the far end taking a break, sees you approach the lane, and knows to expect you.  If the lapswimmer and the newcomer are at the same end, then I think it's just polite to mention/ask because the newcomer will basically be entering the pool very close to the lapswimmer's personal space.

I think generally it's a good idea to wait until they get to your side of the pool first, if only so you can clarify whether you're going to switch to circle swimming or split the lane (at least my pool employs both).  As a resident swimmer, I've switched the circle swimming and almost collided with someone wanting to split the lane without informing me, and when I've switched to splitting the lane, I've almost collided with someone swimming circle without informing me.  There's too much room for error.

Modified to add: You also don't know if the resident swimmer might have some vision impairment where they can't see someone at the far end of the pool.  So while you may think they see you, they might not.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 01:57:58 PM by linteater »

Marietta

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2010, 05:06:02 PM »
No one else in the gym's physical appearance is your business.

Make sure your shoes are clean before you come in.

If the gym has TVs, don't change the channels without checking to see if other people are watching the program that's on.

Courtesy of the Recent Screwups of Marietta the Dork: people sometimes leave flutterboards on the deck at the end of the lane to use later. Don't just assume they're communal and grab them yourself.  :-[
     

lilfox

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #70 on: August 31, 2010, 01:16:20 PM »


Heh.  I actually went swimming yesterday for the first time in weeks.  Each lane was taken so I waited for the guy in the first lane to get down to my end (he had been resting at the far end and I assume that he saw me standing at that lane preparing to get in).  When he got to the near side, I started to ask "Can I share with you" and he kept his head under and did a quick turnaround so never heard me.  So, I got in and split the lane - I watched out for him but he took another break on the far end so saw me coming.  I was faster than him but he appeared to time his breaks so I could pass him at the wall instead of overtaking, which I thought was very polite of him.

I wish this gym marked their lanes fast to slow, though.  After the first guy left, another guy showed up and asked to share the lane.  He got in and did a very slow 'jellyfish' backstroke (like breaststroke on your back).  This did not jibe with my crawl, but I was almost done anyway.  Of the two other lanes, one had two guys of markedly different speeds and one had two women who were alternating their type of water exercise (walking one length, very slow swimming back, etc).  It would have been a real mess had 3 people wanted to share any of the lanes.

Nurvingiel

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #71 on: August 31, 2010, 01:47:34 PM »
Modified to add: You also don't know if the resident swimmer might have some vision impairment where they can't see someone at the far end of the pool.  So while you may think they see you, they might not.
I can't see diddly squat when I'm swimming. I have normal goggles, not prescription, and I normally wear glasses. I won't collide with you when swimming, but if you're standing 25m away you just might blend in to the wall.
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

kitty_ev

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2010, 07:12:00 PM »
BTW, is there an etiquette rule on whether you should ask to share a lane?  I think you shouldn't surprise someone by joining their lane when you know they can't see you (when they're swimming away from you).  But I also don't think it should be required to ask to join the lane if, say, the person is at the far end taking a break, sees you approach the lane, and knows to expect you.  If the lapswimmer and the newcomer are at the same end, then I think it's just polite to mention/ask because the newcomer will basically be entering the pool very close to the lapswimmer's personal space.

I think generally it's a good idea to wait until they get to your side of the pool first, if only so you can clarify whether you're going to switch to circle swimming or split the lane (at least my pool employs both).  As a resident swimmer, I've switched the circle swimming and almost collided with someone wanting to split the lane without informing me, and when I've switched to splitting the lane, I've almost collided with someone swimming circle without informing me.  There's too much room for error.

Modified to add: You also don't know if the resident swimmer might have some vision impairment where they can't see someone at the far end of the pool.  So while you may think they see you, they might not.

I've been swimming for years and have never once been asked by anyone if it's okay for them to join the lane I'm in. Nor have I asked if I can join the lane they're swimming in. It would never even occur to me. Generally speaking the pools I visit have 2-4 lanes and it'd just be ridiculous for anyone to expect to have a lane all to themselves. It's a bonus if it happens, but it's not expected. I think most swimmers are aware that people may join the lane they're in at any time and that it's polite to be aware of other swimmers around you so there are no collisions. I've also never visited a pool where lane-splitting is allowed- I've only ever been in pools where swimmers circle the lane- that way more people can join without any fuss.

On the subject of picking swim lanes- please look to see if any lanes are designated 'fast' lanes for those doing front crawl or butterfly. Don't join these lanes if you've got no intention of swimming fast- it irritates people who are when you block the lane.

When you join a lane, take a quick look to gauge how fast the swimmers in it are going. If someone's a faster swimmer than you, don't wait until they've nearly reached your end of the pool before pushing off from the side. They will then get stuck behind you if it's busy and there is no opportunity to overtake.

I also think it's polite, particularly when it's busy, to pause every few lengths or so and check whether or not there's a swimmer who's been trying to overtake. It can be rather aggravating for the other swimmer if it's too busy to overtake and they're stuck behind you. If you are the faster swimmer, do your best not to tail other swimmers- it's not polite.

In general, it's polite to be aware of the other swimmers around you. Swim at a speed that is comfortable for you, but be aware that others in the pool are faster/slower than you and take their needs into consideration as well.

kareng57

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2010, 08:10:48 PM »

The showers are not your personal bathroom - please don't even BRING a razor to the gym. m'OK?


Actually, this was fine at the gym I used to go to. They even provided a yellow medical sharps bin for safe disposal of razor blades. Even in the ladies' changing room.

If you want to gossip with friends while in the gym, that's fine, but please don't block the machines while doing so. In my old gym there was a group of young men who would regularly spend 30 mins at a time sitting on but not using lots of the upper body machines and would give you a dirty look if you asked them if you could use the machine. Seriously guys, there's a cafe downstairs.

Please don't remain naked just for the sake of it. I'm not a prude and I understand entirely that nudity is expected in the changing room. I don't mind that. It's the excessive nudity that I mind. There was one lady at my old gym who you really couldn't miss. I only ever saw her in clothes when she was working out. She'd shower, presumable dry off, then wander around the changing room, dry her hair, do her makeup etc completely naked. I don't normally notice nudity in the changing room, but she was really impossible to miss- most people stay naked for a relatively short time before covering up. She would wander round and inspect her physique in the mirror. It was strange.


Late - I only just saw this thread.

What's wrong with using a razor?  I generally shave in the shower, and if I'm showering at the gym that's what I'm going to do.  I'll either use a disposable razor and throw it away (in the proper bin) after using - or I'll use a reusable one that I'll pack back in my bag.

BuffaloFang

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Re: Gym Etiquette
« Reply #74 on: September 06, 2010, 09:12:05 AM »
I've been swimming for years and have never once been asked by anyone if it's okay for them to join the lane I'm in. Nor have I asked if I can join the lane they're swimming in. It would never even occur to me. Generally speaking the pools I visit have 2-4 lanes and it'd just be ridiculous for anyone to expect to have a lane all to themselves. It's a bonus if it happens, but it's not expected. I think most swimmers are aware that people may join the lane they're in at any time and that it's polite to be aware of other swimmers around you so there are no collisions. I've also never visited a pool where lane-splitting is allowed- I've only ever been in pools where swimmers circle the lane- that way more people can join without any fuss.

On the subject of picking swim lanes- please look to see if any lanes are designated 'fast' lanes for those doing front crawl or butterfly. Don't join these lanes if you've got no intention of swimming fast- it irritates people who are when you block the lane.

When you join a lane, take a quick look to gauge how fast the swimmers in it are going. If someone's a faster swimmer than you, don't wait until they've nearly reached your end of the pool before pushing off from the side. They will then get stuck behind you if it's busy and there is no opportunity to overtake.

I also think it's polite, particularly when it's busy, to pause every few lengths or so and check whether or not there's a swimmer who's been trying to overtake. It can be rather aggravating for the other swimmer if it's too busy to overtake and they're stuck behind you. If you are the faster swimmer, do your best not to tail other swimmers- it's not polite.

In general, it's polite to be aware of the other swimmers around you. Swim at a speed that is comfortable for you, but be aware that others in the pool are faster/slower than you and take their needs into consideration as well.

I think this is definitely a "know your pool" thing, and observe the lanes before jumping in (for speed, how people are swimming, etc.).  Like I said, my pool employs both. I've been swimming for years as well, and it's not uncommon for you to get a lane to yourself or only have two people per lane in my pool.  You don't necessarily have to talk to the person in the lane, but at least wave a kickboard in the water so they know you're getting in.  Obviously, if there are already 3 people in the lane, nobody needs to adjust their swimming style, and you could probably work your way into the circle without any problems.  But if there are two people splitting the lane, or just one person swimming in the lane, it'd be foolhardy and dangerous to assume that they see you and will automatically switch to circle.