You’ve heard horror stories of naked, wrinkly men in locker rooms and couples using gym equipment for romping pleasures instead of waiting to get home. Although these exemplify two huge etiquette no-nos, they don’t quite compare to the reality of gym etiquette (or lack thereof) at UF.
If you don’t want to be known as that girl or that guy by your fellow Gators, avoid doing these 10 things:
1. Texting on a machine
Last time I checked, your thumbs aren’t a major muscle group. If you’re dying to make texting or finger gains, there is no better place to do so than the toilet – pop a squat, pull out your phone and text away. You’d bother no one! Text on a gym machine, and you’re asking for death stares.
2. Not re-racking your weights
For some reason, after people churn out their sets and reps with dumbbells and other equipment, they suddenly lose their strength and ability to re-rack the weights. This is my challenge to those people: Show us your super strength! Push really hard, and lift those weights back to where you got them. I promise, you’ll even live to tell the tale!
3. Doing bicep curls in the squat rack
Most people can’t perform proper, challenging squats unless they’re in a squat rack or on a Smith machine. You know where they can do a bicep curl? EVERYWHERE. So please, do us squat-lovers a favor, and stop using the limited number of squat racks for your curls.
4. Standing in front of people using the mirror
Mirrors can lead to perfect form or perfect hair. If you’re using a mirror to critique your weightlifting form, you’re in the clear. If you’re using it to groom your looks, go home. On that note, if you see someone using the mirror to work on technique, don’t stand in front of him or her. Find your own mirror space or wait your turn.
5. Leaving a machine dripping in sweat
There are Wet-Naps available throughout the campus gyms for a reason. When you use a machine or piece of equipment, especially if you’re sweaty, common courtesy says clean it up afterward.
6. Grunting like The Hulk
Do you ever notice power lifters at the Olympics and their supersonic grunts as they try to push their limits for a gold medal? Yeah, well next time you’re competing at the Olympics, let me know. In the meantime, keep your grunts to a level audible only to you. Being Hulk-smash loud doesn’t actually benefit your workout, and it will most certainly distract others.
7. Hogging the equipment
I’m all about doing circuits, but if the gym is busy and people are waiting, don’t claim a machine, a barbell and a yoga mat just to bust out your supersets. Sharing is caring.
8. Standing too close to the weights
Please explain how I’m supposed to grab the dumbbells I need if someone is working out right in front of the weight rack. You don’t need to attach yourself to the equipment. I promise, it’s not going to run away if you back up to exercise.
9. Constantly asking how many sets someone has left
If you have eyes, use them before using your mouth. Stand away from the person working out on the machine you’re waiting for, and give them a glance. They will understand you’re waiting. Don’t be a broken record by repeatedly asking when they’ll be finished.
10. Passing gas
I’ve lost track of the amount of times I wished I didn’t have a sense of smell because of people letting one rip at the gym. And for you sly folk who think just because yours are quiet, you’re in the clear… you’re actually the worst. Remember: silent, but deadly! Please be courteous to the poor noses of your fellow gym goers, and if you feel you really can’t hold it in, go to the locker room ASAP.
Students exit UF's Southwest Rec Center Sunday night.