I know a modest amount of the iron game. Hot bods, noobs, pro sport teams and divas alike, these rules apply to all. I don’t care if you have a better body, have been training for long or don’t believe in the philosophy of training. Before you become a nuisance to the next person in line, read on to get your gym etiquette in order.
- The Smell: Ahh, even before my fingers hit the keys, a medley of gym-smell attacks my senses. For the record, deodorants are available at a baniya, malbari, medical store, supermarket or even at a departmental store. So why haven’t you got yours? I had the unfortunate privilege of working out one day besides this trying-to-be-huge weightlifter and just then, he farted a protein fart. I literally chocked for a few seconds.
“Guys please if you take the protein powder make sure you drink lots of water fellow gym members don’t want to be caught in cloud of aromatic fumes.”
2. The Gym bag: The other day I was at the gym early, finished my workout well in time and was in the middle of a cool down routine. While noticing people around me, I see this auntyji come in with her sling bag. Maybe it had money, cellphones, lip gloss and I don’t know what else. I kid you not, she took it every where from the treadmill machine on which she did her warm up to her dumbbells. Also noticed this other guy getting a duffel bag while he sat on the leg curl machine opened his bag removed his socks, shoes, head band and water bottle and then parked the bag near the music console. Like HAVEN’T you seen large hallowed cubes known as lockers in the changing room?
3. Watch Your Language: You have these set of people who love to socialize everywhere and when you have them in the gym its quite a sight I must say. There is this guy who enters the gym and extends his right fist out in greeting, as both his hands are full of headphones, mobile, water bottle and what not. That right fist goes to every person who he meets like a shake hand. He meets and greets each trainer and half the gym members he knows. And at that time my friend, the language is not only loud but also ‘aaj kya maar raha hai’ a way of saying which body part are you working out. Just when his language wasn’t enough I was doing a back workout on the cable, an uncle comes to me and ask ‘yeh back marra’ why will I hit my back? *phew
4. Mobile Without a Mobile: “Hi honey, baby I am at the gym working on my legs today. God my feet are going to kill me, there is no way we can go dancing tonight.” Seriously? You think me along with the rest of the gym want to know where you can go or where you can’t. You come to the gym to get sore… duhhh remember! My sincere advice is to leave your mobile in your bag or in some corner. It can be very annoying for the other members to know your conversation and hey, you are not even that important. So be mobile instead but without a mobile.
5. Unsolicited Advice: A friend of mine is a personal trainer in the industry for over 16 years and she was a victim of unnecessary advice too. One day at the gym, I was doing a barbell row with an over arm grip. This gentleman, who may well be an encyclopedia of knowledge, walks up to me and mentions, “its the wrong grip.” But I don’t back down. I immediately get my Lee Labrada face on and show him the you tube video. Advice really??
6. Please Don’t Yell Like a Clown: There is this duo of friends that I witnessed while I was working out in Dubai one day. One of them was the sulky one and the other a happier one. So they were workout partners lifting heavy weights. When the sulkier one would do deadlifts he would yell and all heads in the gym turned looking at him hoping this guy is not suffering from anything chronic. So just incase guys, you think its cool yelling between your workout; it’s not, it is rather moronic.
7. Dumbbells Drop, Control Those: ‘Control Uday control’ one of the famous lines from the Bollywood movie Welcome. If you’ve seen it you know it. The line is used by Anil Kapoor for Nana Patekar when he looses his cool. I think the same line should be used for anyone using heavy dumbbells; control those. ‘Control gym freak control’ or else you could injure yourself and be a potential risk to someone else too.
8. Don’t Poke Fun At Overweight or Skinny People: It has been very motivational for me to see a guy working out and loose abundant amounts of weight. He had some more left to shed on the fitness journey. He worked out with so much mind and body control it was inspiring. So please don’t make fun of overweight or skinny people they are already conscious about their body parts and they are there to shed weight. Motivate them and remember you can be a victim too after all karma says, ‘I saw what you did.’
9. Don’t Walk Around Like a Gorilla: This macho guy enters the gym and its like as if a monument has walked in with ILS or inflated – lat syndrome. Its very common in a commercial gym; you probably know what I am talking about. I know it’s all about gains but real gains don’t have to walk around making us feel like Lilliputians. Its mimicking a gorilla beating his chest except more pathetic and scary.
10. Gym Selfie: thanks to the song ‘chal beta selfie le le’ we humans leave no stone unturned in taking a selfie. So I was taking my selfie in the changing area and checking my curves, flexing my back in my Lululemons and these two ladies were just looking at me; “oh please mind your own business,” my heart cried. So yes, selfies in an area where there aren’t too many people is fine but in the middle of equipment and machines can be annoying. So in the changing room it is acceptable go ahead, selfie le le.
11. Headphones or Might I Say Synonymous With Singing: So this rather tall fellow had ear phones on and he was listening to Bon Jovi. How do I know? That’s because he was loud, “I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd, you’re gonna hear my voice when I shout out loud, ITS MY LIFE”
“Yes buddy you are right it is your life but we haven’t paid for any concert tickets, we have paid for gym membership.”
So please shut that glorious mouth and work to being ‘BADASS’
12. Stop Checking Out Mates: The building I live in has an auntyji with a young son of yes marriageable age. She got her Amitabh Bachchan side on of Kaun Banega Corepati and started asking me questions: so you work out at the gym, your friends too, any good girls you have for Rahul and so on. “I am thinking of telling him to enroll at the gym so he finds someone nice and fit after all, beta fit girls are very important as our country is suffering from bad health infrastructure.” So Rahul joins the gym a couple of days later and is checking out girls.
All I wanted to mutter to him was: remember dating a fit girl is more expensive, squat booties need more food!
13. Use a Towel: First always on yourself. I know no one ever drowned in sweat but a little wiping would look so much nicer. Some hot bods even lift their tees up to wipe their sweat in bargain giving us a glimpse of some washboard abs. Why I say towels? So that after you are done cleaning yourself, clean the bench you used or the spinning bike you peddled on instead of leaving it looking like the 26/7 flood. And if you don’t then a Swatch gym tax should be levied on you!
14. Hogging the Water Fountain – This one lad brings I think a 1 gallon big water bottle, I am in line behind him and his bottle is taking forever to fill. I told him politely mine is just a 300 ml water bottle may I fill it before you and he gave me the look, ‘I came and I conquered before you so now wait your turn.’ Guys, be courteous to a small bottle or a glass; let us fill it up and replenish too.
15. Mirror Mirror on the wall – This line is so popular thanks to the fairy tale ‘snow white and the seven dwarfs’ it was annoying enough in the book when the evil step mom would say it and now in the gym when you look at the bunch of nymphomaniacs just looking at themselves like they are better than the rest.
Mirrors in gyms are for checking the form and postures not you while you apply your lip balm , check your rather biscuited abs for long.
So move aside and let us achieve our Beyonce or Schwarzenegger body with the right form.
16. Marathon Shower – This is yet another one I hate. If you know there is a line why would you take forever to bathe? Somehow gyms in India are rather conservative even though we come from a land of the Kamasutra. Why wouldn’t you just come out and wear your clothes? But no, they will want to cover their vitals and then come out. Knock knock, does it ring a bell? We are waiting! So this young pretty girl goes for a shower and comes out clothed yes that’s different I waited for a good 12 minutes and to top it she left some shampoo inside and when I was in midst of my cold water bath finally de stressing my muscles there is a knock, “honey can you pass my shampoo I need to leave and I have accidentally left it inside.” In my head HONEY WHY CAN’T YOU TAKE YOUR BELONGINGS OUT AT ONE TIME. Grrr
17. Put your weights back from where you found them – So this guy conveniently uses heavy dumbbells while working out and shifting to a weighted barbell. I thought he would come back, put the dumbbell back on the rack and remove the weights from the barbell, but the guy had no intention and instead walked out. I wanted to get a riffle out and chase him when he walked off. As much as you don’t want to believe, people using the same gym are a part of the community and this community strives for everyone’s betterment. So guys please be kind and put your shit back in place
18. Noisy Workout Gear – I was working out in the gym doing my trx training and this man was on the cross trainer wearing a cap , tracks ,tee and jacket behind me. His gym gear was creating so much noise pollution, Diwali bombs felt low in decibels in comparison. I now know that people have more plastic in their clothes than the bhajiwalas stock of polythene bags!
I am sure I’ve missed a bunch of other potential points here of proper gym etiquette. Help me out by listing them in the comments sections. Let’s make this comprehensive so people don’t make an ass of themselves. And gym owners, you are free to go ahead and print the page and tape them to the gym wall. Its time everyone got the message.