The pains of working out at the gym

By Alexa Lago, Opinion Editor

Working out is a great way to stay fit and healthy, and to deal with stress. There is nothing better than putting in your headphones and blocking out the rest of the world for an hour or two. However, the gym does come without its own set of annoyances.

There are certain rules that need to be followed in the gym, which many people tend to ignore or disregard. Below are some common acts of courtesy that everyone should abide by when working out.

Clean off the equipmentCartoon-r
There is nothing more disgusting than sitting down on a sweaty, unsanitary machine. Believe it or not, those spray bottles and cloths are there for a reason.

While sweating is a sign that you are burning calories, it also is what makes you so gross at the end of a workout. There is no need to spread your sweat on all of the machines you touch and not clean them off.

It’s not just the sweat that you have to worry about; gyms are a breeding ground for many germs.

In fact, according to CNN Health, “Probably the worst thing [you can get at the gym] is the staph bacteria MRSA (short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the ‘superbug’ that can cause a very aggressive and difficult-to-treat skin infection, which can invade the blood.

“This bug, which is resistant to most kinds of antibiotics, is spread through close contact — athletes on a sports team sometimes spread it to each other. What’s scary is it can survive on gym machines between users.”

Anyone ready to work out now? Clean off your equipment to keep yourself and others safe.

Don’t hog the machines
There is nothing more infuriating than waiting on machines at the gym. While it is understandable that there are only so many machines available and everyone has to wait for their turn, there are special circumstances where waiting for machines is unacceptable.

For example, the ellipticals and treadmills often have a 30-minute occupancy allowance. However, a lot of people tend to ignore this.

It’s one thing if the gym is dead and there are other machines available, but if the gym is busy and you’re overstaying your welcome, you are inconveniencing everyone. Especially if someone is explicitly waiting for a machine that you are hogging.

This often happens on weight machines as well, and can drive people absolutely crazy. After 30 minutes of doing reps on a single weight machine, it’s time to move on to something else. Don’t be that person who has a line of people waiting on a machine, but refuses to move after an extended period of time.

Be courteous and respectful of others and give up your machines when the appropriate time has elapsed.

Don’t be on your phone constantly
Don’t be that person who  is too busy talking and texting on their phone to even work out. No one wants to hear your phone conversation with your friend Marge while working out next to you on a machine.

No one wants to wait on you while you surf the Internet and text while using a machine as a seat. If you have to answer a phone call, take the conversation outside of the gym. If you need to text, do so in a short break between reps or get off the machine.

Don’t use water bottles as placeholders
It’s one thing to set your water bottle down on a machine to go grab a spray bottle; it’s another to use it as an extended placeholder.

That water bottle is not a way to say “mine” and claim a treadmill for 20 minutes. You are not entitled to a machine just because your water bottle has been there for an hour while you are off doing other things.

If you don’t get the machine you want, too bad, so sad: Wait your turn like everyone else.

Don’t be “that guy”
Don’t be the annoying body builder type who goes to the gym for attention just as much as fitness. No one wants to hear you brag about your body, meal plan and workout routine. No one wants your critiques and opinions on their own routine.

There is no reason to grunt and make strange noises while lifting heavy weights. Unless you’re lifting a car over your head, the sounds are unnecessary and make you look like an idiot. Don’t stand in the mirror the whole entire time and admire your physique.

Most of all, never ever, take your shirt off and walk around the gym. This type of guy is abhorred at the gym and is avoided at all costs by gym patrons.

Ladies, the gym is not happy hour
Don’t go to the gym with full makeup on and your hair done. Don’t wear flashy, matching Victoria’s Secret sweats. You are not at the gym to impress anyone, and more often than not, no one is going to respect you or give you attention for glamming yourself up for a workout. You just look plain foolish.

Don’t make your workout a gossip hour between you and your friends. The people next to you don’t want to hear about how you want to hook up with the guy five treadmills down, or listen to you complain about life or giggle incessantly.

Taking up machines for chitchat is not acceptable. If you want to dish, go to Starbucks and let everyone else work out in peace.

By following these rules you can help make the gym a better place for everyone.