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10 Gym Etiquette Tips To Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals

It's an unfortunate truth that most gym rats lament January due to the annual influx of newbies and their gym etiquette obliviousness. But don't let that deter or intimidate you from your goals, because we're here to help with these gym etiquette pointers.

Rack Your Weights

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Not returning your weights (dumbbells, barbell plates, etc...) to their rightful home is one of the gym's most ultimate sins. Your mom most likely doesn't work at the gym so you're expected to clean up after yourself. If you use the weights, please put them back where they belong so others can use them and aren't wondering if that equipment is being used.

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Wipe Down The Equipment

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Sweating is fine and even encouraged when you're in the gym, but it's also kind of gross, so make sure you wipe down whatever equipment you dripped all over. Most gyms provide a towel or cleaning wipes for this very reason. It helps keep the equipment from wearing down, plus, no one wants to sit in a puddle of your germs and bacteria.

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Don't Curl In The Squat Rack

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Performing arm curls (or pretty much any other exercise that doesn't require a squat rack) in the squat rack is a big no-no. The reason being, there are a limited number of squat racks available and you can perform arm curls pretty much anywhere. So leave the squat racks open for those that are looking to get their squat on and maximize their gains, and find somewhere less obtrusive to get your arms swole.

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Don't Exercise Directly In Front Of The Weight Rack

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Gym newcomers will often perform lifts right in front of the weight rack so they don't have to carry the weights and to get a better view in the mirror. Don't do this. You aren't The Situation from the Jersey Shore and walking the weights a little further won't hurt you. Lifting right in front of the rack will block another lifter from getting to their desired dumbbells. Grab the weights you need and take them somewhere else.

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Don't Hog The Water Fountain

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Staying hydrated while exercising is important and healthy. That being said, if you need to refill your entire water bottle and someone is behind you waiting and just needs a drink, let them go in front of you. They'll be quick, you'll feel good being nice to someone, and you won't have to worry about someone muttering 'save some for the whales' under their breath.

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Use Equipment For A Reasonable Amount Of Time

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Do your best to finish using the equipment in a reasonable time so that someone else will also be able to use it. On a related note, when you're finished using the equipment, take your belongings (water bottle, towel, notebook, etc) with you so people will know it's available.

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Ask Questions

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If you're unsure how to use a piece of equipment or how to properly perform a lift, ask someone. Most people will be happy to help and impart their experience, wisdom, and knowledge on you. But if you see someone with their headphones in, super into their work out, let them be. Many people in the gym don't have much time and are trying to accomplish their goals in the most efficient manner, or they just want to keep to themselves, so ask an employee if you can.

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Treat The Gym With Respect

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To many people, the gym is more than just a place to get some cardio in on the treadmill. To many, it's their life. It's where they've built their bodies up, where they've learned to grow physically and as a person, and it's like a second home. So do your best to treat it with respect. Wipe down and clean up after yourself, don't throw the weights around if they aren't built for it, and don't leave the locker room a mess. You may find yourself seeing the gym in a similar light.

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Don't 'Ego' Lift

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Often newcomers will see someone lifting a lot more weight and compare themselves to them. So to show how big and strong they are, they'll lift way more than they can handle. Please don't do this, because that's how many people get hurt. You're in the gym for your own personal reasons so don't let someone's perceived judgments affect you. Remember they probably aren't judging you, and even if someone is judging you for how much you lift, their opinion doesn't matter. Go to the gym for your own personal reasons and ignore everything else.

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Try Not To People Watch

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As much as you may be worried about people judging you, please remember that many people (even long-time gym rats) have some insecurities as well. Even if you're just trying to scope out the gym, or see how somebody else is using a machine, try not to make a habit of it. The gym is a place for many people to channel their insecurity into action, or simply escape—don't make it awkward.

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