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Maybe you're here because you read my other post: 5 Tips for Girls at the Gym.
Maybe you're not.
Either way, you can never have too many tips and pointers about gym etiquette, or how to maximise both productivity and gainz.
The one tip that I am not including here, although it is by far the best thing I have learnt on my fitness journey, if to plan plan plan your workout. So that you know exactly how many sets you are doing on what machine, so you don't have to keep hopping from the squat rack to the cables like some weirdly attention-deficient bunny. It also means that if you get to the gym and all the benches are taken—I am looking at you, guys who only work arm day—you can start off with another exercise that you had planned to do anyway.
Now on to today's topic of conversation.
1. Bring Baby Wipes
Whether you want to call these "wet wipes" or "make up wipes" or whatever, they're a staple in my gym bag. They're specially valuable on arm day, because chances are you will be using one of said benches where sweaty arm-day-only guy has just been working out.
And other people's sweat is gross, okay?
But baby wipes aren't only great for wiping off benches before and after you've used them. They're also great if you are going to the gym straight from work and haven't had time to take your make up off. Bonus tip: wipe your face before and after your workout.
Lastly, baby wipes are a great last-minute emergency alternative to deodorant, which we have all forgotten at least once. And gym showers are nice and all, but who has time for that?
2. It's okay to hussle.
So you've got your workout all planned, but that one guy is hoarding the cables like his lats depend on it. He's been there 15 minutes already, not that you're counting.
By this point, it's about reasonable to go up to him and politely ask how many sets he has left. Sometimes it's even appropriate to ask if you can share, so you do your set while he rests, and vice versa. As a general rule, gents tend to lift heavier than us ladies, so their rest time is longer, which means you can fit in your 10-12 reps and adjust the weights back to his preference.
Alternatively, your polite enquiry will make him realise that he is hogging the cables, and he will move on. This has never happened to me, but a girl can dream.
But seriously, be polite. Wait for him to finish his set. Unless he's chatting with a friend, then by all means girl, we're here to work out.
3. It's like being a guest.
A good guest, in someone's house who you actually like.
- Don't put your shoes on the furniture.
- If you spill your drink, clean it up.
- If you pick something up, put it back where it is supposed to go.
Basically, be the decent, sensible, smart human being we all know you are, and tidy up after yourself. This means leaving the bar of the squat rack at a sensible height, or even in its holder. It means putting the dumbells back in their spot, and re-attaching the regular hand grip for the cables if you'd swapped for a bar or ankle strap.
The only things that should have your shoes on are the floor and the designated boxes. Don't go putting your feet on the benches.
Nobody loves an obnoxious guest. When we're at the gym, we like to be left alone. So by all means, have your headphones in, but if I can hear the music it is too loud. It's all well and good to want to get your sweat on, but don't pick the treadmill right next to mine when the rest of the row is free.
Be a good guest.
Go read my other post for more tips to being a new girl at the gym, and I wish you all the best with your fitness journey.