I thought it apropos to do a post on the topic of etiquette since it’s a subject that seems to be surfacing quite a bit lately with Venus in Virgo squaring Saturn. Venus is Ms. Manners and naturally favors consideration for others; being that she’s quite health-conscious in the sign of The Virgin, her current square to Saturn in Scorpio’s deteriorating standards would seem to indicate an ideal time to outline some very basic (yet essential) parameters for having a harmonious relationship with our fellow fitness buffs. So let’s have ourselves a little chat about gym etiquette, shall we?! LOL!
1) Always wipe down equipment before and after use. It’s hygienic and shows appropriate concern for the comfort of others. It’s a logical given that working out will tend to entail sweating, however it is most uncouth to drip all over the treadmill and then leave it like that for somebody else to have to clean, savvy? Your bodily fluids are YOUR responsibility, LOL!
2) Share. Don’t hog a piece of equipment via “resting between sets” while using this as an opportunity to waste time by scrolling through your phone for 15 minutes, or through chatting with a workout buddy for an extended period whilst *not* actually using the equipment you’re on.
3) Understand that people have different workout styles – this will help avoid potential conflicts when encountering someone with a methodology different from your own. Some people flit through the gym, doing one or two sets on each machine and then rapid-cycle buzzing over to the next. Others will stay on a machine for an extended period to finish working a particular muscle group out completely before moving on. If somebody is on a piece of equipment you want to use and you’re more of a “flitter”, try to detour over to a few other machines first to let them finish what they are doing. Similarly, if you’re more inclined to stay put for a longer period on one piece of equipment, generally be aware of your surroundings and whether anyone appears to be hovering around and wanting to use the station you are occupying – when in doubt, you really can’t go wrong with a simple and considerate “Hey, did you need this?”
4) Communicate your needs to others, and do this politely. If you have one last piece of equipment to do before leaving and someone happens to be on it, 99% of the time if you walk up to the individual and ask them for a favor while explaining the situation, they will be more than happy to move over and let you do your thing so you can get on your way. Remember that others are not mind-readers, so give them an opportunity to understand where you are coming from instead of just defaulting to “huffy”. They have no way of knowing what your agenda is or what equipment you use unless you tell them, and doing so tactfully can help avert potential discord over shared resources.
5) Remove all your weights from the equipment and put them back on the rack when you are done, AKA “clean up after yourself” – if you have ten 45-lbs. plates on the leg press and leave them there, how annoyed do you think the next person will be if they have to strip all of that weight off before even starting their workout? Be sure to put your toys back in the toy box when you’re done playing with them, because your mama doesn’t work here, LOL!
6) This applies mostly to cold & flu season, but if you are sick and coughing or sneezing all over the place, that is your body telling you that you need rest, so please stay home! Generally make it a point to refrain from coming in, because you risk infecting other (healthy) gym-goers (and ergo, their families) if you do. And if you’re getting over a recent illness and do opt to come in & workout, 1) cover your mouth if you cough/sneeze AND 2) be sure to use the sanitizing wipes/spray on each piece of equipment you use when you’re done to minimize somebody else’s risk of catching anything communicable. Again, it’s hygienic and demonstrates proper concern regarding the health, safety, and comfort of others.
7) Please avoid slamming equipment in a gorilla-esque, chest-beating display of machismo. Not only is it jarring (read:obnoxious) to have to listen to, but being rough on the machines generates increased wear and tear that could break a piece of equipment for the next guy/gal. If your weights are *that* heavy where you cannot bring them down in a controlled manner, that’s probably a sign to dial it back a bit. This is also an ergonomically sound consideration that reduces the risk of potential injury due to lifting above one’s weight class.
8) Filling up your water bottle at the drinking fountain? Just look around first to ensure there isn’t a line of dehydrated people waiting behind you to quench their thirst because a class just got out – few things are worse than dying of thirst waiting an eternity for somebody to fill up a liter-sized water bottle!
9) If you tend to work out in a pack/posse, avoid monopolizing all the equipment in a given area for a prolonged period, because the tendency may be to keep rotating around on the same 3 or 4 machines – when one friend finishes, another gets on and so this has the ability to tie up several machines for an extended length of time. Again, mindfulness of your surroundings and that others may occasionally need to work in is generally appreciated.
10) No mention of gym etiquette would ever be complete with out a brief outline of locker room protocol! 1) Don’t hog the mirror/counter area by allowing your clothing and/or personal care products to sprawl! 2) If your locker room has a steam room or sauna, always use a towel to sit on and do not under any circumstances shave in these spaces! Blood from accidentally nicking yourself with a razor blade presents a legit biohazard, so shaving should only be done in shower stalls or over sinks where debris can be washed down the drain! 3) Respect others’ varying comfort levels/boundaries regarding nudity. Engaging a stranger in a prolonged conversation while completely in the buff has the ability to get awkward real fast, so when in doubt, consider covering up with a towel. Generally, one can’t go wrong by erring on the side of modesty!
Venus will remain in Virgo until Friday (the 21st), but these top 10 considerations are still worth familiarizing ourselves with because she will eventually traverse this terrain again after the end of her retrograde cycle. Especially with Jupiter slipping into this sign in two weeks while in a square to Saturn, we do benefit from observing mundane ritual protocol, so let’s see this as an opportunity to renew certain Best Practices. Venus reenters Virgo on October 8th, giving us plenty of time to polish and perfect our politeness to achieve the desired high-gloss finish that makes day-to-day relations in the gym much more pleasant for everybody!