By: Laura Williams
You signed up for a gym membership, which may, in fact, be one of your poorer decisions. But now you're locked into a contract, so you might as well make the most of it. If you don't want to catch a staph infection or get trapped on a treadmill between a heavy breather and a loud cellphone talker, avoid making these decisions when you hit the gym.
1. Eating a heavy or smelly meal before you go
First, it's going to make you feel gross. Second, it's going to make everyone else feel gross. No one likes the guy with onion breath and garlic sweat.
2. Showing up at 6am or 6pm
I get that there's this thing called a "normal work schedule" that makes it hard to workout at times other than 6am or 6pm, but unless you actually enjoy standing in line to use the same equipment everyone else is trying to use, make your best effort to avoid the gym's rush hour.
3. Copying someone else's workout... or someone else's form
You may think you're as sneaky as a ninja, but guaranteed, that person knows you're copying them... and you just became the creepy person. Also, who's to say they have a good workout (or good form)?
4. Using the Smith machine to do squats
Sure, it's easier than learning proper squat form. But therein lies the problem: you're not learning proper squat form. Skip the machine altogether and start with bodyweight squats, learn the form, then gradually add weights.
5. Dropping weights
If you're a weight dropper, I hate you. First, if you have to drop the weights, you're probably lifting too much to begin with (or you need a spotter). Also, it's an annoying habit. Also, it can damage dumbbells and cause them to break. Do you want a dumbbell falling apart on you when you're doing dumbbell chest presses? I didn't think so.
6. Grunting excessively
A little grunting, fine. Crazy, I'm-about-to-orgasm grunts? Just know that everyone at the gym is laughing at you and rolling their eyes.
7. Forgetting your shower shoes
Because athlete's foot isn't limited to high school boys' locker rooms.
8. Forgetting your headphones
There's no better excuse not to talk to anyone than to pretend you don't hear them.
Staring at other people. Staring at yourself in the mirror. It's all weird. And yes, other people notice if you're constantly checking yourself out. There's a difference between watching your form and having an illicit love affair with yourself.
10. Hoarding or monopolizing equipment
You just became public enemy number one. People have places to go and things to do -- don't screw with everyone else's schedule by monopolizing all the equipment.
11. Failing to wipe down a machine before you use it
Are you sure the person before you wiped it down? Do you really want to take that risk?
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