Kristaps Dzonsons

In my gym, the bench presses are close together: when moving weights on and off the bar, it's easy to bump one's neighbour. Normally, this would never happen—it takes only a moment to see whether somebody's there. But in the gym it seems to happen all the time: I don't go more than a few days before hearing one member inadvertently striking the others' bar. Usually this result in an apology, but I've seen a heavy bar get knocked onto a bench-presser, knocking the wind out of him and resulting in a trip to the hospital. Ouch.

Few environments match the gym (and other athletic facilities—pools, racket courts, etc.) in the necessity for codes of conduct. So while gyms inherit their culture's usual etiquette rules, from salutory conduct to physical contact, they also have rules to ensure the safety and health of attendees. How can we be good gym, pool, tennis court, or track-circuit citizens? Foremost: by being observant!

Ignore others in a cafe, and at most you'll bump into them and incur their ire. Ignore others in a gym, and you may end up being struck by their weights. And consider: the stronger the man and woman and the more weight they're throwing around, the higher the damage to themselves and others. So if you intend on spending a lot of time in the gym, you'll need to be commensurately attentive!

Don't crowd others—let them finish their pull-ups before you jump in.

Unfortunately, when at a gym, we often find ourselves doing exactly the opposite: instead of being more attentive, we become less so. This is the natural result of being more tired and in lacking the concentration required. How can we do better?

These rules of thumb will help you from weight-related accidents, but there's another factor at work: health. While strenuously exercising, not only do we perspire more, we're also more prone to infection from others. Thus, it's important to clean up after oneself, especially if not feeling well already.

With these rules in mind—beyond the usual rules of conduct from everyday life—you'll be both a good gym citizen and hopefully one without a track record of accidental-injury recovery!

This is an external submission by Kristaps. Send us any articles you think will help our community!

We begin 2016 with fresh inspiration and a challenging new goal: to write Latvia’s first blog about etiquette! My goal is to write this blog in an informal way, with humour and examples from real life situations. I wish to share my experiences, observations, and opinions not only in these blog articles but also in my Facebook postings. Most of all, I want to help those who want to help themselves in getting the most out of their daily relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and clients.
Learn more at Irma Kalnina Consulting!

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