Making the trek to the McGill gym is a pain: From finding the time and motivation to get out the door to walking up the vicious hill in icy weather, just getting there can feel like the hardest part. But, once there, dodging the strange cast of characters at the fitness centre presents its own unique challenge. You know who I’m talking about—the girl hogging the Stairmaster for over 30 minutes when there is clearly a line for the machine, or the guy who leaves behind a pool of his own sweat at a rowing machine and “forgets” to wipe it away. To make things easier for gym aficionados and novices alike, The McGill Tribune has compiled a list of ways to avoid running into or becoming one of these people.
1- Bring a towel
Although the purpose of this step seems self-explanatory, it is overlooked and ignored by most gym-goers. Not only is bringing a towel into the fitness area in fact compulsory, but having one nearby benefits yourself and others. For starters, towels are essential for cleaning your face and body from sweat after a particularly intense workout, and, when dampened with cold water, can help you cool down. What’s more, the people around you will appreciate not being assaulted by your sweat droplets.
2- Clean the exercise machines and gym mats after use
You do not have to be exceedingly intuitive to figure out where I am going with this. Exercising leads to sweating, and sweating leads to germs. To prevent germs from spreading through equipment, please wipe down every mat and machine that you’ve used once your workout is done. There are many towels and bottles of antibacterial soap located around the fitness centre for this very purpose, so if you skip this step, you are honestly just being rude.
3- Do not be a hogger
During busy hours at the gym, it is inevitable that popular machines will draw a queue. To avoid frustrating other gym-goers, be conscious of how much time you spend on a machine that is regularly occupied, especially when you see people lurking nearby waiting to use it after you. The same applies to mats and floor space when stretching. Be aware of how much space you take up and try not to hog more than one yoga mat at a time—you can always do your star poses or your one-man kickboxing routine at home—and avoid scattering your personal belongings around the gym floor.
4- Be conscious of others
Nobody likes reverberating floors. They jolt people out of focus, and this can be hard to regain. To quell murderous thoughts from other gymers practicing relaxed stretches or concentrating on their reps, take note of the way you discard your weights. Please refrain from dropping heavy weights noisily on the ground; rather, place them gently on the floor once you’re done with them. Don’t worry, others will still know you’re a strong gym-bro even if you don’t chuck your weights onto the floor after each set. And for the love of the gym, please put the weights back on the rack where you found them.