One of the perks of living in many apartment buildings or complexes is a community gym

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For a small (or sometimes no) fee, you have access to a variety of equipment walking distance from your front door or maybe even without going outside. No giant corporate gym and gym bros, no driving home sweaty in your car and the ability to shower off in your own bathroom.

But any gym is only as good as the people who patronize it. When everyone follows the rules — written and unwritten — all gym users benefit. But when there’s that one person who refuses to abide by reasonable apartment gym etiquette, the gym can be less fun for one and all. Don’t be that person.
The rules are for everyone
Your apartment gym has actual rules, most likely posted on the wall or on the website. The rules are for everyone. Follow them. You’re not special.

An apartment gym (or any gym) has rules for a reason: To keep everyone safe and happy and the equipment in working order. Even if you think a rule is silly, even if you think a rule shouldn’t apply to you, even if you think rules can be ignored when you’re alone in the gym, the rules are the rules and are the law of the land.

While you should absolutely follow the posted rules, there are also unwritten rules each member should follow to maintain good standing with your neighbors.

Here are some basic guidelines for how to follow proper apartment gym etiquette.
1. Dress appropriately

This isn’t going to be the point you think this will be. We’re not here to judge, and neither are you. However you wish to dress is nobody’s business but yours. Except for showing up naked (or virtually naked), do as you please.

As long as you’re dressed safely and in a way that won’t affect or dirty the equipment, go to town. Conversely, your job is not to condemn others either. Don’t body-shame.
2. Keep your shoes on
The gym is not the beach. It’s just gross for everyone if you take your shoes off at the gym during your workout.

Not only is your foot sweat unwanted, but it can be dangerous for you. Ever get your bare foot stuck in a machine or have a weight dropped on it? Well, you don’t want to.
3. Don’t smell badly
Yes, everyone will get sweaty at the gym, that’s the point. But that’s from your workout, not your life. Come to the gym clean (not sweating from other activities or covered in pool chlorine) and then use the equipment.

And for Pete’s sake, don’t come drowning in cologne or perfume. That does not cover sweat.
4. Stay away if you’re sick
Pretty simple. If you’re sick or think you’re sick, don’t go to the gym. Don’t infect everyone else, and keep the puking to the hard workout.
5. Don’t eat and drink in the gym
Other than obvious exceptions like water or a sports drink and a protein or power bar, no eating. The gym isn’t a restaurant. No open containers, and certainly no eating a meal. No one needs to see your Big Mac while they’re on the elliptical.
6. Bring a towel

If your gym doesn’t supply towels, bring your own. Your towel has great practical value. It’s a tough galaxy. If you want to survive, you’ve got to know where your towel is.

Its main job is to be the barrier between you and the things other people touch. Use it when you sit and when you sweat.
7. Don’t get naked
Your apartment gym bathroom or locker room isn’t the local mega-gym. These are the people you live around. For everyone’s best interests, don’t walk around in the locker room naked.

Use the stall or the shower, or be discreet in the locker area. Or better yet, just pop back up to your apartment.
8. Keep an eye on your noise
Everyone is at the gym to get into their workout zone. If you’re at the gym with friends, keep the conversation to a low roar — this isn’t the club. If you’re listening to music, wear earphones (ones that don’t leak, please). If there’s a gym TV, make the volume reasonable. And take cell phone conversations into the hallway.
9. Don’t bring more than one guest
Always follow the posted rules about guests. If your apartment gym doesn’t allow them, don’t bring them. If you have to buy a day pass for them, do it. But if you’re allowed to bring guests, limit yourself to one. Space is limited.
10. He (or she) who gets there first picks the TV channel
The TV rules are simple: Whoever gets to the gym first gets to pick the TV channel. When that person leaves, the person who has been there the longest gets next pick. But beware: If you pick the channel and then walk away or stop paying attention, you surrender your TV rights.

But the bottom line is really to pick something everyone might enjoy to make the workout go faster. Try “Jeopardy!” If the TV isn’t on when you get there but people are, ask if anyone minds before you flip it on.
11. Don’t pester people who are wearing earphones

If someone is wearing earphones, that’s your signal they wish to be left alone. Don’t bother them unless it’s an emergency (or if they didn’t wipe off their machine).
12. Keep advice to yourself
You’re not your gym-mates’ personal trainer. Even if you are a personal trainer, your unsolicited advice should be kept to yourself. Let others workout un-optimally if they wish.
13. Don’t be a creeper
Stop staring. Just don’t do it. Even through the mirror. Don’t make anyone of any gender uncomfortable and not want to come back (or worse, report you).

Don’t stare and keep your distance. Focus on yourself, you’ll thank you.
14. Give people space
Similarly, don’t violate others’ personal space. If there are five open treadmills, don’t get next to someone already running on one. If someone is using weights, jumping rope or stretching, leave plenty of room.

Take extra care around weights and dumbbells, they hurt. And don’t stand in the way of people that are trying to use the mirror. Be aware of your surroundings.
15. Don’t bogart the equipment

Don’t hog the equipment, weights or workout space. This is especially true in small apartment gyms. Be considerate like a regular human.

Your personal time limit on any machine should be no more than a half-hour. If it’s the only one and people are waiting, don’t dawdle (but, yes, you have a right to your 30 minutes).

Don’t claim multiple machines or spaces, either. Your cross-training routine is not for an apartment gym: One machine at a time, okay?
16. Respect someone else’s claim
Despite popular belief, no, you don’t give up rights to a machine as soon as you get up. You’re allowed to go to the bathroom, grab a drink or take a short breather.

If a piece of equipment has a towel on it or personal items around like a notebook or backpack, it’s claimed. Conversely, don’t abuse the system. If you’re away from a machine for more than five minutes, you’ve forfeited your claim to it.
17. Treat the equipment as if it were yours
Nothing gym-related sucks more than walking into the room only to see your favorite machine has an ‘Out of Order’ sign on it. Do you know why that happens? It’s nearly always because someone was irresponsible using it.

Treat the gym as if it were in your house. Don’t bang on equipment. Don’t let handles and pulls slam on their own. Don’t drop dumbbells and put free weights back where you found them. Only use equipment as it was intended and according to the instructions, and everyone will be happier.
18. Wipe off the darn machine
Apartment Gym Rule #1: When you’re done with literally any machine or equipment, wipe it off. If your gym supplies you with wet wipes, use them. If not, use a towel (remember you were supposed to bring a towel).

Get every part, the seat, the handles and anywhere you touched. Don’t fake it because you think we’re watching you, do it right because indeed we are watching you.
19. Turn everything off
If you’re the last person in the gym, when you leave, turn everything off that’s supposed to go off. That includes the TV, music and fans. If the lights are not on a timer or motion sensor, shut them off, too.

However, unless otherwise stated, machines stay on. If the door is propped open, shut it behind you.
Make the gym enjoyable for everyone
Just like any other gym, this one doesn’t belong to you and shouldn’t be used as your own personal body-building mecca. You have to live with your neighbors so make sure you respect their space and their workout.

The post 19 Unwritten Rules You Absolutely Must Follow in Your Apartment Gym appeared first on Rent Blog.
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