If you think about it, the fitness center is a rather odd social place. Fitness classes create some community, but beyond that, you have a bunch of people within a single space avoiding each other while working to get in shape. We’re working out alone together, and as a result, there are dozens of unspoken rules. When they get broken, it can ruin the fitness center experience. Because most of us head to the gym hoping for an escape or release from life’s stresses, having a workout affected by someone else’s bad behavior can be extra difficult. It can make you never want to go back.

In today’s blog, we want to take a look at part of the mile-long list of unspoken gym rules. We’ve broken it down by zone, so you know what to do whether you’re in the locker room or the squatting cages. Today’s zone is the banks of treadmills, ellipticals, and Stairmasters: the cardio zone.

Give yourself and others breathing room

Even with fans running full-blast, things can get sticky in the cardio zone. If you have a bunch of machines to choose from, don’t cozy right up to the one other person using them. You should only be elbow-to-elbow with people if there’s no other option (or they are your friends and you’re working out together). This not only prevents you from being annoyed, it keeps you from frustrating the runner who just wanted to get a quiet workout in without someone right beside them.

Cover up

Cardio is a toasty activity, but make sure things are covered up. Your shorts should give your legs breathing space without forcing you to half-flash the gym. You should do you, but know that cut-off shirts are rarely a great choice, especially if you’re a guy. Just keep things covered!

Don’t mess around

Unless you’re interval training, you should keep things simple while you’re on a machine. The last thing you want is to be limping out of the gym with weeks of maddening recovery ahead of you. Worse, shenanigans can hurt those around you. When you’re on a machine, stay focused until you’re finished.

Put your phone down

Speaking of staying focused, we can’t avoid the phone issue. Using a phone on the treadmill is notorious for causing mishaps. It’s fine to use fitness tracker apps, but don’t give your eyes any more reason to lock onto your phone screen. We know that treadmill running and walking can get a bit monotonous, so we recommend you put some great music or audiobooks on your phone and listen to them with headphones.

No spitting

When you run in the great outdoors, it usually isn’t a problem to spit or let off a snot rocket. Once you come inside, everything changes. You should never be spitting or snot rocketing inside. If you aren’t convinced, wait until you see someone else do it. Because you’re sharing the space with a bunch of other people, you need to keep your excretions to yourself.

Don’t “save” a machine for long periods of time

Sure, if you have to run to the bathroom, it’s fine to leave your water bottle and towel on a machine. However, you shouldn’t commandeer a treadmill you’re not going to use right away. This is especially true if you’re working out when things are really busy. If you need to be able to hop off the elliptical for some pushups and then hop back on, try to work out when the gym is quiet.

At Pro Fitness, we are proud to offer an elite fitness center that is clean, friendly, and fully equipped to facilitate your fitness success. Check us out in Warwick, and check back for our next blog!