1. Keep the volume down A bit of deep breathing or even a quiet growl while you bench a particularly heavy load is acceptable. Screaming, grunting and groaning as if you’ve been stabbed is not – it intimidates other gym-goers and uses up vital energy.
2. Don’t ogle women Although German research suggests that looking at women’s breasts for ten minutes a day is good for your health, blatantly gawping at norks in the gym will only get you slapped, barred or sued.
3. Wipe your sweat off machines If you arrived at a machine to find sweat running off it, would you leap on and rub your body all over it? Of course not. Being covered in another person’s sweat is deeply unpleasant so towel down the machine you’ve just used.
4. Don’t hog the equipment Your gym will have less kit than it does members, which means you’re going to have to share with other people. If someone’s on it, offer to ‘work in’, which means you use equipment to do a set, then rest while someone else does a set with the same kit. When the gym is busy, limit the amount of time you spend on any one machine.
5. Don’t give people unwanted advice Unless you’re a qualified fitness professional you’ve got no business walking round the gym spitting out spurious exercise advice. If you see somebody lifting incorrectly, tell a personal trainer. It’s their job to make sure gym members are training safely and effectively.
6. Don’t snog the water fountain Your mouth contains more bacteria than any other part of your body so tongueing the water fountain is deeply unhygienic (as well as making you look like a weird metal fetishist). For the sake of your health and reputation, make sure there’s daylight between your mouth and the nozzle.
7. Wear clean clothes Wearing the same unwashed T-shirt every time you work out doesn’t help you to look like a seasoned veteran – it makes you look like a tramp. Those in the know wear wicking tops, which pull sweat away from the body so there’s less risk of chafing the skin or smelling of stale sweat.
8. Keep workouts food-free Not only will you spill your food all over your new wicking gear, if you try to eat while training there’s a good chance you’ll make yourself sick. A few boiled sweets – in case you need a quick energy boost – are the only edibles you should have on your person while working out.
Next New Year fitness guide: Top workout tips
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