Dude That's Rude: Gym Etiquette

By Adam D. Sidman

Walking through the doors of the MAC and Hemenway can feel empowering and welcoming. “Empowering” in the sense that you can head back to your room after your “workout” (aka snapchatting mirror selfies in your workout clothing), and “welcoming” in the sense that these two gyms are sure to embrace you by enveloping your body in sweaty air — a literal warm hug. But sometimes, or most of the time, if we’re being real, our experiences at the MAC and Hem can feel like a battle with fellow gym-goers over the limited space and few machines. It’s like you need to build up strength and endurance to go in the first place. So, to make the gym experience more enjoyable for us all, let’s stick to the following guidelines:

1. Recognize that there’s limited space. Yes, maybe at home your gym allows for you to sprawl out and even make your own obstacle course, but that is a luxury that doesn’t exist within the walls of the MAC or Hem. So instead of monopolizing the 10-square-feet designated for 50 people, go grab a mat like everybody else and stay in your lane.

2. Sharing is caring. And if you didn’t realize, that small area for floor-work wasn’t meant for your own personal training space. If we join you in that area, don’t tell us to move over. You should.

3. Jump rope with caution. How is it possible that we even need to bring this up? Small spaces, lots of people, and jump ropes are a recipe for disaster.

4. Please clean up after yourself. There are wipes and spray for a reason. Just because you might enjoy working out in the literal midst of others’ sweat does not mean that everyone else does. And also, that spray smells really good. Like grape candy. Yum.

5. There are only three Pelotons. Having any number of Pelotons is a luxury, no doubt, so we don’t want to complain. But there are only three of them. So after you are done with your 60-minute Hip-Hop remix ride with arms and intervals, please don’t sit on the bike texting (or snapchatting...we see you taking those selfies!) because there’s a line waiting behind you.

6. Don’t look at us while we’re doing weights. It’s awkward for us. It’s awkward for you. Don’t do it. Look away.

7. We’re not competing. Harvard is already a pretty intense place, so let’s make the gym a competition-free zone. As mentioned above, stop looking over at that guy from math class who is doing some heavy chest pressing. You are your own competition.

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