The Gay Guys Guide To Gym Etiquette
New Years is upon us and it is that time to start thinking about your resolutions. What instantly comes to many people’s mind is losing that holiday weight and start hitting the gym.
I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of gyms – from an all-male gym in Soho to the Bikram style yoga studio in Georgetown, and my many experiences at the gym had lead me to a speed etiquette, rather feedback guide for today’s modern gym rat. Prepare to find yourself in violation of the top ten mistakes you possibly made or still make while pumping iron and dripping sweat at the gym.
10. Your music is excessively loud and it is not even good. Just because you have those fancy ear buds screwed into your ear hole, does not mean we cannot hear your music especially in the auxiliary gym. Save yourself from embarrassment and be courteous to turn the decibels down while you are lifting or stretching to Cher’s Greatest Hits or Baha Men’s “Who let the dogs out.”
9. What you are wearing is not cute. You have probably seen the episode of Modern Family where Cam wears the infamous bicycle shorts and the rule applies to everyone! Wear proper gym attire that will not accentuate the things you do not want people to acknowledge negatively. We do not want to see your Britney especially if we are lifting dumbbells or spinning, or else you will be pinned a hazard and someone could really hurt himself or herself, let alone poke an eye out!
8. All you need is Old Spice. If you watched the recent season of Logo TV’s “The A-List: New York,” you probably remembered hot-bod Reichen Lehmkuhl taking a huge whiff of his boyfriend, Rodiney (Team Subtitles) Santiago’s, armpit. Now I am advocate for do whatever floats your boat, but I do not advice smelling your partner’s, let alone your own armpit after Body step and Zumba. That is not cute and just plain disgusting. In addition, there is no need to splash Cool Water or Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue on you while you work out, especially if you are an overachiever sweat maniac. Just stroke the Old Spice once across the pits before you work it!
7. Save it for the nail salon tech and Robert. Yes, the gym is “gay men’s church,” so that means save the drama for your momma! We do not want to hear about last night’s hookup or that your best gal pal forgot to feed your maltase, Scotty. While it was great seeing you, I am here to workout. We can go to Starbucks and have our Hills moment and Gossip Girl session after.
6. Can I get my face back? If you are like me and focused on your fitness, the last thing you want to feel is uncomfortable and feel like “George” is staring at your every move. If you find someone attractive, let either him or her know, keep it to yourself and post to Craigslist’s Missed Connections after, or just stare once and look away. I have seen both men and women hit on the wrong way and it always ends up in total, “hot mess,” disaster.
5. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so clean up your mess. Repeatedly, people forget to clean and sanitize the exercise machines and it is one of my biggest pet peeves. John works out for an hour on the Precor and suddenly hops right off without even wiping off his nastiness. What makes you think I would want to get on the same machine? I could get sick and that would be a huge gay boy problem!
4. Get on my level. The gym can either make or break friendships and even relationships. Be prepared to know what it will take to workout with either your partner or your best friend. You might have to consider doing 2-a-day workout to get your fitness on the right track in case your friend cannot keep up with you. If you are like me and the gym is your safe haven, work solo, or be careful and do not let the person drive you insane to where it will cause more drama than you ever imagined will.
3. Who goin’ to check me boo? Whether it is your college campus or local Y, there are time limits on cardio machines, usually 30 minutes. Especially on a busy night, you probably encountered “those people,” the ones that spend more than the allotted time on the machines and that you secretly hate. Be courteous to others and know your time limit. Do not give people the stink eye; let them on, and do not forget to wipe off the machine after your time is up.
2. Grunting and Dumping Making loud noises while lifting weights and suddenly dropping them to the ground to sound machismo are not hot. Simmer down! We really do not find it a turn-on when you grunt loud and drop the weights. You could really hurt someone or it could sound as if you need help. Deep cleansing breaths are all we need to hear. Save the grunting for your next tennis game or for the bedroom.
1. Stop and stare. Don’t drop the soap. This may not apply to Manhattan’s all-male gym, but for the rest of us, it can make for an awkward and unfortunate series of events. First, make sure you have a towel. Just saying, men should not be walking around the entire locker room naked-like. Staring is very inappropriate and starting a conversation while one is showering is total creeper status, unless he is hot. Aren’t there exceptions?
Jason Yu is Partner and Director of Marketing for The Hardwicke Group in Richmond, VA. His company specializes in new media, PR and influence with an emphasis on digital marketing strategy and reputation management. Jason enjoys keeping active by biking, running and working out on a daily basis. Jason has ran in over twenty running races including the Marine Corps Marathon, Tough Mudder, Richmond Marathon, and Xterra races. Interesting facts about Jason is that he is a music fanatic, in search fro the best macaroni and cheese, and aspiring “mixologist.”
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