Here are my top three rules for the gym:
- Wear appropriate attire.
Sweatpants, shorts, and tee shirts are all acceptable items of clothing at the gym.
Wearing Spandex bike shorts sans underpants is unacceptable. Same goes for nothing but a sports bra on top (save it for Sweatin' to the Oldies at home) or men's short-shorts that would qualify as dubious even on basketball players in the '70s. No one wants to see your jiggly, dimpled butt, bouncing around on an elliptical for half an hour.
While I'm at it, wearing too much clothing is just as bad as not wearing enough. A pair of jeans and a long-sleeved fleece pull-over do not an appropriate gym outfit make. Riding an exercise bike in such gear is unacceptable, as it makes me worry that you'll will pass out from heat exhaustion, or I'll pass out from nervousness that you'll pass out.
- Keep quiet.
Although it's somewhat annoying, feel free to exhale sharply when exerting yourself; breathing is important! You can even listen to your iPod (at an acceptable decibel level), or chat with a nearby friend.
Grunting, however, is not allowed. Neither is singing along to the Ruff Ryders' Anthem so loudly that I can't hear myself think. I also don't care much for your TMI conversation with anyone who will listen. I don't even like to be at the gym at 6:45 a.m., so the less I have to listen to your grunting, groaning, singing and over-sharing, the better.
- Work out alone.
Sure, you can bring a buddy or a significant other, but nothing's worse than being surrounded by the varsity cheerleading squad. Similarly, leave the damn Blackberry at home! For the love of God, no one needs to hear a one-sided conversation about your latest visit to the gynecologist, your recent mole biopsy, or your drunken regrets. I also don't want to worry about your falling off the treadmill in a texting frenzy; think of the paperwork! You can handle being "alone" in a crowded gym for an hour; the Blackberry can wait.
Faithful readers, what would you add? What are your gym pet peeves?