Monday, December 17, 2012

Didn’t your trainer teach you any manners? A guide to the unwritten rules of working out in a public gym

I'm not much for recommending books I haven't even read yet, but we're headed to the most dreaded month for gym rats: January. 

Gyms across the country are swarmed with newcomers each January. As any regular gym-goer can attest, the first few months of the year bring out all kinds of newly inspired fitness fanatics, many of whom could use a lesson in gym etiquette.

The following preview of a book crossed my desk and I found myself shouting, "YES!"  Sounds like a great book to pre-order and have on hand as a coping mechanism....or perhaps to place strategically around your own favorite fitness haunt.
Bombarded by inconsiderate behavior at the Manhattan gyms she frequents, attorney and long-time fitness buff Lori Pines put down the dumbbells and wrote The Little Book of Gym Etiquette: A Handbook for Dealing with Annoying People at the Gym (January 2013, $8.95).

Pines addresses the culprits of “gym rage" among the regulars, and point newcomers to six helpful rules of gym etiquette:
1. Don’t be a slob
2. Don’t be a hog
3. Don’t be a space invader
4. Don’t be a super-talker
5. Don’t be a grouch
6. Don’t be an exhibitionist 
“This is a topic every gym-goer has thought about at some point,” says Pines, who is tired of seeing empty water bottles litter the gym floor and listening to loud phone talkers barely breaking a sweat on the stationary bikes.

In The Little Book of Gym Etiquette, she cites the “3 C’s” everyone should know before a gym workout: be clean, considerate and cheerful. Following these three simple rules will, according to Pines, keep everyone in the gym satisfied.

With satirical descriptions and hilarious illustrations, Pines pokes fun at stereotypical offenders—the slobs, hogs, space invaders, super-talkers, grouches and exhibitionists—while simultaneously promoting  fitness and encouraging readers to be accommodating.

“Let’s face facts—it isn’t easy getting to the gym. You have to walk or drive there, change your clothes, psych yourself up for the pain and exertion, and then clean yourself up and change your clothes afterwards,” Pines writes. “The last thing we need is a further deterrent to getting to the gym. That’s why there is nothing more annoying than having to deal with people who don’t know how to behave there.”

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