FITNESS: Gym etiquette and common sense


Idris Aura, Fitness-spalten.

The fitness column is written by personal trainer, Idris Aura.

What happens when common sense is no longer common? Through the years I’ve experienced a good number of gym members from most parts of Europe and Middle East to Africa, with negative manners of all sorts. And if you’re going to get offended then please do not continue to read. As gym members are getting more ignorant of customs of the gyms/clubs, there is a need to remind some of us that gym etiquette still exists. Any group of humans that congregate for a shared purpose or activity develops a type of social etiquette or rules. Unfortunately this never gets well with some clever brains. These are part of the long list of most annoying behaviors, to name a few:

1. Showering
Most gyms offer free shower facilities, but this can become a long story especially now during winter. Most gym goers will not tell you that your socks or underwear are in need of washing, and that your body odor is so strong that you need donation to buy deodorant. You don’t have to buy designer perfumes, go for a simple IKEA OR BILTEMA deodorant, and don’t say your washing machine broke down.

2. Smelly feet
Please do not remove your shoes. I know you might say «I googled that it’s ok to squat without shoes for ergonomic reasons», well… That’s not true. Go ahead and lecture us on this issue but remember to wear your shoes, and not crocs.

3. Reading newspapers or a novel
For sure, reading newspapers or «Fifty Shades of Grey» doesn’t make you look more intelligent than others. For heavens sake – pay attention to the next person itching to use that machine or equipment. You’re wasting time, so just go to the library or go away. And I mean far way in the woods – Sørmarka or Ullandhaug.

4. Gym bags and hand bags
Those bags are big and look heavy. I wanna ask you what you are carrying every time you appear in the gym with it… Cosmetics, gym chalk-magnesium, protein shakes and a banana? Really, it’s a 50 liter bag in the gym. To ferry gym equipments home?

5. Noisy fellow on phone
Ja! Ja! You know that we know you work for an oil company at Forus, and that you drive an ecology friendly electric car (Tesla) and that that phone is the latest iPhone 6 with a big screen. So what? If your business is going to disturb others in the gym with your important calls, then stay in the office and don’t even come out. You might even get awarded employee of the month from your boss.

6. Returning weights back
Rino, the personal trainer, even stuck a clear message on the wall: «Your mum ain’t working here». If you can lift them, then return them to where you found them and keep stuff in order for the next user. Or you could start your own gym in your dads garage and feel free to even fart there.

7. Drinking from the fountain
What happened to gym bottles for you to put your «sexy» lips on? The water fountain or water tap is for public use, it’s not yours. And let’s keep it simple; stop bending to quench your thirst that way, because it’s really annoying when you spread your flu virus. Keep it, please.

8. Don’t blow-dry your balls
Why can’t I walk into the locker room of my gym without being greeted by the sight of someone naked and one foot on top of the counter, crotch spread wide using a public hair dryer on his pubic area? It’s ghastly. And please shave a bit of that overgrown bush too, since it keeps falling off everywhere. I guess this happens in the ladies sections too, and I will check that out one day if they allow me or invite me.

9. Old pairs of cut-off jeans
Come on guys, this is so 1980s Chuck Norris-movies. Unless you’re trying to show off your crotch, attract silly young ladies or look macho while squatting 10 kgs. But again, no one is interested in such fashion. Please save that pair of cut jeans-shorts for your summer beach trip to Magaluf.

10. Don’t stare
Seriously, don’t stare. It’s awkward. People are in the gym working on their bodies. Even if a girl is wearing only a sports bra and 2XU tights, and she’s exposing her flat or chubby tummy, which my colleague Elise calls «fluffy body». Well… She’s not inviting you to stare at it, she’s just warm and needs to release some heat. And girls, everyone knows Petter is hot and even hotter while working out his biceps, but keep your eyes to yourself.

11. Selfies for Hollywood?
Honestly just don’t come to the gym if all you want to do is take photos of yourself on machines to post on Instagram or Facebook. This is so old, and I understand I don’t have an Instagram account so I don’t know how it feels, but just stay out near the car park bushes and take selfies from there. You can even say «cheese» and smile if you want to!

12. People who come in late
This group of trendy, busy people always comes late to the gym. It’s open from 06:00 to 22:00, but they come at 21:40 (useless), expecting gym staff to do overtime because they are busy washing their armpits and buttocks. Try it with me again and you will use your iPhone light for showering because I will switch off the lights.

13. Naughty clueless DJ’s
It’s impossible to play 5000 songs at once for 5000 members, hence we need to have some order in place to run the show. Avoid touching iPads or music systems in the gym where it says «Vennligst IKKE rør iPad eller forsterker». Why not buy yours and play hard with it and cut the story short.

14. Dentists, cowboys, engineers and fake trainers
Getting these titles for sure you must have worked really hard in life and I salute the important roles you play in our great society. But please stop pretending to be a «generous» trainer to only ladies, and that your knowledge is applied everywhere from fixing teeth, drilling oil wells to training elite athletes in Japan. Stop correcting everyone on sight instead of focusing on planning how to fix your potbelly and Pizzabakeren-habits. Ladies, be aware of these clever sharks.

14. Boyfriend or bodyguard
You need time to exercise without your in secured boyfriend standing 10 centimeters from your face, still smelling canned mackerel fish in his mouth from lunch. This might be the main reason why you don’t see good results from your exercises. Honestly, leave this guy and come to me. Unless he washes dirty dishes at home, buys you expensive designer shoes/handbags and he’s studying some masters degree in offshore at UIS to be followed in the future by amassive offshore salary, then he’s a perfect man for you. Romeo and Juliet, stop this foolish Hoi polloi. You’re not the first one to fall in love here in Stavanger. The ancient Vikings did love their women here and beat them hard too, after returning from wars. So spare us your cheap drama in the gym – we’re sick of it. And grow up too.

Aura’s (it’s my name) last advice:
Never mind, it’s not my job to pluck you out of your world with its candy coated sky where it rains doughnuts, Grandiosa and sometimes beautiful ladies and handsome men wearing 2XU tights, leaving their sweaty bottom imprints on benches. Stop doing art Picasso, and just wipe it down. Have a tight day in your new 2XU!


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