As you know, at Viva we — ugh….*coff*…—what’s that SMELL??

It… it’s not you is it?

The gym is a delicate ecosystem. Make sure you don’t upset the balance by keeping the following in mind when visiting the gym.

1. A place for everything and everything in its place

Stepping on lego isn’t even as painful as coming to find the 8kg dumbbells and finding an empty space, one lonely 15kg dumbbell and an empty coffee cup in their place.

If you use something, please put it back where it belongs.

2. Gym bag baggage

There is a secret some of your fellow gym goers are hiding from us all. Something they jealously keep in those canvas carry-alls, like a dragon on a pile of gold.
Why else would they blast fiery words at us. That can be the only explanation of the fury with which some of our members have reacted when we’ve tried to approach them to remove said gym bags, word- burning our friendly staff either on the floor or on social media when asked to put these bags in a locker.

Is your gym bag suffering from separation anxiety? Does she pine to be close your sweet, sweet calves, even during your workout?

We have the solution for you! Gym bags, especially the nylon breed, and even some towel bags take their job of carrying your things very seriously. So much so that when they aren’t reassured their purpose is being served, all hell can break loose; single socks suddenly go missing, lotion bottles burst open, keys slip between holes in lining, ever to be heard, never to be seen.

It can be tough on everyone involved so the best thing to do is nip it in the bud immediately. Remember training is all about consistency. As you’re getting ready to head onto the gym floor, don’t fuss your gym bag, if she senses you’re stressed about the separation, she will be stressed too. Calmly let hold your belongings and place her in your locker or car boot. Remember, this is her natural habitat, she is doing her job in a safe, secure environment.

The gym floor is no place for a gym bag; the likelihood of her getting stepped on or worst yet, kicked or kidnapped, is high. Not everyone is a gym bag person and the floor is a shared space, so be considerate and safe. Certain gyms may make an exception for the toy breeds, like arm pouches, moon bags, etc as long as they’re well-trained and can sit quietly and out of sight under equipment.

3. Use a gym towel

See that shiny patch of hair oil where someone’s head just was on that bench you’re about to use? Or that lovely fresh spray of sweat all over the handlebars of the stair climber? Don’t be the mucky pup that doesn’t use a towel.

Better yet, get one of those nifty gym towels with a little zipper pocket for your locker key. Both hygienic and handy.

4. Be clean

Back to the smell. Viva gyms are big and spacious, but not so big and spacious that you don’t need to use some deodorant. We’re in beautiful South Africa with beautiful weather, but that also means not so beautiful smells coming from your special sweaty places. Please, think of your pits and keep them peachy.

5. Smile, don’t drool

We’re all friends in fitness, so if someone gives you a smile, send one back their way…ok, that’s enough….no really, you can stop smiling now, we’re just trying to work out. Imagine the scene, if you can. You’re a woman. You’re at gym to get down to business, and your business is sweat. Your hair is stuck to your face, you feel like your eyeballs are rolling back in your head, and those last few reps are making you pull out your ugly face.

You’ve kind of noticed creepy stares from the men nearby, but managed to ignore it up until now.

Just as you’re in the middle of your second set on the yes-no machines, one of the lurking dude-bros comes over and says, “Uh-hurh-hurh, faster, harder, gnu-yurhur”, looking you up and down as he says it.

Guys. You don’t want to chase all the women away, do you? We understand the testosterone is high and you’re thinking about how sexy you are, but trust me, the average woman at the gym is not in the right mood to talk to you right now.

We’re all about friendliness, not about creepiness, so maybe save your pickup lines for the nightclub rather than your fitness club.

6. Share your toys

We all know that guy. It’s 6pm and it’s busy. Nobody has used the bench you’re eyeing out for at least 5 mins, but there is a towel on it.

The bar you need just over there has a water bottle next to it. There is a guy doing triceps pushdowns. Just as you’re about to move the water bottle or towel aside, Captain Triceps comes rushing in and says “I was using that, bro.”

Don’t be like Captain Triceps – be like..uh..another obscure superhero who shares equipment because we think they’re way cooler.

7. Curls in the squat rack

There are only so many of each type of equipment, and in some cases, you can’t do a certain exercise without it. Squat racks are one of them.

Doing some overhead press? Heavy barbell squats? Some barbell lunges with a bar too heavy to lift from the ground onto your shoulders?

By all means, use a squat rack.

But if you simply want to take the bar off the rack and do your deadlifts just in front of it, or do some shrugs and then sit on your phone waiting for your next set, you might just possibly be on Santa’s naughty list and in line for a lump of coal for Christmas this year. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Do you have any more gym peeves we can add to our list of no-nos? Leave a comment! In the meantime, let the Buff Dudes give you some tips on how to be a gym gentleman / woman.


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