I have been a gym rat for a while now....I have years of research on the subject of gym etiquette. The main thing I have learned is that I am doing it all wrong.
I have come to realize that what you look like at the gym is very important.
Drawers: I'm still a little confused on whether you wear underwear or not with your workout gear. I used to think that it was mandatory to wear gigantic granny panties while you worked out. However, since I have joined my new gym I have realized that going commando is the thing to do. There is no way anyone is wearing gigantic granny panties with the spandex shorty shorts I'm seeing around that place. On men and women. And men....don't waste time on putting on bike shorts under your very loose and shiny athletic shorts. It's way cuter when you are free ballin'. It's really great if you can adjust yourself every .05 seconds. Women really love that.
Outfit: The outfit is super important. Shirts and pants are supposed to match. Oh...and the sports bra must coordinate and supply adequate lift. Spandex is preferred but if unavailable really tight cotton will do. Your outfit can make or break your gym experience. If you do not match and look super cute then it's a wasted trip. There was a woman in the gym today in a great outfit. She had on black spandex shorty shorts and a hot pink Victoria's Secret tank top and coordinating black sports bra. The tank top was very clever. In the front it looked like a normal shirt. However, when she turns around the back is scooped out all the way to her lower back. It was so low that the straps of the shirt couldn't stay up on her shoulders. She was able to push them up every time she moved. Super cute.
Shoes: Your shoes must be equally as cute as your outfit. It helps if they are brightly colored and you have coordinating knee high socks. This is a very cute look. To really cinch the look you should have contrasting shoe laces.
Makeup: You must wear a full face of makeup at all times when working out at the gym. Regardless of whether you are there at 5am or 9pm, your make up must be in pristine condition. Try not to work out to hard so you don't smudge it. You don't want to melt your mascara and have raccoon eyes. That's not a cute look.
How you behave in a fitness class is super important. It's how you earn your gym rep' and cute nicknames. Well, that's how I assign it.
The Moaner: It's really great if you can moan, groan and hiss while exerting energy. It's even better if you can manage to spit a little when you hiss. Everyone really loves a spitter.
Grunting: If you are going to add in something new to your gym routine I recommend grunting. It is the thing to do. You let out a very loud deep grunt every time you lift a weight, stand up/sit down on a spin bike, run on a treadmill/elliptical, use the rowing machine or walk across the floor. Grunting shows that you are really working hard and makes everyone around you super jealous.
The Animal: Barking, howling and whining like an injured animal are all appropriate sounds to make during a fitness class.
Woo Woo: Everyone loves a woo woo girl. They are always the life of the party. They are really at their peak at 5:30am. They always have so much energy and can really project their voices over the instructors music.
OCD: It is perfectly normal and not strange at all for you to completely cover your spin bike, elliptical, treadmill or other fitness device in towels. Even better when you can cover the entire floor surrounding said device in towels.
Gossip: Who doesn't love to hear some good gossip?! Especially when you are three rows behind me. I love keeping up. A few weeks ago I was in spin class and was able to hear the following:
Woman: I went to Senior Prom with him. I ran into him a few weeks ago at a football game. His wife's real cute so I guess he's doing well.
Butterfly: I have recently noticed a new species at the gym. Sometimes they are alone but sometimes they travel in packs. They flutter around the gym and stand by different pieces of equipment. The really fascinating thing is that they never have to actually use the equipment. They can get a full workout just by standing next to it and talking to their friend. It's amazing. I need to figure out how to do that.
Cell Phones: You can get a killer work out while you talk on your cell phone and walk on the treadmill at the same time. You don't even have to take a shower afterwards because for some reason you don't sweat that much. The radiation from the cell phone must absorb it or something like that. Don't worry about talking to loud. Everyone in the gym really likes hearing about your date last night.
Locker Room Etiquette
It is the social norm to stand completely nude in the middle of the locker room and catch up with your friends. Preferably near the entrance/exit so everyone can try to walk around you. That's not weird or uncomfortable at all. It really adds flair if you swing your towel over your shoulder.
Food and Drink
Drink: Now, the old thing to do was bring a bottle of water to drink while you were at the gym. Then it progressed to sports drinks and the occasional energy drink. Now the really cool thing to do is drink coffee. How cool do you look on the spin bike sipping your travel mug of coffee? Not to mention everyone else in spin class gets to smell it and be super jealous.
Food: If your gym time happens to fall during one of your normal meal or snack times it's okay to eat while working out. Zero's out the calories. It's even better if you can eat something really loud and crunchy. It's not obnoxious at all.
Folks....this is just the tip of the iceberg on gym etiquette. Like I said, I have years of research compiled.