Thompson Recreation Centre is many students' favourite spot on campus, but often it gets a little crowded.

While there are rules posted at the entrance, there are also other unspoken rules everyone should keep in mind. Everybody just wants to have a good workout, so here are six etiquette tips to keep the gym a fun and safe place.

1.  Don't hog the water fountain

It’s a good thing to drink water both during and after your workout, and that’s exactly what the water fountains throughout the building are there for. Lots of people need to use them, though, so standing at the fountain to catch your breath is inconsiderate when there’s a line behind you.

Take a drink and move aside, then rejoin the line if you have to. Or bring a water bottle with you. Either way, don’t spend more than a few seconds standing there.

2. Share equipment — it’s there for everyone

Western students are lucky to have a gym with so much equipment, from machines to bikes to dumbells. But even a well-stocked facility like Thompson can get busy at times.

If there’s another person looking to use the chest press machine or all the squat racks are taken, try not to hog it for half an hour. Take turns or rotate your sets to free up equipment for other people to use.

If somebody asks you if you’re nearly done, don’t be mad at them — offer to let them work in, and use the equipment between your sets.

3. The mirrors are for form, not vanity

As in most gyms, there are a lot of floor-to-ceiling mirrors at the Rec Centre. They’re there so people lifting weights can keep an eye on their form, to make sure they’re getting the most out of their workout and not in danger of injuring themselves. What they're not there for is for people to check themselves out.

Admiring yourself in the mirror is best kept to the bathrooms where you won’t get in the way of someone trying to watch themselves deadlifting. If you absolutely have to, do it in the corner out of the way.

4. Don’t get in the way

During peak hours, the gym can be extremely crowded. I’ve seen a lot of people contribute to the problem by standing around machines and racks, blocking the path for someone else.

It’s especially irritating to see people standing between machines on their phones. Change your song, send a text, that’s fine. But if something’s going to take more than a minute or so, head out into the main hallway where there’s more space. It’s frustrating to have to push past people to get to one end of the weight room.

5. Wipe off your sweat!

Yes, this one’s clearly signposted around the whole gym, however, it happens all the time.

Somebody finishes a high-intensity bike workout, a body weight circuit on the mats or a few sets on the leg curl machine and just leaves it as is. When another person goes to use the same bike, mat or machine, it’s grossly warm and sweaty. Nobody wants to have to experience that, so take 30 seconds to grab a wet wipe and clean your equipment before you move on.

6. There’s only so much bench space in the locker room

Before and after your workout, you’ll probably be changing downstairs in the locker room. So will a lot of other people.

Don’t take up all the space on the bench in front of your chosen locker with your bag, shoes, clothes and coat. Try to be economical and put your stuff in the locker or your bag when you don’t need it.

If someone needs to get into the locker beside you, make sure to move over completely so they have room for their stuff.

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