Gym Etiquette- Modesty

February 13th, 2009

Escaping from the rigors of academia is an absolute necessity to retain sanity at the Colorado School of Mines. My favorite way of doing this is by pumping iron at the gym; I know many of you feel the same way. The gym should be a place of solitude, a place where you can release anger and stress beneficially by transferring that energy into improving physical fitness. One of the many distractions encountered at the gym is the disregard for modesty. The gym is a place to improve your body, not show it off, if you want to do that, go to the beach.

For men, problems include shirts that are ripped nearly all the way down the sides, loose and short shorts, and extremely tight shirts. Each of these items reveals a lot of body that most people do not want to have to look at when they are working out. I realize that while working out you can build up a sweat and that less clothing means more cooling. Suck it up! If you can lift weights, you can certainly put up with a little sweat; sweat releases toxins stored in your body, so wearing more clothes actually helps you out as long as you remain hydrated. If you are going to be doing exercises where you lift your legs, make sure you have compression shorts on or are wearing some form of pants. The reasons should be obvious.

Many girls also have the problem of not wearing very much clothing in the gym. My question is, why? What part of your workout is inhibited by wearing more clothing? Girls seem to have an obsession with wearing very short, tight shorts or tops. This can be very distracting to the male population, especially at Mines where there are very few girls in the gym and numerous guys. The gym is a place to get away from distractions, not be faced with more.

Another common problem is flexing in front of the mirrors. This is mostly performed by the guys in the gym but I have also witnessed girls flexing as well. The mirrors are there to watch your form while lifting to help ensure safety and to maximize the benefit of a certain exercise; bad lifting technique is a sure way to not see results in the gym and even face possible injury. No one cares how big your muscles are but you, and there is certainly no one that wants to be distracted by seeing you flexing while they are trying to work out. So save the flexing for home and pay attention to your workout, the only thing that matters within the confines of the weight room.

Modesty has been and probably always will be a problem at gyms. This is not a reason to neglect your individual responsibility to partake in modesty; it is something that you can find solace in. Not distracting others from their workout is required of everyone in the gym to maximize the quality of the atmosphere. If you are someone who thinks you are huge and must show off your muscles around a bunch of smaller guys to make yourself feel good, or think you are an attractive female and enjoy having guys watch your every move- replace your pride with the clothes in your gym bag, and think of others before entering the place that gives some people their only source of relief from this school.

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