The Ways of the Weight Room

Although health clubs have a code of conduct, every gym has unwritten rules as well.

1. Share equipment. While you're resting between sets, don't camp out on a machine. Let someone else do a set in between. If you're on your last set and ready to complete it, go ahead. If someone's standing near a machine, ask if she is using it before you hop on.

2. Don't crowd. Leave space for the person next to you to lift his or her arms in all directions.

3. Don't block the mirror. Try not to obstruct the view of others.

4. Always carry a towel. Wipe your sweat off benches you've used.

5. Don't hog the drinking fountain. Before you fill your bottle, let everyone in line get a drink.

6. Secure dumbbells. Cross them or stand them upright between sets so they don't roll onto someone's toes.

7. Don't drop your weights. Instead, place them on the floor when you're finished with a set.

8. Put weights back where they belong. Clear all weight plates off barbells and machines, and return dumbbells to their designated spot on the rack. Don't stick the 10-pounders where the 40-pounders go.

9. Don't tote a gym bag around.

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