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I have a good friend that is pretty hot and for good reason, she’s a personal trainer. We often sit down over beers and bitch about our jobs. Well, I’m drinking the beer and she’s sipping on some low-carb libation but I digress.

This time of year also known as the New Year’s Resolution Rush gives her plenty of material to dump during our bitch fests. She also tends to throw back a few more than usual.

The gyms are not just crowded as hell but they are more crowded with people that usually spend more time at the smoothie bar than raising one with weights on it.

There is quite a bit of douchbag behavior happening on a normal day at the gym so use these tips from a professional and don’t be that guy.

Classes.  Before I go further, we are not talking Crossfit. That’s a whole different blog for a different time. We’re talking HIIT classes, spin or the kind of classes happening in tight spaces somewhere off of the main club’s floor.

One rule of thumb: avoid the front spots in any class. While these spots are not officially claimed by regulars they do belong to that crew and my hot trainer friend has literally witnessed a fist fight over who was supposed to have the bike in the front.

Also, don’t stroll in right as the class begins. If you are new to the class the instructor likes to meet newbies and you run the risk of a proper warm-up and machine calibration. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes to get ready and size up the rest of the class. Which brings me to the machines.

Machines.  Seriously, don’t be a sweat hog and park your ass on a treadmill for more than 30 minutes if there is a wait. Only have 30 minutes? Take it as an opportunity to cross train until the gym empties out after the end of February. Or whenever the resolution rush dies down. Everyone’s trying to get a rockhard bod and abs. And for the love of all that is holy, clean the damn machines even if you aren’t dripping in sweat.

Weights.  Don’t be a jerk and drop the weights. It’s loud, disruptive and can do damage to the gym itself. We get it—you can lift your ass off but it’s still a straight-up douchey move.

Germ factor.  Adding to the jam-packed environment at any gym in January is the germ factor. More body odor, more sweat and more ways to catch whatever strain of flu is being shared in small spaces. If you are too sick to workout then don’t. Take the time off to let your body fight getting better. Given that colds take around three weeks to go away, it’s not pratical to skip the gym that long. Instead, take the time to wash your hands frequently, wipe down surfaces that you have touched and prevent the further spread of fluids.

When all else fails, apply The Golden Rule. Need some additional inspiration? Check out these workout tips on getting rock hard abs.

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