While hitting the gym is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, bulking up this past year has proven difficult in the middle of COVID-19. As gyms slowly opened again, including Emory’s Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC), it’s likely we’ve all forgotten proper gym etiquette necessary to get back on the grind. Here are some useful tips.

Start With Some Protein

Sure, lots of people go for the classic post-workout whey protein shake, but it’s time to stop being basic. Hard gym fanatics ditch the water, and we suggest you do the same. Take the one hefty scoop of powdered protein goodness and send it right down the hatch. The best way to deal with the dryness afterward is letting out an invigorating protein-induced scream.

Wear a Cloth Mask

With mask requirements across gyms nationwide, there’s been a large influx of Dri-FIT masks that allow athletes to avoid having to work out with a moisture-filled mask. We recommend against that. In a time where strong lungs are more important than ever, wear a cloth mask. This will hold all the tasty sweat you produce for a makeshift waterboarding session. Remember — what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Your workout will go from a simple 20-minute bike ride to a life-or-death Reserve Officers’ Training Corps war simulation bound to strengthen your lung capacity. 

Stare Down Your Competitors

I don’t care what you learned in elementary school, everything in life is a competition and the gym is no exception. Walking into the gym, you should use a classic reverse psychology technique of complimenting fellow gym-goers to throw them off their game. Once you start on your treadmill, skip the warm-up and immediately take it to a full out sprint. Bystanders will be vulnerable from witnessing such confidence and skill. Also, make direct eye contact with your competitors while grunting through those bicep curls and while flexing those calves in front of the mirror. Show them that you don’t only go to the gym, you own the gym. Threaten them with your dominance. 

Boosting Morale

While the gym is a competition for the most part, there is no “I” in “team.” Enhance everyone’s gym experience by being sociable and uplifting. Get rid of your headphones and blast your tunes out loud. There’s nothing like the powerful art of music to bring people together. Some recommendations for crowd-pleasing bangers include “It’s Everyday Broby Jake Paul and “Fireflies” by Owl City. If you’re looking for a duet moment with your newly acquainted gym bro, opt for “Gotta Go My Own Way” from the High School Musical soundtrack. Adding a flare of dance moves such as jazz hands or sashaying through the gym facility have also been shown to raise spirits.

Conclusion

Whether you’re new to the gym or a seasoned pro, these simple tips can help make a world of difference. With the WoodPEC up and running, make sure to schedule an appointment and try out your new skills.

Christine Plaster is from Greenwich, Connecticut. Contact Plaster at [email protected]

The views represented in this article are the writer’s own. Read more of the Wheel’s satire under Emory Life and contact Emory Life Editor Angela Tang at [email protected] if you’re interested in writing satire.