Over my times spent in the Czech fitness center, I have started to pick up on a certain etiquette. First off you take your street shoes off at the door. As you enter, you say hello to everyone in the gym, either in an all encompassing “ahoy” or individually address people. Then you walk in socked-feet to the changing room to put on your gym shoes.
After this you chat at the “bar” with all the other guys and give any women side-long glances. According to my boyfriends Czech co-worker, the men are all on steroids and are usually chatting about which steroid they are on. That explains a lot!
Aside from not wearing street shoes in the gym, you must have a towel. A gym towel is not only used to keep your sweat from rubbing all over the equipment, but it also effectively allows you to hog a piece of equipment for as long as you like. You can put your towel on a bench and go have a chat about steroids while sipping energy drinks. You can even go do a different workout while your towel hinders other gym-goers. I have yet to see anyone move a towel that wasn’t theirs to do a quick set. They would probably be killed.
If someone is using a piece of equipment you want to use, it is perfectly acceptable to hover around them until they are finished. If hovering isn’t your forte, you can stand at the bar and stare at them while chatting.
As I said in my earlier post, at the gym you should grunt and shout and make obscene noises while doing your workout.
When you are finished with your workout and leave the premises, it is necessary to again address everyone. Again with an overall “ahoy” or if you are the significant other of one of the men working out there, you get a more polite “na shledanou!”.
Today I also found out at that it is acceptable to yell at a young foreign woman for unknowingly taking a piece of equipment that wasn’t “toweled”. This gentlemen was even aware that I was foreign because after he yelled at me, another man said “angličtina” and he responded with “ja vem” (I know). He attempted to play it off as a joke, I just smiled while secretly hoping he would strain his groin. Just a little bit. 😉