Dear male gym-goers,

Hi! I’m so glad that you have decided to better yourself and get in shape – that’s great! I think everyone should exercise in some way or another, and using the treadmill/elliptical/bike/weight room/etc. is a great way to do just that.

I also enjoy the fact that everyone at our gym is pretty friendly. We all say hi to each other, or nod politely, or are generally just non-assholes to one another. Fantastic!

What’s not fantastic, however, is the way some of you behave. I understand that exercise raises endorphins and that you might feel pumped up, and all that energy needs to go somewhere, right? That’s cool, I get it. But I have some helpful hints for you, too:

1. Older gentlemen: The gym is not your living room. If on Sunday you like to sit back in your stained sweatpants with a Venti latte and yell obnoxiously loud at ESPN, have at it. Please do not do this on a recumbent bike for an hour going negative 10 RPMs. I’m not even sure the machine was on.

2. I understand that you get sweaty while working out – I get sweaty, too! That’s what the spray bottles and washcloths are for. Use them. Please? I really don’t want to sit on a bike seat or put my hands on the guard rails of a treadmill only to find myself covered in your bodily secretions.

3. Speaking of sweat, when I’m covered in it, have my earbuds in, am make-up free (and am, by the way, WEARING A WEDDING RING), do you really think that’s a great time to strike up a conversation about my form or endurance? I appreciate a compliment as much as the next gal, but when I’m working out, I really don’t want to hear about your reps, awesome car, or whatever the hell else you’re using to pick up chicks with. Pass.

4. Please, please wear appropriate shorts. Using the bike is great for you, and I’m sure that weird machine that makes you spread your legs repeatedly does something neat for your thighs. But trust me, no one in the gym wants to see your balls. Ever.

5. Lifting weights is awesome, and I’ll admit sometimes I let out a grunt (it’s super lady-like, though, I swear). There is no reason at all, though, that you need to scream every time you lift something over 15 pounds. Your intensity is admirable and I salute you, but shut up already. You aren’t impressing anyone, and you might just give one of the elderly folks in their senior yoga class next door a heart attack.

That’s all! Follow these simple rules that almost everyone else at the gym does because they are normal people and things will go much better for everyone.

Happy exercising!

– Caitlin