mm1Every workplace area has its own code of conduct and the gym is no exception. MH helps you stay on the right side of the weights-room law by laying down the tenets of exercise etiquette

1 MAKE YOURSELF HEARD

If something is broken or needs attention, don't start moaning to the bloke next to you. He's probably in there to escape whinging, not  to get an earful. Tell the PT or front desk - your muscles will thank you.

2 EARS OPEN. MOUTH SHUT

Free advice is often disregarded so don't expunge the benefits of this programme to anyone who will listen. If they ask then blather away, otherwise  tell them buy a copy. No, the editor didn't  tell  us to slot  that one in.

3 USE THE ROAD RULES ...

The man carrying the weights has the right of way – regardless of how big or small he or his weights are. Get out of his way immediately but don't turn this bypass into a bobbing and weaving Irish dance. Always yield to the left.

4 TRY TO GO LOW TECH .."mm2

Unless you're Murdoch on the cusp of amerger or an expectant dad, switch your phone off during your workouts. Your chatter tells everyone you're not serious about training. Work your body not your jaw muscles.

5 IT'S NOT A RACE •••

It's acceptable to compete on the sports pitch. It's not acceptable to compete with the guy on the next treadmill. He may be a novice or have heart trouble . Compete against your toughest opponent: yourself.

6 EYES FRONT

Treat the gym like an exam. Feel free to look up and see what's going on but don't  eyeball the bloke next to you - even if you're desperate to nab his workout tips and get yourself an equally enviable physique.mm3

7 REFLECT ONLY IN MOTION

Mirrors are there to check your form. Use them to make sure you're working the right muscles, not to target blackheads. And never check out your abs - they'll stilt be there, in the same condition, in your bathroom mirror later.

8 DO UNTO OTHERS ...

Treat the weights room like a picnic spot: leave it exactly as you found it. Put the dumb-bells back in the rack and strip the barbells of weights once you're done with them. Think of it as your recovery period.

9 LEAVE NO TRACE BEHINDmm4

The only thing you should leave behind you on the bench is a muscle-shaped indent, caused by the usage of large weights. Don't leave large swathes of your DNA for the next person. Wipe up or put a towel down first.

10 BE STRONG AND SILENT

In the office, the less a man knows, the more noise he makes. In the gym the less a man can lift, the more noise he tries to make. Don't drop your weights, it's an admission of weakness - and one everyone will hear.

11 TALK IN TEXT SPEAK

Social questions should be more Anne Robinson than Parkinson. Keep them short and to the point. And the guy on the machine next to you doesn't want to hear about last night's drunken exploits.

12 RESPECT PERSONAL SPACE ....

Give all other gym users at least two arm lengths of space in every direction. Accidents can happen In the weights room so don't let your well-being be determined by the grip strength of the over enthusiastic bloke doing shoulder raises on the bosu ball right next to you.

13 LEAVE KARAOKE TO THE CLUBS

The last thing the gym wants to hear is you belting out Enter Sandman. Focus on keeping your breathing rhythmic, not on keeping time with the lyrics. Timed metrical breathing will get more Oxygen to your muscles so they'll lift more.

14 TAKE IT OUTSIDE

To cycle you need a bike. To row you need a boat. If you don't, have these then it's acceptable to use them in the gym. But if you're going to walk , do it outside so you don't clog up the treadmills.

15 THE RULE OF ONE

It's good manners to share a machine. But never ask to ‘work-in’  with someone if you're training with a partner.  The rest between sets will be too long, which will reduce the intensity of everyone's workout.