How to Work In
Working in means seamlessly inserting yourself into the routine of the other person who was there before you, not stripping down their configuration so you can override their workout with your own. Just like gutter-bombing on the expressway disrespects the other drivers also trying to get home for dinner or catch a flight, people who wrest your workout station away feel entitled to interrupt your flow.
Good gym etiquette means working in when you notice the other person taking a quick break to rest or hydrate. If they have the cables set a certain way with specific grips, or the smith machine racked with six plates and an incline bench, keep that setup and weave into what’s already in play. Jump in for a quick set, say thanks, and skedaddle. And only do that if they are on their sixth set and you have been patiently waiting (which doesn’t mean sitting there staring passive aggressively while they exercise as if there was nothing else you could do). You can keep yourself moving nearby with pushups/lunges/planks/renegade rows. If they seem to be claiming the public gym as their private dojo, you can gently suggest that it’s time to share the resources you both paid for.
Hogging equipment is just as egregious as hijacking it. It’s pretty simple actually. Just share the resources and wait your turn.