Next time you go to pick up your favorite 15-pounders for bicep curls, keep in mind that researchers discovered that these babies had 362 times (!!!) more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Getty Images/iStockphoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto Good thing she's wearing gloves - free weights harbor more bacteria than public toilets.
In a recent experiment, FitRated.com examined bacterial samples taken from 27 common pieces of workout equipment at large chains around the country.
Overall, 70 percent of the bacteria they found proved to be potentially harmful to humans. So how do you protect yourself?
While people commonly wipe down the machines they use at the gym, they're less likely to clean free weights with antibacterial wipes.
Ok, so if you're reading this fresh from the gym, or even in the gym, then you might want to head to your nearest washbasin right this second. Why?
iStockPhoto the new study will make gym rats hit the locker room showers.
An exercise bike has 39 times more bacteria than a plastic cafeteria tray.
All three types of equipment yielded the rash-inducing gram-positive cocci mentioned above, as well as gram-negative rods, which also cause infections and can resist antibiotics.
FitRated recommends you disinfect your equipment before and after using it, and never walk around barefoot in the gym or touch your face.