Gym Etiquette 101

The Unwritten Rules of the Gym

All gyms have rules for guests to abide by but it doesn’t cover all the unwritten rules established by frequent gym-goers. While these rules may be unwritten they’re a big part of keeping harmony within the gym world. Many people follow gym etiquette to make everyone’s experience at the gym a good one. However, there are some people out there who completely ignore the unwritten rules. These people are soon put in their place by the gym police who take it upon themselves to uphold the rules of gym etiquette. Whether you’re a newbie to the gym world or an oldie, these are good rules to follow for proper gym etiquette.

Put Equipment Away

Whenever you use communal equipment at the gym, it’s best to put the equipment back where you found it. Unless, of course, you found it far away from where it normally goes. There is nothing worse than when someone gets all set up to do an exercise and all the necessary equipment is scattered in random places around the gym. Be good to you fellow gym mates and put back all mats, weights, exercise balls, and all other communal gym equipment.

Wipe Down Equipment

Many gyms already have wiping down equipment after use as a rule. But, even if this rule isn’t posted it’s common courtesy to wipe down equipment. This rings especially true if you left behind a lot of sweat. Wiping down equipment is a simple gym etiquette to follow as a majority of gyms have gym wipe dispensers. You wouldn’t want to sit down or use equipment covered in someone else’s sweat would you? So, wipe down anything machine, equipment, or even mats that you use for the good of all gym members.

Use a Towel

This is another rule that many gyms also have on their list as some won’t let you in without one. However, many leave it off and expect gym members to wipe up after themselves. While this towel serves more purpose for the individual, it helps immensely in collecting sweat and bacteria that would more likely end up machines and equipment without a towel. It doesn’t have to be a huge towel. One that easily fits around your neck to be carried around with you is good enough. A towel is also good to keep around when gyms run out of wipes in their dispensers. Unfortunately, this does happen sometimes and having a towel on hand is good for all gym members.

Don’t Be An Equipment Hog

In order to keep peace among the gym, abiding by this rule of gym etiquette is a necessity. There are many people that lose their patience really fast, especially when faced with an equipment hog. Don’t take long breaks in between sets. Or work in with someone else, so they can use the equipment during your break and you can use it during their break. Of course, if the gym is empty and nobody is waiting for the item you’re using then take as much time with it as you need. However, when a gym is packed be mindful of your time spent on a machine or with equipment especially if someone is waiting. Never answer your phone or play on it when you’re using a machine that someone is waiting for. Just don’t be that guy.

On The Other Hand Be Patient

People that rush others through their exercise set are just as bad as people hogging the gym equipment. When you go to a gym you must share all equipment with fellow gym members. Just because you need to do your set of exercises on equipment currently in use doesn’t mean you get to dictate how long the person takes. Patience goes a long way when you’re waiting your turn for a machine, mats, weights, and other communal equipment. A big part of this patience is to keep everyone safe at the gym. Sometimes when people rush others at the gym it can cause those people to suffer an injury for working out too fast or in the wrong way. As the age old rule states, “treat others as you’d like to be treated.”

Keep Good Personal Hygiene

Please, please, please shower after a workout. Shower after every workout! Don’t come to the gym stinking either because a workout is just going to make it ten times worse. So, if work or some physical event made you smell be courteous to others and shower before your workout at the gym. If you don’t have to shower before a workout then at least put on deodorant, wipe yourself down with a few body wipes, and change into fresh clothes. There are people at the gym that won’t be afraid to tell you that you stink. Also gym time is not a time to apply perfume or cologne due to others possibly being allergic. Working out is going to make you sweat and smell no matter what and a perfume won’t cover that.

It’s Gym Time Not Selfie Time

A big part of gym etiquette is to not take up time taking a selfie when someone can be using the space you’re in. If there’s nobody around in the locker room then take all the selfies your heart desires. But, when a gym is busy don’t waste other people’s time with you taking a gratuitous selfie. Additionally, this should go without saying but don’t take pictures of others, especially in the locker room. Not only is taking pictures of others working out or in the locker room rude but in some cases it’s illegal.

Give People Space

There are times when the gym gets extremely packed especially in group classes or the weight room. Be wise when it comes to space because the closer proximity you are to someone working out the more likely one of you can injure the other. If there’s absolutely no room in a group class it might be wiser to skip it and do exercises on your own, especially if you came in late. The weight area is a place that fills up fast during the busy hours. To avoid this crowding, either go at a less busy time or pick up some weights and find a less crowded area in the gym to workout. Don’t be afraid to speak up if someone is in your space. Asking someone to give you more space is for the safety of yourself and them.

Drinking and Eating

While gym members are encouraged to keep water on hand during workouts, sometimes a gigantic jug is overkill. If you really need that much water just make sure you don’t spill it everywhere. The same goes for sports drinks which can make things really gross and sticky fast if spilled. Eating is usually not permitted in gyms but some people need a protein bar for the extra energy during a workout. Use common courtesy with your snacks and clean up any crumbs that you drop on equipment or mats. The gym is not the place for a full meal. Go to a restaurant for that.

Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice

Unless someone asks you for your advice, don’t go up to them and tell them what they should do. That’s what personal trainers are for. Even if someone asks you for your advice, sometimes it’s better to direct them to a professional so they don’t hurt themselves and blame it on you. A majority of time unsolicited advice makes the person uncomfortable and that’s not what they wanted to experience during their workout.

What are some rules of gym etiquette that you follow and think others should follow too? Comment about it below.