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Gym Etiquette


I have read several articles online about how to use fitness equipment inside gyms, but very few tell you some of the unspoken (or rather spoken in the form of signs on many gym walls) ‘rules’ regarding gym etiquette. Someone having bad manners in a gym can almost make you want to have some bad manners yourself and yell at them, but I generally just hold it in as a silently hope not to implode with frustration. Avoid gym faux pas with these tips on gym etiquette that you may not have been told when you signed up.


Wipe down machines when you are done using them- This is my number one for pet peeves. There is absolutely no reason why you should think it’s OK to sweat all over a machine and not wipe it down. Every single gym I have been to has spray and towels available to clean as you go. If you are very prone to seat like I am, bring a towel from home (a hand towel works great) to wipe yourself off.


Re-rack your weights- There’s a reason this is #2 on this list. It is the second most common thing I see at gyms that annoys me. I hate when I go to use a machine and someone has left their weights on it. While I am strong enough to move the weights off, there are many people that are not and if you do this, you are essentially making that machine useless to them. Also, pick up barbells off the floor. It’s not only obnoxious, but a tripping hazard.


Don’t hog two machines at once- I understand that people like to do circuit training, but this is something that should be done when the gym is not busy as it’s considered rude to take up a machine you are not using right then while others are waiting to use it. Find out what times the gym is not busy and choose a couple of machines that are really close to each other so you don’t have to do too much walking to get to them for the trade off.


Dropping barbells is obnoxious- Many gyms have posted rules about this, but it’s about as obnoxious as lots of loud grunting. Additionally, if the gym shares the building you could be annoying other businesses with it and besides, it’s really not necessary.


Don’t give advice unless someone asks for it- It can be hard to see someone using a machine ineffectively or doing a squat wrong, but unless that person asks for your help, don’t offer unsolicited advice. It can embarrass the person and potentially demotivate them. Also, you don’t know if they are just trying to work on form or if they have a disability.


Limit cell phone use- I take my cell everywhere in the gym because it’s great for passing time on the treadmill and listening to music. Unfortunately it can also become a distraction or tool of rudeness if used wrong in the gym environment. Make sure you take your calls off the floor and use headphones. Additionally, don’t hog a machine because you are scrolling through social media.


Give people space- Just like you don’t want to be that unwanted advice giver, don’t be the space invader. If there are other machines, don’t take the treadmill right next to someone you don’t know. Sometimes people like to be left to be ‘in the zone’ when working out and letting them have space allows them to do that.


Read more by Christine here.

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