By: Matt Weik
Do you have a gym membership? Or maybe you are thinking about getting one? There are certain unwritten rules you need to follow when at the gym to avoid being the center of attention (in a bad way). The way you handle yourself in the gym will either cause people to be your friends or enemies. Proper gym etiquette goes a long way and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re going to want to pay extra close attention.
Gym etiquette is something you need to be conscious of at all times while at the gym. This can be for proper hygiene reasons to time management and everything in between. Make sure you’re obeying the gym etiquette rules below and you’ll be just fine at the gym.
Unless your mom goes to the gym with you, no one is going to put your weights away when you are done. Don’t be “that person” who leaves dumbbells laying on the floor or plates on a bar or piece of equipment you just used. Be courteous and put your stuff away when you’re done using it. You wouldn’t want to spend your time in the gym removing someone else’s weights because they didn’t put them away, so don’t do the same for others.
If you think the gym is a clean environment, you’re only lying to yourself. A gym is a place where individuals go to work up a sweat and unfortunately, that sweat can get all over the equipment and the floor. No biggie, it’s somewhat expected, but you need to clean it up – it’s proper gym etiquette. Most gyms will have towels you can borrow to wipe off equipment or at least stations throughout the gym that dispenses paper towels along with a bottle of disinfectant that you can spray down and wipe off the equipment that you got all nasty.
If the gym is empty then do as you please. But, if there are people in the gym and in the same area as you, share the equipment. You don't need to hog ALL of the dumbbells. You don't need to sit on a piece of equipment and take a long rest. Allow people to work in with you between your sets if need be. It's not like you are continuously using a piece of equipment nonstop so allow people to work in as long as they understand there will be a back and forth of taking turns with the use and that it’s not theirs to complete all their sets and make you wait after you were nice enough to allow them to work in.
Listen, this is a non-negotiable part of gym etiquette. You don't need to show up to the gym dressed to impress in super-sharp clothing or with your makeup on, but deodorant is a MUST. If you want people to avoid you like the plague, skip deodorant. If you're in the gym long enough, you will eventually come across someone who fails to follow this gym etiquette rule and it clears out the entire section of the gym. There’s nothing worse than doing cardio next to someone who smells like they are sweating out pure onion juice. It’s enough to have you running for the hills. Please make sure you control your odor while working out.
Unless you have the proper training, don’t go telling people they are doing an exercise wrong. Leave that up to the training staff. People aren’t going to the gym to have other patrons tell them how to do something or to be given “advice” on what they should be doing in the gym or with their time. Leave that up to the professionals and mind your own business.
Hey He-Man, if you can pick up the dumbbells nicely, you can put them down nicely too. There's absolutely no reason to be dropping the weights when you're done with a set. Place them back on the rack or the floor nicely. You're not impressing anyone with how much weight you are lifting if in the end you can't control the weight and put it down. If you have to drop it, the weight is probably too heavy for you to manage properly and you should lighten it up a little.
Last on our list of proper gym etiquette that no one told you about is what comes out of your mouth. More specifically, the noises. We aren’t communicating like cavemen or cavewomen at the gym. You don’t need to grunt when you are lifting weights. We can see you working out, we don’t need to hear you too. Focus on your breathing and controlling each rep. We don’t need to hear you grunt with every single rep as if you were pushing out a baby in the middle of the gym. If you were in certain gyms, they’d actually throw you out for grunting, so be aware of the rules so you don’t end up losing your membership.
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