Gym Etiquette 101

Etiquette – It’s not only for the dinner table. Besides just focusing on your workout, it’s also important to be respectful in the gym. Whether you’re on the treadmill, dancing away in Zumba class, or lifting weights, there are some things that you should and shouldn’t do at the gym. While reading this list, if you come to realize there are things that you do, and it’s OK! Trust me, I don’t mean to offend you! Sometimes we do things that we don’t notice. If you do any of these things, it’s up to you on whether or not to take action – especially if you don’t want to be THAT person.

Headphones on, world off

For the most part, when people are wearing headphones, they are most likely “in the zone” and do not want to be bothered. At least, this is my case. Although I won’t be mad if someone interrupts me to ask me a question or talk to me, keep the question short and sweet!

Let people finish their sets

If you have to ask someone a question, WAIT until they finish their set. Interrupting them during an set is fairly disrespectful and can throw them off of their workout – something you do NOT want to do. It won’t take long until they’re done!

Return your weights

One of the worst things when entering the free-weight area is seeing an abundance of weights (dumbbells, barbells, plates, etc.) on the ground. When you’re done using any weights, return them to whatever part of the gym they belong in. Just like kids must return their toys to their toy-box, you should do the same!

Drop the gum-popping

I’m not sure if this is only a problem at my gym, but gum-popping is….. fairly annoying, to say the least. Although people tend to be focused on their workouts, it is incredibly easy to hear gum-popping through one’s headphones. Be nice and consider chewing your gum in silence.

Wipe down the equipment

It’s normal to be sweaty at the gym. In fact, that’s exactly what we’re there to do! So when you finish using a machine, consider wiping it down. Most gyms should have disinfecting wipes or towels/spray available to members. Many people don’t do this, but it’s a way of keeping everything clean and sanitary while being courteous!

Leave the mirror’s unblocked

Gym-goers use the mirror as a way to watch their form – at least SOME of them do! Unless they’re checking themselves out or flexing in front of the mirror, they’re more than likely using it to correct or keep an eye on their form. Although it’s not always possible, try your best to stay out of their way and do not block the view of themselves – even if it means stepping a foot over to the side simply to avoid blocking their view.

Hogging/Blocking Equipment

When I say “hogging,” I’m not suggesting that you limit the amount of sets you do. I’m referring to people who are on the phone or having a conversation with another individual while they’re not using the equipment they’re sitting on/standing by. If you’re not doing this for long, that’s fine! However, when you talk for 10+ minutes and still haven’t used the equipment once, consider leaving it and taking your conversation elsewhere. As for blocking the equipment, consider setting your stuff (water bottle, gym bag, workout journal, etc.) on the floor instead of a bench or other equipment you are not using. People may need to use it!

Use the next treadmill

If there are ten treadmills (9 free, 1 being used) and you choose the one next to the only one being used, STOP. You have 9 other treadmills to use from – be kind enough give the person a little bit of space!

Moral of the story: be considerate of others while you’re at the gym! These are just a few of the ways to be courteous – you can check out great additional etiquette tips from articles on Muscle and Fitness and Livestrong. We’re all going to the gym to improve our health, bodies, and lives, so it is important that we can accomplish it with the least amount of distractions possible. Do you have any to add to this list? Do any of these not bother you? Leave your comments below!

Main Photo: Youtube – Elseworth AFB


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