If you have recently joined a gym and started attending regularly or have been going to box gyms for years, don’t forget to maintain good gym etiquette by not breaking these top 10 rules.
Being a member of a box gym comes with responsibilities. That’s because you are exercising in a shared albeit public space. Because of this fact it is import to observe some basic gym etiquette rules to not only make your experience enjoyable but as to not become known as the gym nuisance or gym jerk to others.
Rule #1: Wipe Down Equipment You Use
Box gyms are swarming with all types of germs and bacteria because there are hundreds of people touching the same equipment daily. In order to decrease the spread of germs and viruses, wipe down equipment before and after you use equipment.
Most if not all gyms have cleaning solution in a spray bottle with paper towels or wipes available especially for this purpose. You can also create a barrier between you and some equipment by placing a clean towel down.
Rule #2: Re-rack Weights
You will become known as the gym jerk very quickly if you take off all the weights on the rack and not re-rack them so other folks can use them. Who has time to look all over the gym floor for the weights?
That’s extremely poor etiquette and I’ve seen people complain to management about it.
Proper gym etiquette? Re-rack them.
Once you are done using the weights, put them back on the rack where you found them in order. In other words, don’t re-rack 100 pound weights where the 5 pound weights typically sit. It makes it difficult for others to locate the weights.
Rule #3: Keep Your Music To Yourself
I get it, many people use music to keep them motivated and pumped during a workout. But please oh please use headphones so only you hear it and no singing out loud.
Others may not be wearing headphones and more than likely not interested in you giving them a concert.
Rule #4: Give People Space
Whether the gym is spacious or not try and stay out of people’s personal space. Sometimes that can be a challenge because during certain times of day the gym is crowded but if the gym crowd is light or moderate give others room.
For instance, if there is a set of treadmills and there is a person using one, don’t jump on the treadmill directly next to them. That is a pet peeve to most and some may even take it as competition as if you are trying to run faster than them.
Obviously if it is the only treadmill left, you have no choice but otherwise, avoid at all cost.
Rule #5: No Talking On Cell Phones On The Gym Floor
I can’t tell you how distracting and annoying it is to hear someone speaking loudly on their cell phone possibly hogging equipment or a bench. Most gyms have a rule that you can’t use mobile phones on the gym floor, just the lobby.
If it is an emergency, totally understand, but to talk about the party you getting ready for…it’s inappropriate and discourteous to others around you. Don’t be that person.
Rule #6: No Hogging Equipment
Similar to the previous one, don’t just sit on equipment watching television, listening to music or watching the time tick away. Especially if you know someone else is waiting to use it.
Resting between sets is perfectly fine, but talking on the phone or chatting it up with your gym buddy sitting on equipment others want to use isn’t.
If someone does walk up and ask to use the equipment they typically want to work in and that’s totally acceptable.
While you both swap using the equipment after each set observe Rule #1.
Rule #7: Cover Up In The Locker Room
Even though we all are the same gender in the locker room, think of others as you get out of the shower or change after coming out of the pool. Cover up while walking around the locker room.
While I am sure you are proud of your body, everyone else isn’t interested.
Rule #8: Be Discreet With Selfies
In the culture of Instagram and gym selfies, there seems to be more photos and videos taken at the gym than exercising going on. If you are going to do it be discreet about it.
Avoid getting other non-consenting gym goers in the photo or video. Definitely do not take selfies or video in the locker room where people are changing, nude or half dressed and going back to Rule #6, definitely don’t hold up a piece of equipment others are waiting for just for a selfie.
You will be dubbed the known pain the rear end by the other gym members.
Rule #9: Don’t Come Smelly
It is totally understandable that as one exercises and perspires, they might get a little smelly. That is expected. But please do not come to the gym already smelly because that is totally offensive to everyone around you.
If for some reason you couldn’t freshen up a little bit before coming to the gym then please observe Rule #1. Better yet, keep shower wipes in your gym bag and hit those areas you need to hit before your workout to minimize odor.
Rule #10: It’s Not Social Hour
This gym etiquette rule may be a little controversial but hear me out. When people come to the gym to exercise they more than likely have a plan and are trying to get in and out. I understand that if you have established a routine where you go to the gym same time, same days every week – you tend to run into the same people.
Speaking and saying hi is fine. But if you see someone in the middle of their set, concentrating and looking focused, don’t disturb them. Its distracting and depending on what they are doing, can actually cause injury.
If the person appears occupied, if you catch their eye, acknowledge them and keep going to start your workout or out to your car if you are done for the day.
This Is Not It
This list is by no ways the only gym etiquette behaviors a gym goer should observe but these tend to be the ones many violate more than most.
Don’t be known as that gym jerk, observe these rules and your gym experience will be pleasant for everyone involved.