17 Jul 2015

Top Gym Etiquette Tips

How To Be Courteous At The Gym


Although many people come to the gym alone, you must remember that the gym is a community space, so act like it. With that, there is a gym culture with unspoken rules you must abide by if you want to avoid getting some dirty looks. The main goal of a gym is to create a safe, open area, where people can get their work outs in then carry on with their day. As a gym goer you are contributing to this environment. If you want to have the best manners at the gym read more to find out how.

Staying Safe

This is the most important thing while at a gym. You don’t want to put yourself, or others in any danger. In a place where we are pushing our bodies to be better you must remember to be a bit forgiving. Take it slow and know how much weight is too much weight. Just because the person next to you is lifting a lot does not mean you are as strong as them, yet. Avoid embarrassment by staying within your limits for all your workouts. Remember that slow and steady wins the race! Another thing with safety is hygiene! In a place where everyone is sweating and sharing so much you need to do your part to clean. It can be as simple as bringing a towel to wipe down the equipment when you are done. No one wants to sit in someone else’s sweat, so be sure to clean up after yourself, your mother won’t be there to do it for you.

Don’t Come Sick

Do not come to the gym if you are sick. Not just for your own health, but also for the health of others. Sharing is not caring when you are ill, if you are coughing or sneezing than using the equipment others are bound to catch your germs. Instead opt for a home workout, or just rest up and hit the gym when you are feeling better.

Don’t Distract Others

People are coming to the gym to work out, not socialize. So keep your conversations for before or after the gym. This includes talking on the phone. If you are so attached to your phone you can’t leave it in the locker for an hour you have some issues the gym won’t help you sort out. Please refrain from unnecessary grunting, yelling, or any other loud noises that may come about while at the gym. There’s nothing more distracting than the overly muscular man grunting loudly during his squats while you are quietly trying to finish a set. Another thing, count in your head, no one is going to be impressed with how many times you can pick something up and put it back down. Listening to music is perfectly fine, as long as it’s not loud enough for others to hear. If you have a simple question about a workout or how to use a machine, ask employees, they are happy to help you. If you must ask someone else there be sure to be courteous and wait until they are done with their set.


Don’t Waste Time On Equipment

This is especially important when the gym is busy. Between sets move away and allow others to work in. You cannot hog all the equipment to yourself. If you are rotating between 3 different machines be sure you are getting on only when you are ready to begin. Don’t sit there and prepare, do all your rituals before you jump on, and when you finish the set get off. There are other people that might be waiting on you especially if you are using multiple items. Once you leave bring your items with you. This way people know it is okay to change the settings and begin their workout.

Everything Has A Place

The weight room is a very organized section in the gym. Each weight has it’s own place on the rack ranging from lightest to heaviest. One of the most frustrating things is when people take weights, do their workout, than leave them on the floor. It is a tripping hazard and just plain annoying. Once you are done put the weights back, and be sure to put them back in the right spot. It’s unfair that others must go searching for the equipment, or waste time waiting to use them because they think you are coming back. When putting weights on the bar be sure to take them all off when you are done. Some people may not be able to lift the weights to clear it themselves. Just be sure to clean up after yourself when you finish your workout.


The gym tends to be a busy place, and there is limited equipment. Know that once you are off the equipment leaving a towel or water bottle does not claim your spot. If you are using more than one machine allow others to work in. If someone is spending lots of time on some equipment ask if you can work in, or just move on to something else. There are multiple workouts that can be done for the same muscles; it won’t kill you to switch it up a little.

Offer A Spot

If you notice someone came to the gym alone and they are lifting, give them the option a spot, but only if you are capable of doing so. Be sure you come up with a signal or word when they need some extra help, otherwise don’t jump in just be ready. Be encouraging when you are spotting someone, that’s a role of a good spotter. It is a good way to help keep others in the gym safe. If you personally aren’t able to spot others remind them the gym staff would be happy to help.


Dress The Part

When you are running on treadmills, working out on the elliptical, or getting a ride in on the bikes, there’s bound to be lots of bouncing and shifting of clothing, be sure to stay covered while remaining comfortable. It is important to dress appropriately while at the gym both for safety, and respect to others. Proper running shoes can help you avoid injuries like shin splints or sore joints, while other clothing will help you stay comfortable and get the best out of your workouts. (Link to gym gear?)

Leave Some Space

Most gyms have a long row of cardio equipment available. When you have options for which to use, always hop on one that allows you space from the other gym goers. It can be very uncomfortable when a stranger chooses the treadmill right next to your own when there are three open ones down the line. In addition to this be sure you are not bringing your big gym bags out with you. There is a locker room for a reason, leave your items there so there is more space for people to walk around.

Stick To The Time Limits

Full gyms usually set a 30-minute time limit on the cardio machines, it is there for a reason, and yes it applies to you too. Like we said before the gym is a community and you must share the equipment with everyone. If you really need to stay on past the time limit try to come to the gym when you know it is less crowded. If you are feeling fine after 30 minutes of cardio maybe try turning up the resistance or increasing the incline to get a better workout in shorter time. Shorter, more effective workouts tend to burn more calories after you finish anyway. Once you are finished be sure to wipe down the equipment and take all your things with you.


Don’t Come In Late

It can be very distracting to the instructor and other participants when there are late arrivals to a class. Especially in classes like yoga where it takes time to set a calm mode and set up the mats. If you arrive late you may also miss an important warm up, jumping right into the class might be risky since you have not properly prepared your muscles. If you are more than 5 minutes late just wait until the next class starts, there will always be more! If you regularly run a little late check out our gym to street fashion blog as a way to save some time getting ready and get to that class on time.

Give It A Try

When starting a new class you might find the instructor’s techniques different from your own, or how a previous instructor led a class. But, part of taking a class is about trying new things, so respect the instructor by playing along. You, and the other participants, will get much more out of the class if you try everything so be brave. You might be surprised and learn a new way that you enjoy. They are instructors for a reason.

Be Aware Of Space

This one is easy. When picking out your spot in a class be sure there is room around you to freely move. All you need with you is a water bottle, and a matt if you are doing yoga; leave your phone and bag around the side of the room or in the locker. Lastly make sure that everyone can see the instructor, if you are a bit taller take a spot near the back. If you are not sure where to go just ask the instructor where a good place would be. They will be happy you did so.

If you forget all that just remember: come in, work out, clean up and leave.