Gym Etiquette 101

This time of year brings all types to the gym. And while it is commendable everyone is so motivated to get into shape, I question if they are there for the reasons one joins a gym. Since January 1st, I have seen some of the most inappropriate, disturbing, distracting, unsafe, and rude activity occurring around me while at the gym. At times. I don’t know if I should shake my head in disbelief, sigh in disgust, or laugh in hopes they aren’t being serious. Regardless, they gave me great inspiration for a post.

Below are just a few of the basics of gym etiquette, I feel all gym goers should be aware of. While the majority seem like common sense, based upon recent observations it’s obvious many could use a reminder.

  • No Eating – I recently witnessed an individual eating Oatmeal Crème Pies on a machine…NO-NO-NO! And to make it worse, it was an ab machine! This is not the local coffee shop. Leave your pastries in the car and snack on your drive home if you must. No one wants to use a machine with oatmeal crumbs on the seat or icing on the handgrips.
  • Stop the Endless Strolling – Your gym time is not the time to be updating your status, getting lost on TikTok, or posting to IG. Your arms will get a much better workout without a phone in your hands. And there is a person waiting patiently to USE that piece of equipment for its intended purpose.
  • Wear Sneakers – No one want to see your dirty socks. And slides or work boots are not considered appropriate footwear for a gym. You’ll quickly regret either of these poor choices when you drop a weight on your toe or attempt to run on the treadmill.
  • Use the Lockers – There are locker rooms with lockers for reason. All you have to do is bring your own lock. Lockers were designed to store your jackets, bags, hoodies, protein, and etc. Leaving your personal items scattered around the weight room floor or sitting at the end of a treadmill are safety hazards for everyone including yourself.
  • Keep Phone Calls Private – I understand calls sometimes need to be taken, but you don’t need to talk on volume 10 while attempting to continue working out. Be courteous to those nearby. They don’t care to hear your conversation. Take calls in the locker room or step outside and resume your workout after the call concludes.
  • Put the Weights Away – It doesn’t impress anyone that you can walk away from the leg press leaving 8 plates on each side. It does however make you look like an ass when the person behind you gets their warmup by having to un rack for you before they can begin their sets. And when you are done with weights, put them away. This isn’t your house where you can leave things scattered as you please. There are others waiting to use those weights and would appreciate being able to find them where they SHOULD be.
  • Use Correct Form – I’ll give kudos to anyone trying a new exercise. But do your research and learn to do it correctly. A bicep curl is not supposed to also be a back exercise. An injury will sideline you and using incorrect form is setting the stage for an injury. If you’re unsure of how of what the correct form is supposed to look/feel like, ask for help or Google it.
  • Don’t Hoard Equipment – You can’t use more than one piece of equipment at a time and there are others waiting. So please don’t leave random personal items such as water bottles and straps on equipment claiming your spot. And please don’t hoard 5 different sets of weights in a corner. This isn’t your home gym. I’m a big supporter of supersets and I know they require more than one piece of equipment to be used but know when it is appropriate to superset and when you should opt not to. Gym peak hours are not the appropriate time.
  • The Mirrors – The mirrors are there for you to check your form (see Use Correct Form bullet above). Or so you can keep an eye on the cutie working out behind you. They are not there for you to practice your poses or work on perfecting your gym selfies. Save that for your bedroom mirrors.

This is a list of just a few of the most recent observations that have made me go “um.” And I’m certain there are others that could easily be added. But regardless of how long the list could grow, it comes down to common sense. The gym is a public place that individuals come together to better their bodies and clear their minds. And yes, the intent of a gym is to workout. It’s not happy hour, your bedroom, or your office. Be respective of those around you. They are there to work out. And they would appreciate the equipment to be crumb free and available.


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