Having good gym etiquette is unfortunately not practiced by every gym goer these days. All too often, having respect for other people, places of business and borrowed property are not given where most do so out of good habit without much thought given. Of all places where proper etiquette is important, the gym is at the top of the list.
In this article, we are going to cover some of the most important etiquette rules all gym goers should follow. Whether you’re young, old, male, female, a paying member or on a day pass at a gym, these rules should always be practiced respectfully alongside fellow patrons.
Gym Etiquette Rule #1: Don’t Drop the Weights
Dropping dumbbells in an uncontrolled, ballistic manner on the floor may increase odds of injury, especially with your shoulders. Furthermore, and more importantly, they damage the weights which are expensive to replace. If you can’t lift and set down the weights with some control, you’re probably lifting more than you can handle.
If this applies to you, consider setting your macho man ego aside with a better emphasis on controlling the weight and tempo of the movement while engaging the targeted muscles instead.
If you allowed someone to use your car, you wouldn’t want them to carelessly and aggressively drive it, grinding on gears and hitting every pothole or more, would you? Respect & help take care of the gym’s shared equipment.
Gym Etiquette Rule #2: Remove or Return Weights When You’re Finished
This is a simple matter of courtesy to the person using that piece of equipment after you. Nobody wants to pick up after you and re-rack all your 45-pound plates that you left on the leg press machine. And, when you’re done using any dumbbells, put them back in their proper spot on the weight rack where they belong.
Gym Etiquette Rule #3: Wipe Off Your Nasty Sweat
This is another courtesy that should be given to the next person using the bench or piece of equipment that you just smeared your bodily fluids all over. If you’re a lighter sweater, you can also simply lay a dry towel down on the equipment that you use as an alternate option here. Just like you don’t want to sit in someone else’s sweat, the next person after you doesn’t either.
Gym Etiquette Rule #4: Don’t Be Excessive with Your Noisy Non-Sense
Okay, we get it that you’re in “beast mode”. But honestly, everyone else in the gym is not impressed with your excessively loud grunting and screaming like you’re in labor with a baby about to come out of you.
We also get really annoyed when you slide all your 45-pound plates on the bar with the loudest clanking noise humanly possible and then ear piercingly dropping the bar on the rack after your every set to let everyone around you know how much you just did.
If you’re this guy, you are looked at the same way most look at the disrespectful person at the library or in the movie theatre who gets 6 phone calls on their cell phone with all to hear their annoying ring tone song. All because they have zero respect for those other patrons trying to watch the movie and didn’t put their phone on silent. Nothing wrong with some heavy breathing and a little natural grunting in the gym, this is great! We are NOT in church or the movie theatre after all by no means!
But, if you really want to throw weights and drop them as loud as possible, there is a place for this type of activity and they are called Cross-Fit gyms. If this is your thing, great! Just know and respect where you’re at and what gym you’re in before lifting like a wild & angry caveman.
Gym Etiquette Rule #5: Don’t Block Mirrors or Access to Dumbbell Racks
In a crowded gym, people need access to dumbbells to get their lifts in. Most prefer to use mirrors to monitor their lifts safely and properly when performing exercises. Being mindful of your surroundings and those in them, is a big etiquette rule to be followed here.
Gym goers get really irritated when Mr. Norespect decides he is going to rudely stand in front of someone and their view of the mirror, directly in front of the dumbbell rack blocking anyone else’s ability to grab weight they need, while he does his standing curls for the next 2 minutes there.
There are probably 5 other places you can step aside to do your standing curls, Browski. Be mindful and respectful of those around you when working out.
I few other honorable mentions:
• Allow others to work in with you, especially if you are super-setting.
• Do not set up a circuit training workout during busy hours at the gym.
• Always ask first, if it looks like someone may be using something and they are taking a short breather in between sets, before jumping on a station to take it over yourself.
• Do NOT douse yourself in cologne or perfume before going to the gym; it’s extremely offensive.
• Always be nice to fellow gym members and kindly offer to spot someone if they ask, and chip in to re-rack a few plates in between sets if you can to help keep your gym organized.
Although quite simple, these top etiquette rules are often neglected. If you’re a new gym goer, you may have committed a few of these “crimes” before and innocently didn’t realize it. Many of us seasoned gym rats have committed these ourselves at least to some degree, at one time or another-from simply not knowing or being alerted, to be more aware and respectful.
Hopefully, you have taken away a little bit of good insight or at the least had a good laugh reminiscing at these things that you have witnessed countless amounts of times yourself.