Whether you’re a gym newbie or a seasoned gym-goer, one thing’s for sure: good gym etiquette is the key to a harmonious and productive workout environment.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll break down what gym etiquette is all about, what’s considered acceptable behavior, what’s not, and how to help teach it to others. Let’s dive in!
What Is Gym Etiquette?
Gym etiquette is like the unwritten code of conduct that governs how we interact and behave in a gym setting. Whether you’re warming up on the treadmill or optimizing your recovery with a TENS/EMS unit, it’s all about showing respect for others, maintaining a clean and safe environment, and ensuring that everyone can enjoy their workout.
When you follow proper gym etiquette, you not only contribute to a positive atmosphere but also have a more enjoyable and effective workout experience yourself!
What Is Okay To Do In The Gym?
Wipe Down Equipment: After using a machine or bench, always grab a gym towel and wipe it down. Nobody wants to sit in your sweat puddle, right?
Share Equipment: Be mindful of others waiting to use equipment. If you’re taking a break between sets, offer to let them work in or finish your sets in a timely manner.
Keep It Clean: Don’t leave your weights or other equipment scattered around. Return everything to its proper place when you’re done with it. Make sure to clean up any creatine shakes or protein powder spills.
Use Headphones: Pumping your favorite tunes can be motivating, but not everyone shares your taste. Keep your music to yourself by using headphones.
Respect Personal Space: Give others plenty of space to work out. Avoid standing too close or walking through someone else’s exercise area.
Spotting: If someone asks for a spot while lifting heavy weights, be happy to help. But remember, don’t assume they need assistance unless they ask.
Offer Encouragement: A friendly smile, nod, or word of encouragement can go a long way. Positive vibes make the gym a better place for everyone.
What Is Not Okay In The Gym?
Hogging Equipment: Spending excessive time on a piece of equipment during peak hours is inconsiderate. Be mindful of others waiting to use it.
Dropping Weights: Controlled lifts are great, but as any personal trainer can tell you, dropping weights can be disruptive and potentially dangerous.
Grunt and Groan: Making a little noise during a tough set is okay, but excessive grunting or loud conversations can be distracting and annoying.
Cell Phone Use: Avoid taking phone calls, texting, or scrolling through social media on gym equipment. It’s not only inconsiderate but also potentially dangerous!
Inappropriate Attire: While you should be comfortable in your workout clothes, overly revealing or offensive attire can make others uncomfortable.
Unsolicited Advice: Aggressively offering unsolicited advice or critiquing someone’s form can be seen as rude. There’s nothing wrong with being helpful but you should always give someone the chance to ask for themselves!
Not Re-Racking Weights: Failing to put your weights back where they belong is one of the biggest gym pet peeves. Be responsible and re-rack your weights.
How To Teach Gym Etiquette
Helping others learn proper gym etiquette is a noble endeavor. After all, we were all beginners once! Here’s how you can gently guide newcomers and even remind some experienced gym-goers:
Be the role model for gym etiquette by leading by example. Demonstrate the behaviors you expect to see in others. If you notice someone breaking gym etiquette rules, don’t confront them aggressively. Instead, politely offer a suggestion for fostering a better environment for everyone.
If you’re new to the gym, don’t hesitate to ask a staff member for guidance on proper etiquette or the culture of that specific spot. They’re there to assist you.
Encourage a culture of respect and support at your gym. If you see someone struggling with a piece of equipment or looking lost, offer your assistance. Remember how intimidating the gym can be for newcomers!
Finally, be patient! Gym etiquette is a learning process. Understand that not everyone will grasp it right away, and be patient with those who are still figuring things out.
By following the do’s and don’ts outlined in this guide and by helping others learn the ropes, you can create a gym community that fosters personal growth and mutual respect.
The next time you hit the gym, be sure to bring your workout gear, a positive attitude, and a commitment to making the gym a better place for everyone!