The Essential Guide to Gym Etiquette
If you’re a newbie at the gym, you may feel a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by all the new things there, including the gym culture. A lot of people seem to know each other and they all follow unspoken etiquette rules you don’t quite understand. Gym etiquette is a no-brainer, when you think of it, but we know how difficult it may be to get the hang of it during your first sessions. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this guide and teach you the essential rules of gym etiquette.
1. Don’t Be Shy to Ask
The first golden rule you should follow is simply ask. If someone is using a piece of equipment and you need something that’s really close to that person, ask if it’s OK. Don’t just walk up and grab whatever you need, like a weight plate, when someone is doing squats or weightlifting exercises.
2. Don’t Do Curls in the Squat Rack
This particular gym rule is the subject of many jokes. But seriously, it’s really annoying when someone is using a piece of gym equipment in the wrong way. What if someone wants to do squats and you’re doing curls in the squat rack? That means the person has to wait for you to finish while you should have been doing your curls elsewhere. Always assume that someone else wants to use the machine you’re using and don’t try to invent 101 ways to exercise in the squat rack. It’s disrespectful.
3. Always Put Your Weights Back
Another thing that really annoys other gym members is when you don’t put the weights back or even worse, drop them. This is not only rude but it’s also dangerous – people may trip over the kettlebell you left lying on the floor. And imagine the dumbbell you dropped rolling over someone’s foot – ouch!
4. Be Respectful and Mind Your Surroundings
When the gym is busy, you should be especially mindful of your surroundings and other members. For example, don’t start doing kickbacks before checking that there’s no one behind you. Also, check out the gym’s layout because sometimes gyms are poorly laid out and not comfortable to use when there are too many people exercising.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid chit-chat because it distracts other people and spoils their gym experience. If you exercise with a friend and want to chat, it’s best to take a break and go to a juice bar if the gym has one.
5. Lay Down Your Yoga Mat Carefully
Very few things are more annoying than people dumping their yoga mat right next to you when you’re in the middle of a routine. If you don’t want to be that disrespectful person the whole gym avoids, lay down your yoga mat with care.
6. Don’t Interrupt During a Set
If you see someone doing a set on a machine you want to use, don’t interrupt during a set. Instead, wait for the person to finish the set and ask your question. When you’re interrupting during a set, you’re basically ruining the whole routine for that person. Now, you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you when you’re exercising!
7. Clean Up After Yourself
Gyms are germ-ridden places and that’s not a secret. That’s why people are expected to clean up after themselves. To cut a long story short, bring a towel and use it.
8. Leave Your Phone in the Locker
Unless you want to do spinning and listen to music on your phone (with earphones!), leave your phone in the locker. Nobody appreciates hearing Facebook notifications, your ringtone, or your chatter on the phone when they’re doing their workouts. I’m sure you’d hate that too!
In the end, you can summarize the gym etiquette with one phrase: be considerate and careful. When all gym members follow this rule, the gym is a much friendlier and safer place.