Normally a post like this would start off mentioning new gym goers because of the season, but I am not going to start it off like that. Why? Because the most common violators of good gym etiquette are the gym veterans from what I have personally experienced!
It never hurts to freshen up on your gym etiquette because, ya know, being a bro is hard work and sometimes you forget your manners.
Clean up after yourself! If you spill your beverage, clean it up. Wipe your machines when you’re done with them. Most gyms have wipes or spray around to sanitize the machines. This not only helps to prevent the spread of sickness, but it helps make the machines last longer.
If you use the locker rooms in your gym, make sure to clean up and always strive to leave it the way it was before you used it, whether it is a locker, bathroom stall, or shower.
This is not your mama’s house.
But hopefully your mama makes you clean up after yourself, too.
Personal space while working out is actually very important for both comfort and safety reasons. If you’re a total stranger and you are in someone else’s bubble, that is uncomfortable! Not to mention, if they are using any weights, you could end up getting hurt if they were to hit you or drop their weights on you.
I mean, I would personally make sure I dropped my dumbbell on your foot.
Maybe I’m kidding, maybe I am not.
One thing that really grinds my gears is when I am trying to do something on a bench and two friends decide to catch up with each other right next to the bench I am using, as if I am not even there! If you want to catch up with someone or talk with them, go somewhere away from where people are working out.
It is always best to try to stay away from people when they are actively doing an exercise!
Dropping Weights and Other Nonsense Noises
Look, I am not as bad as the people at Planet Fitness and I get that grunts and farts happen. It’s fine. But when you are screaming and drop your weights from the up position in a dumbbell shoulder press… that is just ridiculous! Also, it is really dangerous to drop your weights when there are people around, plus you could hurt yourself.
When I used to work at Anytime Fitness, the free weight area was right behind my office and whenever someone would drop their weights, it would shake the wall. Sometimes if it was enough weight, things would fall off of our bookshelf!
Most guys and gals do not go to the gym to flirt with people they are interested in. It is not a nightclub or a matchmaking service. I am sure that there are couples who have met at the gym and that is fine, but don’t try to flirt with someone who has their headphones in and is clearly not interested in talking to anyone.
Most people go to the gym to work on themselves and to release stress. Don’t add stress by trying to get their number! If you are going to the gym just to attract a potential boyfriend or girlfriend, then you are going to the gym for the wrong reasons.
Honestly, gym flirting is the worst in my opinion. Nothing is worse than finishing up with treadmill sprints, being out of breath and sweaty, and a high schooler comes up to you to tell you that you’re cute and ask for your phone number. And then you have to crush his heart and tell him that 1. you’re a lot older than you look and 2. you’re married. This is a true story.
Teasing and Other Rudeness
We have all seen those videos surface on social media of someone using a gym machine incorrectly. There are a lot of judgmental people it seems like at the gym. I see stories pop up all the time, especially during New Years Resolution season, about how people were laughing at and pointing at new gym goers because they were doing something wrong. Girls can especially be snarky towards other girls in the gym. I have personally been laughed at by other girls in the gym.
This is a great way to make someone decide to cancel their gym membership and never workout again. If you truly cannot tolerate being nice to other people while you workout, then you need to build yourself a home gym.
Also if I ever personally catch people doing this, I will call them out and it will be scary.
Don’t Be An Equipment Hog!
While it is true that you pay your dues to use the gym’s equipment, other people also do the same. Use the machine and then when you’re done with it, be done with it. Don’t hog it.
If someone else looks like they want to use it, then offer to share it! You can rest while they use it and vice versa. If they say no, then it is no big deal; the point is that you tried!
Try to limit the time you spend sitting on a machine, a bench, or at a rack and looking at your phone. If you need to make a phone call or send a lengthy email or text, then excuse yourself from the equipment to do it so that way other people can use it while you take care of business!
I wear a lot of hats: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. A writer with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. A fur mom and a wife. A mental health advocate and a septic shock survivor. An Airman and an athlete. I live in South Florida and am in love with the ocean. People can typically find me either in the gym or at home, writing or reading.