A guide to gym etiquette

COVID - 19, Gym advice -

A guide to gym etiquette

The gym is a public place and is free to use for everyone. Having everyone working out in one room and using the same equipment comes with risks and drawbacks. To ensure that we are making the gym an enjoyable place for everyone we need to make sure we have good gym etiquette means your behaviour and actions in the gym are not going to negatively affect anyone and yourself when training. Some of the things we are going to list may seem pretty simple things to do, but often it’s the little things that matter. Imagine putting your weights down to grab a drink then find out someone has taken them, not nice is it? This is one of the things that having good etiquette can stop and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.


Re-rack your weights

When you’re in the gym going back and forth from the weight rack to your equipment can be a long process and you may have to make a few trips. This is one of the reasons you should re-rack your weights after, so some stranger does not have to make this trip for you. Just think of it as extra cardio to burn them few extra calories. Leaving your weight lying around means the other person is robbed of their time in the gym because of your mistake which can be an issue if they are on a tight schedule and only have a certain amount of time to train. When it comes to bad gym etiquette this is probably one of the most common things that are done.

Another reason to re-rack your weights is that they can become a trip hazard if you leave them lying around. This is especially with dumbbells as they can be hidden under benches and stick out, so people can trip up on them. Falling over in the gym, face first into the weight rack, is going to be painful and embarrassing. This is one of the hazards of free weights and returning them is using them in a responsible safe manor.


Wipe your sweat

No one likes going onto a sweaty machine in the gym. Having other people’s bodily fluids all over the equipment you want to use is unhygienic and just makes using the machine not a nice thing to do. This is especially relevant now due to the outbreak of viruses like COVID – 19 , making sure you disinfect the machine and wipe down any bodily fluids will ensure your not passing any virus on or receiving it. Wipes and towels should be supplied by your gym but if there is none present then don’t be afraid to bring your own.

Its not just the machines and equipment you use that need to be wiped down and cleaned. As your training in the gym, you’re naturally going to get sweaty. As this is the case bringing a face towel to the gym is a good idea as this gets the sweat on your body. This stops the sweat on your head and hair being flicked around and hitting everyone training next to you, which can get you some looks and is unhygienic as these sweat droplets can end up anywhere. This is especially when doing high intensity exercises as the momentum of your movements causes your sweat to produce quickly and drip from you, which is not a nice sight for the person training after you.


Limit wasted time

The time we spend in the gym is not all spent training and there is some time that has been wasted. This wasted time can come in the form of sitting on a bench texting or taking selfies in the mirror. By doing these your wasting precious training time and your delaying other people that may want to use the equipment after you. Some may say that they only use their phone when they are resting between sets, but your phone is just another distraction. Your rest time is going to be longer when your on your phone and before you know it you have been standing around for ten minutes doing nothing.

Another way you can waste time in the gym is by having a conversation with your friends of fellow gym goers. Not to say you are not allowed to talk in the gym, but its better to keep the conversation to a minimum and wait till your outside the gym. Thy gym is a good place to make good friends and meet new people, but they are all here for one reason and that to make some gains or lose fat. By stopping to talk they are losing progress time towards their goals and this repeated every time they go to the gym add up to many gym hours per year. If you just want to get on with your sessions, there are many things you can do to stop people talking to you. One of these is to put your headphones on and focus on your workouts as this makes you look like you are busy and have no time to for chatter.


Be mindful of other people

When working out the space available can soon become small, especially at times when the gym is busy. Now having several big guys sweating all around you does not seem like anyone’s cup of tea and to prevent this we need to be mindful of other people. By this we need to make ourselves aware f where the people around us are and what they are doing. This is important as not knowing your surroundings can pose a safety risk. For example, when doing standing lunges if we don’t know who is behind us then we stand a chance of knocking into them which can cause injury, especially if they are holding some weights. This is basic health and safety which needs to be practiced everywhere to keep others and yourself safe.

You also need to be mindful of what equipment other people are on and if they are still using it. We have all been there when we leave our weights unattended while we grab a drink or some paper towels, just to find someone has taken our equipment and is mid set. This isn’t a very nice feeling and can interrupt the flow of exercise. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take a glance around the gym once in a while just to see what everyone is on. If someone is on the equipment you need then you could do something else and come back to it, or politely ask them how long they are going to be or if you can jump in.


Remember other people can hear you

There is always that one guy in the gym that is grunting and screaming with every rep. This can get annoying for the people around you and make you look pretty stupid. We get it that you might be giving it your all but there is no need for screaming and grunting loudly. Doing this may increase your motivation and drive when working out but it is annoying and should not make a significant difference to your performance.


So, if you are a newbie to the gym or are just unfamiliar with basic gym etiquette then we hope now you know more about the do’s and don’ts of the gym. By sticking to these basic rules, you make the gym a nicer place to workout and a safer place. If you feel like someone is not treating the gym with respect then you can try kindly telling them, as in many cases they might not realise that they are doing it.  Remember the gym is for everyone so make it an enjoyable place for everyone to exercise.