When you first step foot in a gym, you may feel intimidated. You think that people may judge you. To add to this, you’re not sure what the etiquette is there. Everyone around the gym seems to know what they’re doing, except you. In these Unwritten Rules of Gym Etiquette, we’ll go through 9 rules that everyone should follow, whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user of the gym.
Put your equipment away
This has to be the most frustrating gym about going to the gym for most people, so don’t be one of those people who doesn’t put their equipment away. If you add weights to a bar, or to a machine, put the weights away. If you use any equipment for a circuit, or a mat for stretching or core work, don’t just leave it where it is. Tidy away everything.
Ask how long people will be, don’t jump in
If someone else is using a piece of equipment, and you need to use it, don’t just assume that they’re okay with you joining in. Most people will be, but some aren’t. And that’s cool, they were there first, and as long as they’re not abusing their time on the machine by playing games on their phones, that’s within their right. Ask how long they’ll be so you can plan your workout around it.
Don’t do bicep curls in the squat rack
The exercise is in the name. Squats. Well, there are other exercises that can be performed in the squat rack, but bicep curls is not one of them. Squat racks are expensive, which is why most gyms only have one or two of them. Don’t abuse this by doing bicep curls there. Leave the squat racks free for people who want to use them as they’re meant to be used.
Get off your phone
You’ve come to the gym to exercise and look after yourself, not to be glued to your phone throughout the whole workout. Don’t be one of those people who sits on a machine for 10 minutes, and has only done one set because Instagram was keeping them busy. Or, don’t be the person who makes phone calls in the gym, usually using headsets. Not only are you not concentrating on your workout, you’re also annoying other people. Other people can hear you, you know! Instead, leave your phone at home, or in the locker, and get your workout in. The amount of time you’ll save by doing it this way, you’ll have plenty of time for Instagram or phone calls later.
Treat the gym like it’s your home
Clean up after yourself by wiping down equipment with a towel, or wipes that they provide in some gyms. If you spill something, clean up after yourself, and be kind to other people, just like you would at home. Most gyms are understaffed, so it’s not fair to leave it for trainers or gym staff. Put your rubbish in the bin, and keep noise levels to a minimum. The same goes for using the showers too – clean up after yourself at all times.
Don’t talk to, or walk across, someone who’s about to lift
Lifting weights, especially if it’s a heavy weight, requires focus, and concentration. Don’t ask the person a question when he or she is preparing for a lift. Either make the decision yourself, or wait until the end of the set before you do this. To add, try not to walk across someone who’s preparing for a lift. This can be distracting, and can be unsafe for the person lifting weights.
Follow your gym’s rules
Every gym has its own rules. Follow them. The majority of them will likely be covered in The Unwritten Rules of Gym Etiquette, but there may be specific gym rules that you need to follow. Make sure you read these, and use them wisely. It’ll make your life, and the life of others, better.
Step away from the dumbbells
When you choose the dumbbells you want, step away from the dumbbell rack. You don’t need to stand right next to the rack whilst you perform your exercise. Other people may need to use these dumbbells, and it’s awkward for them if you’re in the middle of your set. Step back, and give others the chance to take theirs, especially during busy periods.
Shower, and wash your workout clothes
This one might seem obvious, but for some, it isn’t. Yes, you’re meant to sweat in the gym, but there’s a fine balance between going to the gym in clean clothes, having had a shower in the last 24 hours, and not. Unwashed, damp clothes smell, and the rest of the gym can smell these too.
Conclusion : We’re trying to make gyms around the world a better place to be. Even though it may seem like a lot to remember, these Unwritten Rules of Gym Etiquette will help you feel more comfortable in the gym, and help other people feel more comfortable too. We have to be considerate to other people around us, and remember that we don’t own the gym, so we have to follow the rules. This will help you, and others, keep coming back, which is exactly what we want to promote a healthier lifestyle for others.
About me : I’m Ravi – a qualified personal trainer and fitness blogger, who teaches people how to transform their bodies and lives through fitness and nutrition. I’m also the CEO of Sports Samurai, an online store selling high quality gym bags and backpacks – you don’t want to miss these, so click the link.