5 Simple Rules for Gym Etiquette
Sometimes the gym kind of resembles a jungle: a bunch of sweaty creatures running around, picking up heavy objects, throwing things, dousing themselves in water. Perfectly normal people walk in in suits and dresses and leave in soaking wet spandex. It’s an experience not for the faint of heart. But fear not—we can all work together to make the gym a more comfortable, clean, fun place to be. Here are 5 quick tips for maintaining good gym etiquette:
- Don’t leave your DNA everywhere. Nobody wants to sit down on a workout bench or pick up dumbbells that are covered in your sweat. And no, your sweet skills will not transfer by osmosis to the next person who uses the equipment. Get one of those little spray bottles that are always littered around the gym, and clean up after yourself.
- If you’re in a group fitness environment, respect the instructor. You’d think this would just be common sense, but it’s just not. Something animalistic tends to take over when people start working out, and oftentimes common courtesy becomes an afterthought. Please don’t be let that happen to you. These people are just trying to do their jobs—don’t make them yell over you to do so.
- Don’t be a hog. Nothing puts me in more of a preworkout supplement-magnified rage than someone tapping me on the shoulder when I’m setting up saying, “Excuse me, I’m using that.” No, you’re not. Unless you’re currently touching something, you’re not using it. Don’t try to call dibs on multiple stations at once, especially if it’s a busy time of day.
- Don’t rearrange the furniture. You clearly see that the weights are stacked neatly in order, so don’t throw your 45-pound plates on a rack with the 10s. Don’t. Do. It. And if you really feel the need to get creative and move odd objects around different areas of the gym because you saw some crazy circuit training idea on Pinterest, fine, do your thing. But put stuff back where it belongs. Your mother isn’t here to pick up after you.
- Don’t be that guy (or girl). We all know that guy. The one who tries to act like he knows it all already. If it’s a group fitness class, he ignores the instructions for the warm-up and looks down on all the newcomers. If he’s flying solo in the weight room, he’s hogging all the equipment and probably showing off. You might think you look tough being that guy, but really you just look like a jerk. Be nice to your fellow gym-goers. You may need a spotter someday, only to look around to find no one is interested in helping you—and you’re going to look really goofy if you get stuck with a barbell on your chest. Just like in real life outside the gym, nobody likes a snob.