The gym is almost a holy place for people. It is where a lot of people go for getting away from everything else going on in their lives and just focus on themselves. People also go to the gym in groups to work out together and motivate each other.
It is a pleasure to use gyms that have well organized equipment and where people are courteous. On the other hand, it can become a pain to use the gym if things are not organized. You may use the gym for any purpose, whether to do weight or cardio, or to simply catch up with friends over a workout. It is important to know these unwritten gym etiquettes. They must be followed at all times.
Wipe down all equipment after use
There is nothing worse than leaving your sweat and germs behind on equipment. This is the number one reason why people get sick in gyms. Whether you are using weights, benches, mats or cardio equipment, wipe down and sanitize the equipment after using. Use sanitizing sprays and towels provided by the gyms. To be safe, you should also wipe down equipment before use in case the person using it before did not.
Don’t talk to anyone while they are in the middle of a set
Unless it is your workout buddy or friend, keep talking to a minimum at the gym. If you absolutely must talk to someone, please do not do it in the middle of their set. They are probably concentrating hard and you will distract or offend them. Wait till the end of their set.
Re-rack weights and other equipment after use
Not being able to find weights where they belong are the most frustrating thing in a gym. Please be courteous to other people in the gym and re-rack weights and other equipment after use. Also unload weights off all machines unless the person asks them to leave you on. Not everyone can unload or wants to use 45 pound plates on the bench press bar. Feel free to push other people to re-rack after they complete their sets and forget to do so.
Don’t hog the weights and benches
Don’t hog 3 sets of dumbbells for one exercise. Other people might want to use those weights and finding them lying around one person is annoying. Please take the weights you need for your current set and re-rack if you are done with them.
Let other work in with you
The same goes for hogging benches and other equipment. It is not cool to sit in and relax on the bench, or have a long conversation while seated on a bench while others are waiting. Let others work in with you. The exception to this would be either when there are not many people at the gym and alternate equipment is available, or when you have to change a lot of weights around for someone else to work in. In the latter case, just finish your sets as early as possible with appropriate rest and let others use it after.
Wear proper attire
Wearing improper gym attire is not only offensive to other people, it can also lead to a variety of injuries. Clothing that is too loose can get caught in equipment. Clothing too tight can restrict your range of motion. Stay away from jeans, flip flops and clothing that is too short, too long, too loose or too tight. Shoes and shirts are a must. Long hair should be tied up in a ponytail. Please also cover yourself in the locker room.
Don’t give unsolicited advice
Absolutely no one wants unsolicited advice. If anyone wants your advice, they will ask for it. Only do this if you think someone is going to hurt themselves, and even then ask them if they need help before jumping in with your suggestions.
Don’t ask for free advice
People in the gym are there to workout, not to socialize. Trainers in the gym probably charge money for personal training. It is ok to ask a question or two here or there. But if you are hoping to get a free personal training session from anyone, forget about it. Talk to your gym about personal training packages instead.
Don’t sing along
No one wants to discover the next American Idol in the gym. While it is ok to listen to your iPod while working out, it is an absolute no-no for music to be so loud that other people can hear it. Even worse is if you sing along. Keep your music volume at a comfortable level so that you don’t get ugly stares from other people.
No heavy lifting of free weights without a spotter
It is not only embarrassing to be caught underneath a heavy bar in an awkward position, it is also dangerous. Do not do any heavy lifting without a spotter. Even when you do have a spotter, lift weights that you can actually lift. Your spotter isn’t there to get a workout from completing half your set for you.
Related: Avoid These Mistakes In The Gym
Don’t stare at others
You don’t want to be ogled at while workout out. Other don’t either. Please respect other’s privacy and let them work out in peace without feeling like they are being stared at.
Less talking, more lifting
Save the socializing to after the workout. You might be blocking someone from using equipment or the mirror. Go to the gym with a mission, do your stuff, and get out.
Don’t use the bench for anything other than workout activities
The gym is a public place and has limited number of benches. Please be courteous towards others and use the bench for it’s intended purpose. There is a proper place for your personal belongings and it is not the bench. Don’t put your cell phone and keys on equipments.
Don’t make unwanted noises
If you need to grunt, yell, scream or make any other unwanted noises in the gym, there is something wrong. Lower the amount of weight you lift. If you need to motivate yourself, please do it quietly in your own head. Unwanted noises can be a distraction to others. Please keep all unwanted noises to a minimum.
Don’t drop/slam weights
Dropping weights can be a distraction to other people and can also hurt someone if you drop it on someone’s foot. If you cannot handle the weight after a set, please lower the amount you lift or use a machine which can make it easier for you to unload.
Don’t hover around equipment you are waiting to use
Don’t hover around someone using equipment that you want to use. This will not only distract them but also pressurize them to finish faster. If someone is taking too long to finish, it is best to ask them between their sets if you can work in with them.
Don’t abuse the mirror
Gym mirrors are there for people trying to perfect their form during lifts etc. You might feel tempted to check out your gains every now and then. But you may be blocking someone’s view while doing so. Save it for home or the locker room. It’s best to use the gym mirrors for their intended purpose only.
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