There are some unwritten rules of the gym that you probably prefer not to learn the hard way. Follow these 7 gym etiquette tips to make your exercise routine, and those of others, a pleasant experience.
Gym Etiquette Tips
1. Stay home if you are feeling sick
Offer your sports colleagues the same courtesy you would like them to show you. If you are ill, skip the gym until you have fully recovered. If you are healthy enough, you can work out at home or do some exercises outdoors, but be careful not to expose anyone else to the risk of contracting your illness.
2. Bring a towel
If you do not want to sit in another person’s sweat, assume that other people do not want to sit in your sweat either. Gyms rely on you wiping the equipment after each use, and if disinfectant wipes are available, use them. The large number of people who come in and out every day brings bacteria and germs with them. There is no way around it, but you can do your bit to protect yourself and others from taking them home.
3. Skip the selfies
No one is going to stop you from monitoring and sharing your progress with some gym selfies, but there is a suitable way to take them. Refrain from crowding the mirror while other people are trying to check their form, and don’t make others feel they have to move to avoid being in your photo. Take your photo in an area that is not crowded and do it quickly.
4. Clean up after yourself
If you want to avoid frustrated looks, listen up. Every time you move a mat, weight, dumbbell or whatever, put the item back where it belongs. And even if you have found the item somewhere it shouldn’t have been, put it back in its proper place. Just because the person before you was not considerate enough to do this, does not mean you cannot do it. This also creates a safer environment for everyone involved.
Many gyms have time limits on popular equipment during peak hours. Cardio machines usually fall into this category, but you can also find other machines with general time limits. If there are open treadmills and you want to continue your training session beyond the time limit, you are of course free to do so. However, once all the machines are occupied, step back and give someone else the opportunity to use them. This also applies to moving between two machines at the same time. And no, if you leave your towel or water bottle on one machine, it will not be reserved for you.
6. Don’t give unwanted advice
If they have not asked for your advice, don’t offer it. Telling someone how to change their training may not only make them feel uncomfortable, but what you are offering may not be the best option for their individual situation. If you see someone doing something you think is potentially dangerous, tell one of the staff and let them do it. This also applies to flirting. You may think it’s flattering, but it could spoil someone’s gym experience and make them hesitate to come back.
7. Aim to smell neutral
Sure, you don’t expect to smell like a rosebush in the gym, but nobody wants to smell you before they see you. Normal hygiene measures such as wearing deodorant and clean clothes help to ensure that the gym does not smell worse than it should. You should also not overcompensate with perfume, cologne, lotions or heavy scents. This can not only be distracting, but can also cause allergic reactions and skin sensitivities in people around you. So keep it neutral and you’re golden.
Now that you are informed about the correct fitness etiquette, go ahead and make those gains.