There is a way to act at the gym, and then there is a way to make sure you no longer “belong.” A gym isn’t exactly like other social settings. You aren’t at a bar, or a meat market looking for your next meal. You are supposed to be at a gym to make yourself look better and increase your health, not to find a hot date for Friday.
10 rules for proper gym etiquette
There are specific rules to follow when you are at a gym, not only for the sake of your own embarrassment, but also for those around you. The key is to focus on you and not to be the center of attention.
If you want to join a bodybuilding contest, do so. But, don’t stand in the front of the mirror blocking everyone to show your goods off. That is just bad manners. These are the gym etiquette rules, and like them or not, if you don’t follow them no one will like you!
#1 Don’t gawk. There is nothing worse than someone ogling you as you sweat and try to work off some steam. You aren’t a construction worker, and even if they are that hot, staring them up and down isn’t going to win you a date.
#2 Don’t get too close. If you join a class, don’t sit uncomfortably close to someone else. A yoga or Pilates class is like entering an elevator. Don’t plop your mat right down next to someone when space is wide open. It feels like an invasion of privacy, and it can end up ruining everyone’s chi energy. Walk in, take a look around, and find your own corner of the earth.
#3 Use a towel. This is a huge part of gym etiquette. No one likes to get hit with someone else’s sweat. Hey, I get it. I am by nature a pretty sweaty creature. And, when I hit the gym, it can get pretty gross. That is why I never hit the treadmill which is right next to someone else without bringing a towel.
Gyms are supposed to be full of sweat, but that doesn’t give you license to let it fly all over the place without at least bringing protection.
#4 Wipe down your equipment. There is nothing worse than watching someone get off a machine filled with sweat and walk off without wiping the machine down.
Tantamount to watching someone come out of the bathroom without washing their hands, it is not only not nice, it is downright selfish. There is a reason they put out disinfectant wipes… use them, please.
#5 Wear the minimum please. You may not think of this as gym etiquette, but it is. I am saying this across the board so as not to offend anyone. I don’t care if you are a size 2 or a size 42, wear something appropriate, please. Just because gym clothes are allowed to be a little tight-fitting, that doesn’t mean that we want to see skin exposed everywhere and your bigger places sticking out where they shouldn’t be.
#6 Don’t hog the machines. Yes, this is for you Ms. Four-Hour Stair Master. You would think that this is obvious gym etiquette, but it’s not. If there is only one stair master, then follow the rules and don’t monopolize it for more than the allotted time.
There is nothing worse than showing up at the gym with only an hour to spare and finding that someone else is going to hog the only machine you came to use. If there is a max time, don’t go over it.
#7 Put your weights away. We all learned in preschool that when we take toys out, we are supposed to put them away. Well, I say that liberally. I guess not all of us did learn the rule. If you take out an exercise band, a stability or medicine ball, or a free weight, then return it where it belongs.
Not only is it unsafe to leave things just lying around, but it is also flat-out rude. The other members aren’t getting paid for cleaning up after you.
#8 We don’t want to hear your nonsense. If you go to the gym with someone else, please remember that not everyone cares that Susie was a bitch at work. Talk at the gym is alright, but be considerate of others. They don’t want to be involved in your conversation, so use your inside voice please.
#9 Wear a towel. When you hit the locker room, the hot tub, or the sauna, it isn’t an exhibitionist show. I know that some women are totally okay with letting it all hang out. But, unfortunately, we all aren’t.
No one really wants to see you naked unless you are centerfold-hot, and even then, not unless we pay or ask for it. If you are going to hit the showers, please do so with something on other than your naked skin.
#10 Grunting should be kept to a minimum. Okay, we all get it, lifting as much as your body weight isn’t as easy as it looks *not that it looks easy*, but we don’t need sound effects.
When you make all sorts of noises and ridiculous movements, or pace around the club like you are something to behold, the rest of us wish that you would just sit down and be quiet.