Over the last few weeks or so I have noticed some very improper gym etiquette in my local weight room. In fact, I was bothered to the point where I felt I had to speak up and say something.
Many people in the gym show up, do their thing, and leave without causing any sort of ruckus. This post is not mean to put fear in your hearts, but to be considerate when in the weight room. Many people similarly have experienced these same issues that I have been noticing lately.
Should gym etiquette make or break a person’s reputation? Absolutely not. However, if you are breaking gym etiquette, I can assure you that at some point in time you have annoyed other gym goers!
Now keep in mind, some of this is simply my opinion and are things that annoy me at the gym. However, some of these things have been known to bother many.
In order to help beginners and weekly gym goers to understand what to avoid at the gym, you must read the tips below.
What Not To Do In The Gym!
1. Do not forget to return your weights!
Nothing bothers me more than when someone doesn’t put away their weights. When you leave your weights out you put everyone at a disadvantage.
My Experience- Just last week I was waiting to use the incline bench press. Somebody left weights on the barbell and I sat there for 5-10 minutes waiting to see if anyone would return. It is 100% okay to go grab a drink during your rest, so I wanted to make sure this wasn’t the case. Finally, I decided to remove the weights and continue my lift after I had sat there wasting my time.
Moral of the story- This person never came back to the bench. They did not put their weights away and instead wasted my time while I sat there getting stiff and out of the zone.
2. Never Make Fun of Others, Spread the Love!
At no point in time is it ever okay to laugh, make fun of, or judge someone else in the gym.
This is another example of what to avoid at the gym. A positive life tip is to always treat others with the same respect you’d want in return. Whether you’re in the gym, at the grocery store, walking down the road, just treat people with respect!
My Experience- Recently I was in the gym doing my cardio routine. I noticed two guys staring at an older man who appeared to be struggling during an abnormal workout routine. These two guys proceeded to laugh and visibly stare at the poor old man that was simply trying to exercise.
Moral of the story- It is never okay to make fun of someone at the gym. Regardless of what this person is doing, they got off the couch and is attempting to make a positive change in their life. Why would you want to judge someone that is in the gym with the same goal as you– to be fit.
3. Don’t Loudly Whistle or Rap to Your Music
Please consider others when you are noticeably rapping out loud to your favorite song.
It is important to consider how your actions are influencing the people around you when at the gym. Often times, exercise takes a lot of focus and concentration.
My Experience- As I have been going to the gym multiple times a week for quite some time, I have seen a lot of things. However, nothing is more bizarre than the time I noticed a teenager rapping the song he was listening to with no regard to how loud he was shouting. I had my apple air pods in my ears, and I still could hear him.
Moral of the story- When you distract others at the gym, it influences their progress and depending on severity could even cause injury. If I am only hitting incline bench press once a week and you distract me to the point where I lose focus and drop a rep, I am not a happy camper.
4. Beware How Long You Talk to Friends
Save the chit chat with your friends and family for Starbucks.
Many people go to the gym before work or on their lunch break. It is always important to consider this before occupying a free weight or machine while talking to someone you know for 15 minutes.
My Experience- I often complete my lifts in the early mornings around 5am if I have to work that day. I often times have to cut out my cardio session or a few lifts in order to get to work on time. On this day I was scheduled to hit seated row. Unfortunately, a few gentlemen began having a very lengthy conversation to the point where I had to skip the lift so I could still make it to work on time.
Moral of the story- If you see a buddy at the gym, keep the conversation short, or take it off to the side where you cannot influence somebody else’s routine. It’s totally okay to talk to friends and interact within the community at the gym. Just make sure it takes up your time, not a bystander’s time.
5. Stop the Spread of Germs and Use Sanitary Wipes!
Wipe down your machine or bench when you are finished.
This tip bothers some people more than others. Personally, I am a bit of a germ freak, therefore, this bothers me.
My Experience- On multiple occasions I have had to wipe down a sweaty bench or machine after an inconsiderate individual simply moved on to their next lift. This is pretty gross and I can imagine others feel the same way.
Moral of the story- Always wipe down your bench or machine after you are done. If you leave visible sweat behind, the next person has to sit in it! It is so simple to just take the provided sanitary wipe, and do it yourself so nobody else has to. This is actually required at most gyms so make sure you keep this in mind.
A Positive Gym Community
These 5 tips should help you when going to a new gym. It is always important to respect others and be considerate.
I am not saying that if you do any of these things everyone will hate you. But I am saying that these 5 tips are important to consider out of the respect of others. The gym is a place for everyone and we need to keep it this way!
Have you experienced any similar events at your gym?
Comment below and let me know!
Founder of myshakercup.com
As someone's who's lifted weights for (thinking now), 30+ years, I can relate to EVERYTHING you mentioned. My "issue" is the stigma associated with guys helping women in the gym. I'm a married dad and totally not into picking anyone up in the gym, but I see SOOO many women doing things wrong (to the point they could actually cause injury to themselves), but the whole stigma of being "that guy" and going up and showing them how to do the exercise correctly and safely holds me back from helping out.
Dave, You point a VERY interesting issue! It is true, yet such a shame that there is this built up stigma around guys helping women in the gym. It's truly unfortunate because your advice and tips on how to use proper form could protect a person from injury and help their progress! Thanks for the comment! Russell Founder of myshakercup.com
Too many times, I've seen inconsiderate people snicker and whisper about someone else's struggle. I wonder what brings someone to do that! I usually conclude that poor self-esteem causes these folks to try and drag someone else down in order to feel superior. What do you think? Laura
Hey Laura, I think thats exactly what happens. Self-esteem issues lead to individuals targeting others so they feel better about themselves. It can be a shame. Thanks for commenting, Russell Founder of myshakercup.com