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Gym Etiquette | 6 Rules to Not be a Jerk At The Gym

I love working out in a dirty and stinky gym 😊 Said no one ever! And don’t get me wrong, I get it! We are all sweating and giving the best of us to reach our fitness goals, but there are still some simple rules that we can follow so everybody can have a good experience working out.

Here are my top rules:

1. Wiping out equipment – A Towel Should be Your Number 1 Companion

Gym Etiquette is often overlooked and not talked about – let’s changed that right now.

True Story: this person did her very exhausting HIIT workout, and once she was done, she left a literal puddle of sweat on the exercise mat, right next to me, along with the gym equipment she had used – gross, yes! – uncommon? No.

It is also true that I got a rash on my back after doing my ab routine on the gym mat a couple of months ago 😞, since then, I take my own antibacterial wipes to the gym and clean mats before I lie down for any type of workout.

It is good gym etiquette that you wipe the equipment that you use so it can be clean for other fitness enthusiasts. Nobody wants to lie down or sit on someone else’s sweat, and this can cause a skin reaction to other people. Yuck.

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2. Putting your Equipment Away

I get it! You’re super strong and I’m really proud of you 😊 It’s very impressive to see that you can bench or squat hundreds of pounds; however, I’m just 4’11” (1.50mts) and would like to use that same equipment later, but will probably not be able to because you didn’t remove the heavy plates 😞.

I experience this too frequently at the gym, and I have to either give up and workout somewhere else or spend 10 minutes trying to remove the plates while avoiding injury.

It is good gym etiquette that you dedicate a little time an energy to put equipment away. This also includes returning barbells, dumbbells, Yoga Mat, kettle-bells, and any other tool that you have used, back where they belong, so they can be readily available for others.

3. Avoiding Hogging the Equipment

Especially when the gym is busy, usually before and after work hours, it’s important to be mindful and not sit or stay at the same machine, or keep the barbell or dumbbells for a very long time.

It’s particularly frustrating if you are literally just sitting there looking at your phone, or catching up on the latest gossip with your gym buddy, while the machine or equipment is just waiting to be used.

It is good gym etiquette to be mindful of others, specially during peak times. Being efficient with your workout will help others be efficient with theirs 😊.

4. Focusing on Your Workout and Not Staring at Others

Staring and Creeping is a no-no, and an unwritten rule that we ALL must obey. Yes, it is mostly women who deal with guys watching (like this one by the end of my video), especially if we are wearing high waisted leggings or a nice crop top. But Guys – believe me, we are not dressing like this for you.

However, we women also do our share of staring when we see other women at the gym (women that might or might not be hotter than us lol). We are all there to workout, and workout only; let’s leave people doing squats, donkey kicks, and deadlifts alone. And if you don’t approve the way they are dressed, that is even a bigger reason to stop staring!

IT is good gym etiquette to avoid staring at people. Staring is not only annoying but distracting, and a very bad habit. So, You do you, while they do they lol.

5. Being Nice and Kind to Others

Everybody at the gym has the same goal – bettering themselves. We are there because we want to be healthy, look better, and we have the motivation to do so. The gym should be a happy place.

So, if someone else is walking pass by you, or there are some regular people that you see there often but never talk, It is good gym etiquette to just smile and be nice. Remember, we are not competing against each other- and this goes mostly to women lol, you know what I’m talking about.

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6. Avoiding Giving Unsolicited Advice

And this is a topic that more than a few people asked me to talk about, because it’s not isolated, and unfortunately is a problem mostly for women.

This is a huge “No thanks” for me. I have found myself in situations where a guy gym member starts giving me “advice” on how to do a certain exercise or try to start a conversation in the middle of my workout.

Look, I get it, I’m petite and might not look as strong, but if I needed advice or help, I would ask for it, and the same applies to all my fitness girls out there. We don’t need your advice. So, thanks, but no thanks😊

And if you’re doing it as a conversation starter, I personally don’t think the gym is a place to snatch out a date with a girl. Maybe try by the smoothie station?

In conclusion, please don’t give unsolicited advice to others (men or women). Even if you are right, people don’t really appreciate it anyway, and you might be able to avoid an awkward situation.

So, there you have them. These are my top rules for gym etiquette. Do you guys have any other rules?

Happy lifting!
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51 thoughts on “Gym Etiquette | 6 Rules to Not be a Jerk At The Gym”

  1. Thanks for pointing this out. I haven’t honestly experienced this at my gym at all. I guess I must go to a really good one. The only thing some people don’t do is hold doors which is common coutesy.

  2. Great article – I agree with EVERYTHING! I am blessed to have my own private gym, so I go when it’s closed and I don’t have to deal with people and their etiquette malfunctions lol but now that I am spending most of my time in Toronto I’ll soon have to join a gym and deal with them 🙁

  3. amen to all of this!!! I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to sit on a machine and play on their phone or talk to someone. like you are not the only one here!

  4. Yes, yes, and yes! It drives me crazy when people don’t properly clean the equipment they’ve used. Your point about people staring is also so true—nobody wants that! Just minding your own business solves half the problem 🙂

  5. WellBabyBoomer

    Thanks for the great etiquette tips. I go to the gym several times a week and try to keep my area clean.

  6. I think all gym goers should read this. I really hate when people don’t wipe the machines/equiptment after using. Proper etiquette is very important!!!

  7. Great post!! One of the most frustrating things for me when I’m at the gym is people with poor gym ettequitte!! All of these are good things to keep in mind and be aware of when you’re at the gym!!

  8. Numbers 1 and 4 are such important things for people to consider! Not to mention keeping your opinions and unsolicited advice to yourself!

  9. Great article. I’m a regular gym guy and I agree with all of what you said. People disrespect one another more at the gym than anywhere else. They’re waiting for their mom to come clean up after them. My biggest pet peeve is the phone thing!

  10. makethislifegreat

    I agree with everyone of your rules you have here. If I’m being honest I haven’t been to the gym in a looooong time. The one pet peeve that I has was when there are people standing around or sitting at equipment having a “meeting” about whatever happened at work or like you said, gossip. Even if they weren’t tying up the machine I wanted it always bothered me to see them standing around talking and giggling breaking my “get it done” attitude I walked in with.

  11. This was SO helpful!! I’m going to college this fall, and one of the things I will be using there a LOT is a gym! I always worked out at my home, so I had no clue what to expect working at a gym… these tips will be VERY helpful! Thank you for making it so clear! 😀

  12. Kyla Matton Osborne

    I can see where many of these things would be annoying, or even harmful. I wouldn’t care to be cruised at the gym, but getting bad advice from a well-meaning guy whose instructions are geared for a big, beefy guy and not a petite woman, could actually cause an injury. The best resource for advice is the trainers, after all…

    1. Aww I am sorry you had to quit for these reasons 🙁 working out at home is much more comfortable but I do hope you give the gym a second chance 🙂

  13. All. Of. This. Oh my gosh. I cannot stand when people give me unsolicited advice or don’t take the plate off the machine. I swear people forget all manners and common human decency when they go to the gym

  14. Absolutely right on the mark with these tips. I always make an effort to wipe down the equipment I’ve used for the next one. And I am not someone to just stare. I think it’s rude and makes anyone feel uncomfortable and self conscious.

    1. I know!! the other day I posted a video of my workout and a friend pointed out that this guy next to me was taking a video of me! I didn’t even notice but how rude!

  15. Oh my gosh these are all so true!! I used to go to Planet Fitness every day and these happened so many times! Since the beginning of 2018 I have been going to Burn Boot Camp and luckily none of these things happen! I love it!

  16. All. of. This. YES! I hate when people hog the machines and don’t wipe them down like gross. When people stare at me I kind of mean mug them back lol I’m so in the zone with my music that I think that part doesn’t bother me as much lol

  17. I HATE equipment hogs. There was a bloke at my gym who was taking close to 5 min rests in between sets on the pull up machine. I politely asked if I could do my sets during his rest period and he got so mad and offended that I even asked. I totally didn’t understand why he needed to monopolise the machine for 25 mins!

    I do however like to receive advice if I’m totally doing an exercise wrong. I really want to avoid injury and would rather the awkward interruption than really stuffing something up.

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