While this gym etiquette list could be A LOT longer, here are some basic unwritten rules to abide by when in a crowded gym.
Some of these may seem obvious to my fellow gym goers who’ve been at this a long time, but remember that we were all beginners at one point too.
Just like I didn’t know not to walk in a putters line or talk during their backswing the first time I played golf, most who are new to the gym won’t know not to do exercises right in front of the dumbbell rack or wipe down the equipment when finished. You learn as you go.
If you’re new and you’re not sure about something, the easiest thing to do is act the same as you would if you were a guest in someone’s home. Be polite, if you pick something up put it back when you’re done. If you get something dirty clean it up. And if you need to take a call, excuse yourself.
Here is my “Top Ten” list of things you should and shouldn’t do in a crowded gym.
1. Don’t talk on your phone, it’s just rude.
2. Re-rack your weights and put them back in the correct order. Don’t make someone smaller than you have to peel off stacks of 45 lbs. plates so they can use the bench or squat rack.
3. Wipe down the equipment when finished. Accidentally laying your head down in a pool of someone else’s sweat is disgusting.
4. Don’t stare at other people in the mirror when you’re in between sets. It’s distracting and also a little creepy.
5. Don’t hog equipment. If someone asks if they can “work in”, either let them or let them know if you’re just finishing up.
6. Don’t slam the weights. For a lot of people, a crowded gym can be an intimidating place. Be considerate.
7. If you have an empty bottle to fill and the person(s) behind you just needs a sip, let them go first.
8. Don’t sing out loud to your music. The gym is the wrong arena to showcase your talent.
9. Keep the yelling to a minimum.
10. Don’t do exercises right in front of the dumbbell rack. Take what you need and step back so others can take what they need without having to wait for you to finish your set.
That’s it! Basically, just be a considerate person and you will be just fine.
Brian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.
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