Gym Etiquette: 7 Unspoken Rules At The Gym

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 9:18am

By Adam Kessler, CSCS

Joining a gym can be intimidating. When you first signed-up, the salesperson probably went over the membership rules with you. However, it’s highly unlikely he told you about proper gym etiquette. If you are lucky, your gym’s rules are posted on a wall somewhere. But does anybody really read them? Knowing all the rules—including the unspoken ones—can make for a better gym experience, not only for you but your fellow gym members.

1.   Put your weights away after use in the gym

Nothing is more annoying than weights that are left on the bar. I don’t care if it is 10 pounds or 100 pounds. If you put weights on the bar, please take them off when you’re done. No one is impressed by the behemoth on the leg press machine with 10 plates on a side who leaves the weights for someone else to remove when he’s finished.

2.   Keep your iPod volume at a reasonable level during your workout

You have earphones for a reason, so please keep the volume down. In addition, refrain from singing along. Most people would rather not listen to your rendition of “99 Red Balloons.”

3.   Let others work-in with you

Be considerate and don’t hog the machines. If someone wants to work-in, let him. You can use that person’s time on the machine to rest…which leads to the next point.

4.   If you want to work-in with someone, ask first

Don’t assume that someone on a machine knows that you want to work-in. Do the polite thing and ask. Standing over someone assuming they’re a mind reader is rude not to mention ineffective.

5.   Wipe your gym machines off after use

Especially if you sweat a lot, this rule is essential. Using the spray bottle that is provided at your club, wipe the machines down with your towel. If one isn’t provided, complain to the manager.

6.   Don’t yell and scream whilst you exercise in the gym

It is alright to let out some noise when you are trying to finish your repetition, but there is no reason to let the entire gym hear your pain. Ladies that goes double for you. I’ve been to many gyms where every now and then a female will be exercising and her screams sound like an imitation of Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally.

Not attractive.

7.   Wear appropriate clothes for the gym

This may be a personal preference, but guys please leave the butt-hugger shorts back in the 80s. Also, just so you know, knee-high brown socks with generic tennis shoes was never “in.” Another personal pet peeve is guys who wear tank tops with really thin straps. Each time they move, everyone can see their entire chests. We don’t need to see your awesome pecs.

Hopefully, this will help you make the smooth transition into your new gym, so that you can comfortably meet your health goals while observing proper gym etiquette.