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Navigating the chaos of a gym as a newbie isn’t that easy. You might have several questions like: How long is too long to stay on an exercise machine? Can I use more than one piece of gym equipment at a time? Is it OKAY to ask that fellow gym member when he’ll be done?
To bring some order to this chaos and feel more confident at the gym, it’s helpful to know the basic gym etiquette rules for gym-goers. Actually, these gym etiquette rules are more similar to what we all learned in our kindergarten. Clean up after yourself when you’re done using the stuff, don’t do anything that’s mean to other people, Don’t disturb other people personal space, Share with others, etc. When everyone follows these simple yet important etiquette rules, it creates a happy, safe and comfortable environment at the gym. So, here are the top 10 important gym etiquette rules that everyone should follow at the gym.
- Never Make Fun of Fellow Gym-Goers
Never make fun of fellow gym-goers, whether they look stupid while using an exercise machine wrongly or are wearing a gym costume you think may be inappropriate. Not only in the gym but you shouldn’t do it anywhere. Having a good laugh with your friends at this particular person’s expense or worse, on social media is a serious violation of gym etiquette rules and common decency. Remember, invading other people privacy for any reason is just wrong.
- Clean-Up Equipment After Using It
Even if you don’t overtly sweat, any moisture left behind might be felt by the next person using that gym equipment. So, use a microfiber cotton towel to clean up the gym equipment after using it yourself. And if you happen to approach a piece of gym equipment that has some sweat droplets on it already, it won’t kill you to clean them up yourself. It’s not only hygienic, but it’s also gym etiquette.
- Always Ask Permission
If somebody is using an exercise machine or piece of gym equipment and you need something nearby, always ask permission. Don’t just walk up and grab a piece of equipment from the rack when somebody is squatting. It’s not only a rude behavior but, it can be dangerous: you might knock the person squatting or bench pressing while they’re under a heavyweight, you don’t want to cause this disaster, right?
- Share the Equipment with Others
I get it, it’s tempting to cache the only set of 8-pound weights for you, but there’s a gym full of people who has their own fitness goals, so, maybe they also need to use some of the same equipment as you. If the gym is pretty empty, you can probably use it as long as you want. Otherwise, don’t hog on the one set of equipment you need, just be aware and behave accordingly.
- Keep Your Grunting to the Minimal
We all come across this person with the heavyweights who are practically screaming in the back of the gym. Yes, you’re lifting a heavy amount of weight. And we realize that most of the times a grunt escapes from the mouth as a physiological response to the muscle exertion. but, it’s always possible to control your grunting, and there’s no excuse for making noises loud enough to scare other people across the gym.
- Don’t Misuse the Equipment When You’re Not Using It
It’s not a good thing to sitting on gym equipment when you’re not using it. it’s maybe a bench, but, try not to sit on it if you’re just scrolling your phone. Somebody might need that bench to do their sit-ups, and they might feel uncomfortable asking you to move. If you really need to sit, find a space that has arrangements for sitting, like a locker room or a lounge area it’s also gym etiquette.
- Control Your Urges to Take Selfies
It’s absolutely OKAY to be proud of the hard work you’re doing to build your muscles. But, just don’t hold up somebody else’s workout for the reason that you want to get the perfect selfie with the equipment they need to use for their workout. Click a quick selfie of your workout progress and move on. People already know you’re rocking it.
- Avoid Giving Unsolicited Advice
You’re probably just trying to be helpful for that new member who seems confused or overwhelmed and want to save him from getting hurt, but walking up to complete strangers and giving them advice they didn’t ask for can make them feel unwelcome in the gym. Don’t advice somebody unless they’re in immediate danger. And, if you have an opinion about the number of reps a fellow member is doing, keep your advice to yourself unless they ask for your insight.
- Keep the Gym Equipment Where It Belongs.
Have you ever seen a sit-up bench blocking the dumbbells at the gym? That’s a big No! Don’t drag a sit-up bench onto the deadlift platform, don’t do any weightlifting movements anywhere other than the deadlift platforms and don’t leave plyometric boxes in the squat racks. Simply don’t misplace the equipment. After using the equipment just put it back where it belongs.
- Avoid Too Much Chitchats
For many people, a gym is a place of solace, even though, the gym is a social setting, try to keep your gossip to a minimum. By chance, if you run into a gym mate or somebody you know, don’t stand around chitchatting and blocking somebody else’s workout session. And, remember, if a fellow gym member is wearing headphones, it probably means they don’t want to be disturbed during their workout. So, respect their privacy and follow the gym etiquette.
In the end, all these gym etiquette rules condense to the same concept “be considerate and respectful of other people”. If we all follow that, the gym would be a much safer and friendlier place. Remember, just like the world, we share the gym together, so let’s act like it and be kind to other people!
If I miss out any important gym etiquette rules in the list, let me know them in the comments!