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Top 13 Gym Etiquette You Must Know

October 9th, 2007 · 6 Comments ·


You probably will not see rules posted around the gym teaching how to act, but gym does have some unspoken rules. If you do not want to be the most annoying or inconsiderate people in the gym, learn the codes of workout ethics in gym. Also, some rules are not necessarily meant for others, but also for your own safety.

1) Returning the Weights to the Rack
Once you finish your workout, remove the weights from the machines. Place dumbbells back on the rack in the slots where they are supposed to be so that others can find them easily. If you leave the barbell or weights lying on the floor, you may get people trip over them.


2) Do Not Drop the Weights For No Reason
Don’t drop weights from a high elevation for no reason. It is true that gym is not a temple or church, but respect the peace of other fellow members. Who knows, some elderly folks may get heart attack when you drop the heavy weight. They may think that King Kong is there.

Same applies to resistance machine that have cables. You do not need to slam down the weights after each rep.

Moreover, if you cannot control the weights, the weights are probably too heavy for you anyway. Take lighter weight.


3) Wipe Your Sweat
Put a towel on the bench before you lie on it. Wipe the benches off if you sweat on them. You do not want to use your towel to wipe off others’ sweat. So, others will feel the same.

4) Do Not Hog The Machine
Some gyms have limited number of machines. Normally, it is acceptable for the each member to spend about 10 to 15 minutes on a machine. But, try not to sitting there chatting and spend an hour on it. Let others to use it. If no one is waiting for your spot, feel free to keep going.

If someone is waiting for your machine, let him work in while you are resting. Don’t hog it.

5) Do Not Pressure Others
I hate people who hog the machines. However, I realize that we should not constantly ask people if they have finished using a machine when they are obviously still using it. Wait for them to stop before asking. Don’t tap your foot (or rub your fist) impatiently while waiting.


6) Do Not Talk to Someone in the Middle of a Set
If someone is doing squatting or bench pressing, do not talk to them. This is very distracting and in fact, may be dangerous if they are lifting heavy weights. (Worse, if they lost count. Pity them if they have to count again.)

They are probably not listening to you anyway. So, don’t feel bad or be offended if and when they ignore you. Wait until they are done.

7) Do Not Warm Up In The Middle of Walkways
Do it within the stretching area. Don’t block the ways. I have seen people doing lateral raise in the middle of walkway and all of us have to stand there to wait for him to finish his set. The fellow thought that we were admiring how great he was doing, but in the truth was that he was blocking our way!

8) Be Nice at the Water Fountain

When you are filling up BIG bottle of water (say, 1.5 little), if someone is behind you, offer them to drink first. Also, do not spit in the fountain (if you do, please wash it away with water).



9) Do Not Laugh at Others
Be nice to beginner. Do not laugh at others when they are not able to lift heavy weight or when they are not able to follow the steps in the class. Everyone has to start from somewhere.

10) Do Not Pretend to Have Orgasm
I know some of us may grunt, yell or emit little noises when we are lifting heavy weights for the last few reps. Sometimes, it is acceptable, but overdoing it will distract others. Worse, people may think you are having orgasm in your (wet) daydreaming. Save the unnecessary grunts for the bathroom.


11) Do Not Treat Gym as a Pub or Disco Club
I know some beautiful babes wear skimpy clothes to gym. But they may not appreciate if you keep on looking at them. Worse, drooling.

Also, even some gyms look like pub, sad to say, gym is not a pub or disco club and you may go to the gym for social reasons. But, some go to the gym with just one thing in mind – have a great workout and go home. So, do not initiate conversations with cute girls or guys who are wearing headphones. They obviously want to concentrate in what they do. However, if you disagree and believe gym is a social club, read another of my article – Picking Up Girls or Guys at Gym.


12) Keep Your Locker Clean
Do not leave any rubbish in your locker. Do not leave anything for the next fellow.

13) Keep Yourself Clean
It is about hygiene. Keep yourself neat and clean. Do not wear the same T-shirt or socks you wore at your last workout. You may stink. If you have strong body odor, use deodorant, especially you know you going to run for 45 minutes. Also, if you want to fart in gym, check this out – Fart Etiquette in Gym Before You Fart While Working Out.

Gym is a place where small community of like-minded individuals work out. Be sensitive to others. Don’t be the weirdo at gym. Knowing the proper gym etiquette can be quite helpful in our relationship with others. Once everybody knows the rules, it is much more fun to work out. Let’s make the gym a better place for everyone.



Category: Gym Going

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6 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Oct 9, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Great tips. >:)

    I’ve been to the gym for a few months and have picked up alot of the weird stuff happening there.

    I hate to go to the weight area to borrow weights because the body-building guys treat it as though as their own private club, i.e. only pretty chicks, or macho gays (no pun intended) need apply.

  • Elvina // Oct 10, 2007 at 1:22 PM

    I saw this quite pretty and petite lady in yoga class. I think she was cool looking but my impression towards her instanly changed when I saw her washing her foot in the sink! She just dun bother even there were other members looking at her. She lift her foot and rubbing her toes in the sink… eewww….

  • Rachel // Mar 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM

    another one to add to your list :

    Do not hog places and reserve them for your friends in classes. This goes for yoga mats, stepboards & any other equipments as well. I lost count of the time when I have to turn away from classes as places were seemingly filled up until one day I saw ppl reserving places for friends who either never turn up or turn up really late.

    I bloody hate certain people who always do this in FF Body Balance, Body Step and Body Jam classes. Especially in one particular outlet in KL known for small rooms and lack of space (despite it’s recent renovations).

    Be considerate towards ppl who have to rush from work to attend classes and hoping they will not have to fight for their space.

  • Dan // May 28, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    heres the MOST IMPORTANT one:

    Don’t grab a pair of dumbbells and do your exercise right in front of the rack.

    That is very annoying.

    Please step back so others can return and pick up new weights.

  • Zou // Jul 14, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    We have a very well equiped gym at the hospital I work in. It’s small and it’s very popular (24 hours access, never closes, only 6$ a month fee, possibility to take an appointement whenever you feel you need it with a professionnal trainer, excellent and up-to-date equipement).

    There are reservation sheets on the wall. If you reserve, you have to put your name and phone extension so you can be reached if you don’t show-up and prevented other users to enjoy the machine. You can’t reserve for more than 15 minutes at “gym rush hour” (lunch time) any popular machine (ellyptical, ect). And you can’t reserve them everyday at the rushed time-frame. You can reserve as long as you want and at the exact same hour at any other time of the day. It works great, forces you to avoid crowded time-frames. Some people learned how to wake-up early to take advantage of un-popular early morning hours or negociated odd lunch hours with their boss. ;-)

    It’s mandatory to use the desinfectant spray bottles and cloth put at your disposal near each and every weight lifting or cardio training machines. You have to use that each and every time you finish an exercise on all areas your body touched (chair, handles, ect). This is enforced severely (after all, the gym belongs to a hospital…)

    There are no closed lockers. You put your bag and working shoes in plain sight in custum-made shelvings. So if you have athlete’s foot, you’d better cure it before thinking coming to the gym. Otherwise you and your socks and smelly shoes will be the talk of the hospital. Same for obviously non-exersise-related body odors, you don’t want to be gossiped about on that particular subject by your coworkers.

    I could go on and on… Bottom line, people seem to act more civilised if they share the gym with coworkers. And a work-place gyms seem less concerned with loosing members by enforcing simple hygiene or courtesy rules.

  • Robert James // Dec 19, 2008 at 5:28 AM

    Awesome article and advice. As a professional trainer, working in gyms for more than 20 years… ya see a few things… things that’d make yer toes curl.

    I like to make my clients aware, right from the get go… teach ’em right… keep ’em safe.

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