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The Top 15 Gym Etiquette Rules You Need to Know

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Every day people are left annoyed, frustrated or even just plain grossed out by those who commit gym sins - choosing to disregard the spoken and unspoken customs of good manners and proper behaviour.

We spoke to some keen gym goers and PT’s from gyms in Rayleigh Essex and put together the top 15 gym etiquette rules that you need to know to stop you from becoming the person that nobody wants to share a gym with!



1)      Wipe Down Equipment – After you have had your turn on a machine, bench or mat then be sure to use your towel or available cleaning products such as blue paper towels or antibacterial spray to clean and wipe down the equipment you have been sweating on.

2)      Ask If someone is in front of or near a piece of equipment, they might be doing sets and are just taking a quick break. Be sure to politely ask if they are using it before you jump on in.

3)      Put Stuff Back This is one of the biggest bug bears of gym goers. People using dumbbells and other equipment and leaving them lying round when they are done with them. Not only is this potentially dangerous having them randomly left on the floor but means that people often can’t find what they are looking for when they need it.

4)      Photos Be mindful that if you are taking a video of your routine or a quick gym selfie, most people don’t want to be in the background of your latest social media photo. Be considerate and try to make sure it’s just you in the shot.

5)      Personal Hygiene –People sweat in gyms of course, that is what they are designed for! However, don’t neglect to use the right deodorants and antiperspirants before exercising, nobody should have to put up with a stranger’s body odour!

6)      Hogging Equipment – You are there to get your workout done and that’s fine, but be reasonable with equipment and don’t be a hogger! You can’t expect to do sets using 4 different machines and for nobody to use them in between.

7)      Talking – A friendly ‘hello’ or ‘are you using that?’ is absolutely fine and if someone else initiates conversation, then feel free to chat but nobody wants to be stuck talking to someone for ages when they just want to work out.

8)      Your Belongings – Keep your belongings with you and out of the way. It’s so infuriating when someone leaves their water bottle and phone on a bench you want to use whilst they’re on a different machine. Also, don’t be the person that takes a giant bag into a crowded gym, that’s what the locker rooms are for!

9)      Space – Always be conscious of the amount of space you are taking up and your proximity to others. Don’t stand right in front of the weight rack to work out or right next to someone that’s trying to perfect their deadlift, it’s not safe and it’s annoying to the other person.

10)  Sat Not Working Out – At peak times some machines, equipment and even floor space can be limited. Taking a quick check of your texts or email in-between sets is fine but don’t sit on a machine for ages just looking at your phone, someone could be waiting to use it.

11)  Overloading Weights– Just because you can lift a lot of weights doesn’t mean that everyone can. If you are loading up the leg press or bars with multiple heavy plates, then you should be removing them after.

12)  Keep it to Yourself – Unless someone is actually going to hurt themselves then your unsolicited advice is not needed and will likely just annoy or embarrass them.

13)  Changing Rooms – If you are showering or getting naked then be aware that not everyone will feel comfortable with it, you aren’t at home. Get washed, get dry, get dressed – no need to walk around for ages with everything on display. Also be considerate of spraying deodorants too close to others and don’t hog all the bench space.

14)  Illness – You might feel like the best way to help get over your cold is a good sweat but don’t be that person. Nobody wants your contagious germs all over their equipment so keep yourself at home when you are sick and if you really need to exercise go for a walk.

15)  Be Respectful – Laughing at, talking about or being disrespectful of other members because of their weight, clothing or workout style is unacceptable. Everybody in a gym is self-conscious and working hard to try to be their best self so be kind, you never know what inner battles people are facing.

Most of these gym etiquette rules are just common sense and the same rules that people would generally apply in everyday life. Clean up after yourself, be considerate of others, be polite and don’t annoy everyone around you!
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