There are some unwritten rules of the gym that you’d probably rather skip learning the hard way. Follow these 7 gym etiquette tips to make yours, and everyone else’s, exercise experience a pleasant one.
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Gym Etiquette Tips
1. Stay home if you are feeling sick
Offer your fellow gym-goers the same courtesy you’d like from them. If you’re sick, skip the gym until you’re fully recovered. You can workout at home or do some outdoor exercises if you’re in good enough health, but make sure you’re not putting anyone else at risk of catching your illness.
2. Bring a towel
If you don’t want to sit in someone else’s sweat, assume that other people don’t want to sit in yours, either. Gyms rely on you to wipe down equipment after each use, and if disinfectant wipes are available, use them. The numerous people going in and out each day bring with them bacteria and germs. There’s no way around it, but you can do your part to protect yourself, and others, from taking them home.
3. Skip the selfies
Did you even go to the gym if there’s not a picture to prove it? Yes, yes you did. No one is going to stop you from tracking your progress with some gym selfies, but there is an appropriate way to go about taking them. Refrain from crowding the mirror while other people are trying to check their form, and don’t make others feel like they need to move in order to avoid being in your photo. Take your photo in an area that isn’t crowded and keep it quick.
4. Clean up after yourself
If you want to avoid frustrated glares, listen up. Any time you move a mat, weight, dumbbell, or whatever it may be, put the item back where it belongs. Further, even if you found the item somewhere it shouldn’t have been, return it to its proper location. Just because the person before you wasn’t considerate enough to do this doesn’t mean you can’t be. This also creates a safer environment for everyone involved.
Many gyms have time limits on popular machines during busy hours. Cardio machines usually fall under this category, but you may find others with general limits, too. Of course, if there are open treadmills and you want to continue your training session over the time limit, feel free. However, once all of the machines become occupied, step away and allow someone else the opportunity to use it. This also goes for supersetting and transitioning between two machines at the same time. And no, leaving your towel or water bottle on a machine will not reserve it for you.
6. Don’t give unwarranted advice
If they didn’t ask for your advice, don’t offer it. Telling someone how to change their workout can not only make them uncomfortable, but what you’re offering may not be the best option for their individual circumstance. If you see someone doing something that you feel is potentially dangerous, tell one of the staff members and let them take care of it. This also goes for flirting. You may think it’s flattering, but it could ruin someone’s gym experience and make them hesitant to return.
7. Aim for neutral
Sure, you don’t expect to smell like a rosebush at the gym, but no one wants to smell you before they see you. Practicing normal hygiene like wearing deodorant and clean clothes will help ensure the gym doesn’t smell worse than it has to. Additionally, don’t overcompensate with perfumes, colognes, lotions, or heavy fragrances. Not only can this be distracting, it can also trigger allergic reactions and skin sensitivities in the people around you. So, keep it neutral and you’re golden.
Now that you’re informed on proper gym etiquette, go forth and make those gains.