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Gym Etiquette 101: Common Courtesy in The Weight Room

* Common courtesy at the gym is crucial
* No one wants to hear your music or your phone call at the gym
* Focus on your workout and don’t hog the equipment

Just like with any new environment, there is a certain way to conduct yourself at the gym so that you’re not disrupting or annoying everyone. For gym newcomers, these guidelines often go unrealized until it’s too late. The gym is a community of people who are committed to making an improvement to themselves and trust me, you don’t want to be the guy getting in the way of that for anybody.

You already know to mind your Ps and Qs at a restaurant or theater – make sure to have the same respect for people at the gym. Just in case you’re not sure, go ahead and check out our list of things you can do to avoid being that guy.

1. It’s Not Social Hour

One of the worst things you can do at the gym is try to make conversation with people. Your intentions are good and you don’t mean any harm, but the gym is not the place to go make new friends. It’s completely appropriate to go ask someone if they’re finished on a machine or bench or ask how many sets they have left, but don’t go try to have a full-blown conversation.

Not only do you then lose your focus and momentum, but you halt their momentum as well. If you’re going to the gym with a friend or two, it’s only natural that you’ll have a bit more of a dialogue with them, but you should not all be sitting around chatting, with no one getting any work in. This will only annoy other people at the gym who consider your posse to either be in the way or taking too long, lolly gagging on the equipment that they want to use for their next set. Keep the dialogue to a minimum and if you’re going to be chatting, at least make it about the workout at hand.

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2. Don’t Hog the Equipment

We touched on this in the previous point, but it’s such a big issue at the gym sometimes that it deserves its own point. Of course you can hog equipment if you’re taking your sweet time talking to your friends instead of using the weight. But you can also hog equipment if you’re trying to superset three different exercises back and forth.

If it’s a busy time of day at the gym, then don’t plan on doing any workout where you’ll need the treadmill, a bench and the cable pulley machine. This is a good way to annoy people. You can’t expect to reserve three highly-used pieces of equipment for a half hour as you rotate between them all for a few sets. Sure it’s probably a good workout, but others are wanting to incorporate that equipment into their workout as well and it can be seen as a lack of common courtesy. Also, excessive texting is another way you can find yourself hogging equipment. If you’re using any weights or equipment, focus on completing your sets and moving onto the next part of your workout — not texting or posting on Instagram about how you’ve worked up a sweat.


3. Wipe Down Equipment

No one likes getting to the gym and finding the machine or bench they need to use drenched in sweat. Working out at a community gym means you need to have respect for the others at the gym — and for the gym itself. Leaving your work station a sweaty mess is something that will earn you a bad reputation at the gym. Every public gym will have a disinfecting spray bottle and some paper or cloth towels to wipe down your equipment with. Make sure you leave the equipment how you found it, and there should be no issues.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

5. Don’t Be Super Noisy

There are several ways that you can be too loud at the gym, and when others around you are just trying to focus on their workout, it can be quite distracting. One of the most common cases is the guy who is huffing and puffing and yelling and slamming weights around when he’s maxing out. Sometimes people do this for a mental boost, as if yelling will help them lift heavier weights. But while it might give you a little extra motivation, it’s more annoying than motivating to those around you.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

Other times, you’ll find people who don’t want to listen to music in their headphones or earbuds, so they just let their phone play music in their pocket for all to hear. This isn’t the most courteous thing to do because we all have different workout music we like to listen to, and well, if your vulgar rap music is infringing on my country vibes, we may have issues. Keep your music in your ears.

Lastly, phone calls. This is a big no no at the gym as you’re then taking up time on equipment that others could be using and having a conversation aloud for all to hear, which inevitably will be distracting to others. Focus on your lift and keep your volume to yourself.

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