Proper Gym Etiquette – How To Behave When You’re in a Gym


Like most everything in life, the gym has its own set of rules. Some are part of the contract each member signs upon enrolling, such as paying membership fees, displaying the club’s ID when entering the facility, and agreeing to the renewal and cancellation clauses. But there are many other, unwritten rules, that when followed, make yours and everyone else’s time in the gym more enjoyable.

  • Wear appropriate clothing – this is not a fashion show.
  • Jewelry should be left at home. Bracelets and necklaces can be safety hazards by getting caught in machines, and rings are easily bent.
  • Personal hygiene is a must! Use deodorant, don’t wear the same clothes two days in a row, and wash your hands after you use the restroom.
  • If you use a locker, be sure to take your clothes home to wash them on a regular basis. If you bring your own lock, remove it when you are not using the locker, and also when the gym operators post signs saying they will be cleaning the lockers. If you ignore their sign, you will lose your lock and possibly the items in the locker
  • If you use the shower, take all of your personal belongings with you when you leave, and clean up after yourself. Don’t leave puddles of water or your flip flops in the changing area or near the lockers.
  • If you are in the sauna, wear clothes or at least a towel that covers all of the parts that it should. Be aware that others may join you.
  • Wipe down machines with anti-bacterial spray and a paper towel before you move to another.
  • Remove the free weights from the bar when you have completed your set.
  • Return the dumbbells to their stand when you are finished.
  • Don’t sit on a machine when you are not using it.
  • Always remove your towel from the machine or bench when you are finished.
  • Don’t hoard the dumbbells.
  • Be respectful of others. Don’t interrupt someone in the middle of their set. Don’t hover over anyone, waiting for them to finish.
  • If you are asked to be a spotter, only agree to do so if you truly understand your role and its importance. If you do spot someone, pay attention to them. Don’t look around at other members or look to see what is on the television.
  • Limit your socializing. If someone is wearing headphones, take the hint – they want to focus on their routine and aren’t interested in talking.
  • Don’t share your music – if you wear an iPod or use earphones, keep the volume low enough so you aren’t disturbing those around you. Everyone may not be Metallica fans.
  • Don’t sing aloud with the music that is playing – whether it is from your earphones or on throughout in the gym.
  • If you are in a cardio theater, remember that those around you do not want to hear you and your neighbor talking.
  • Don’t grunt unnecessarily.
  • Don’t spit on the floor.
  • Take your water bottle with you from machine to machine.
  • Refrain from cursing.
  • Be considerate. If you have to carry your phone with you and you receive a call, go in the locker room or outside to talk.

Most would agree that these are common sense, but it is truly amazing to see how many people choose not to follow them. Keeping these in mind will help you and everyone around you to focus on the job at hand.

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About Author

Sharon Chamberlin

From an early age, Sharon was encouraged to participate in competitive sports including soccer, basketball, track, softball, and volleyball. She has been an athlete and fitness enthusiast ever since. She explains that her parents instilled in her a level of self-confidence that has touched everything she does. See my profile page for more information!

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