Top 10 Tips for Proper Gym Behavior

by: Lisa Ritchie

As if the gym weren’t intimidating enough, did you know there’s a Code of Behavior that is sometimes unspoken? As a certified personal trainer I’ve worked in both the private home and gym setting. I’ve seen it all! Remember that gym rules are created to remind members to be polite and considerate of others and for safety and cleanliness reasons too. Here are a few of my observations about proper gym etiquette:

  1. Your workout wear: You may be modest or self-conscious of those last few pounds to lose, but there are exhibitionists out there. Some gyms have rules prohibiting men from training without shirts on and women exercising with just a sports bra and shorts. Some yoga positions put you in a position that could be revealing so make sure your clothing fits snugly but not too tight, and it holds everything in. Be sure to wear the proper footwear for your workout.
  1. Hygiene: Be considerate of those around you and be sure to put on deodorant before you work out. Don’t load up on heavy perfumes or colognes — some scents can be offensive or distracting to others and may cause problems for those with asthma or allergies.
  1. Leave the cell phone at home. Focusing on your workout will give you better results. It’s quite distracting to those around you to hear your entire side of a conversation, usually at a louder voice than normal. All communications with the Mother Ship should be sent to voicemail during your workout. Keep the technology locked up in your car or locker. Some gyms even prohibit cell phones in the locker room since many have cameras built in!
  1. Clean up before and after yourself! Before you get on a machine or bench (and especially afterwards) wipe it down with a towel or sanitary wipes if the gym offers them. Wipe down the handles, the seat, the back — anything that’s been or will be touched, particularly if it's gotten sweaty. Not only is this being kind to the next person, but it could also help you fend off colds and flu. Clean up also includes any trash you may have; a finished magazine, paper towels or tissues, an empty water bottle all go into the garbage!
  1. Many gyms post time limits on cardio machines, particularly at peak times. This allows everyone to get a fair workout, and you can try out other machines giving you a great cross-training workout!
  1. Put away your toys.  When you've finished using equipment such as free-weights, stability balls, jump ropes and mats, put them back where they belong so others can find them easily and the risk of tripping or falling over them is reduced. Check out our co-op store for great equipment for your home workouts!
  1. We all like to focus on our workouts, which can be difficult to do if the person on the next machine has their headphones blaring or is carrying on a loud conversation. Keep your voice and your music low, and be mindful of not disturbing other exercisers.
  1. Use the locker room. Don’t hang your purse or your gym bag on the arm of the elliptical or dump it on the gym floor. Grooming should take place in the locker room as well.
  1. Don’t hog the dance floor. If you’re a class devotee, be aware of those around you; don’t flail your arms or kick out your legs into the next person’s space. In addition, take any spot that is available and refrain from demanding, “this is MY spot!” if you’re a regular. By the same token don’t hog the weights or benches. Learn to rotate in to another person’s sets.
  1. Ask questions, don’t just “wing it” on a piece of equipment or exercise move you may be unfamiliar with. You could injure yourself or others, or damage the equipment. Floor trainers, staff, even other gym members are often very helpful if you ask politely to show you the proper usage or settings.

Finally, if you do run in to a gym hog, politely and calmly speak to them about your grievance. If they continue to be rude or belligerent, call over the club manager to diffuse the situation.







These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

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