wikiHow to Have Good Gym Etiquette

When you are at the gym, there are many ways that you can show consideration in regards to others. Lead others by example to doing the same back so everyone enjoys a pleasant gym experience.


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    Read and memorize the gym rules. Most well run gyms have clear rules about usage of equipment, space, and etiquette. Knowing these will ensure that you do not inconvenience anyone else and it gives you the ammunition needed if someone else using the gym breaches them and inconveniences you. While there's no need to make a big deal out them, they are there for the sake of safety and an improved user experience, so be aware of their content.
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    Wipe down the equipment that you used when you are done. Towards that end, carry a towel or some paper towels with you. Even if you don't think you're sweating, there are still those 'icky' cells you would be sharing. In addition, we shed skin flakes, hair and other parts of ourselves, so it is best to leave it clean.
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    Get to it. Do not slow down your exercising by talking with your friends during your workout. When you talk to others, there is a tendency to move slower and to dally over the equipment rather than focusing on the exercise. Talk with your friends, or exercise. At least, this should be the etiquette shown when the gym is busy or crowded.
    • Since gym isn't about chats, take any catch-up chats with others to the cafe. Most gyms either have one or have one nearby. If not, just find an area away from the equipment to have a chat.
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    Do not bring your cell phone there with you. You are there to exercise - not chat or conduct business. Many people go to the gym to switch off and forget about work or chores. Keep your cell phone in the locker.
    • If you are expecting an urgent call, take it outside so as not to disturb others and to maintain your own privacy during the call.
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    Try to keep the 'sound effects' to a minimum. Grunting with exertion is acceptable, but yelling with every rep is unnecessary and can be quite disconcerting to others, especially if it is continuous. If you are trying to get the attention, wear some nice clothes and take it to the dance floor.
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    When you're done using the weights, put them back in the proper place. This holds even if you found them in the wrong place to begin with. Two wrongs do not make a right. Not only is it rude, but it is dangerous.
    • Don't drop the weights. You are harming the machines, the floor, and the weights. If you have to drop them, then maybe their weight is too much for you just yet. This is not a 'dead weight' competition. Remember––feet and toes are not immune to being crushed.
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    Avoid hogging machines. Keep moving. You do not need to be on any one machine for over 10 minutes, some perhaps 20-30 maximum. If you think you do, square it with the gym operators first, to ensure that you are not creating a bottleneck.
    • Consider the potential for damage you can do to yourself when you overdo use of the equipment. This is about your health as well as etiquette.
    • If it is not busy and nobody is waiting for the machine, some extra time is likely to be permissible.
    • In turn, be patient when waiting for others to finish. This will undo any good the workout is doing you, as well as being poor etiquette. Wait for a break in the other person's exercising first, and then ask politely if they can indicate their finish time and leave it at that. Most etiquette observing gym goers will get the message; if not, you can always ask for help from the gym's management.
    • Do not hog the water fountain too long either. Get your drink quickly and move along.
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    Do not walk between others exercising and the mirror. Many gym exercisers are using the mirror to try to watch their form and they will not appreciate the distraction.
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    Put on antiperspirant before arriving at the gym. If you have a problem with body odour, it will make the environment more pleasant for everyone. It does not matter what your age, physique or gender, a little deodorant goes a long way in maintaining good interpersonal relations at the gym. However, do not go to the opposite extreme and overdo the perfume or cologne, as that can be just as offensive to others' sense of smell.
    • A t-shirt mops up more sweat than a tank top or singlet.
    • Ensure that any clothes you wear are not too scanty or allow glimpses of private areas when you move.
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    If you see someone that looks like they might need a spotter, be ready to step in and do it for them. It is a great opportunity to make friendships with those with common interests. In turn, they can do it for you, including timing you, motivating you and helping you with suggestions.
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    Pay attention to where your personal space is. It is not very pleasant getting smacked with swinging arms from someone else who is exercising (incorrectly). Backing into people, sticking sweaty armpits into others' faces and treading on feet are all things you need to avoid doing. Be aware of being a considerate space user at the gym; mark out the invisible boundaries before you go ahead and exercise.
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    Do the lift properly. You look much dumber doing a lift improperly than using lower weight and having correct technique. Top offenders:
    • Not hitting your chest on bench press
    • Swinging your back into a curl (it's for biceps, not your back)
    • Lat pull down should be to your chest, not to your spine
    • Going beyond parallel on forward or lateral dumbbell raises
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    Finally but importantly, take care if you're trying to seek a date with someone at the gym. Be tactful and avoid asking out every person who seems like a possibility––that's offensive! Remember that most people are actually at the gym to exercise first and foremost.


  • Pick up after yourself, including wrappers, drink bottles, etc.
  • Be careful with thinking you know best how to advise another person to exercise. You may not know the best method for them and you might simply bug them. It is okay to point out that they're going to hurt themselves though or to offer tips you've found handy for yourself, without expecting them to change their ways.
  • Keep your gym locker tidy and clean.
  • Pay your gym fees on time. While you may have developed a good, personal relationship with the gym owner, this is not an excuse to stretch the friendship by not paying on time. Always be prompt with payment and keep abreast of special deals or changes that may affect the type of membership you require.


  • Leave all cursing at the doorstep. Many people do not want to hear swearing as much as they do not want to hear grunts.

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