10 Rules for Proper Gym Etiquette

A comprehensive guide to making your gym mates not want to pummel you. 

With the holidays around the corner and New Years Resolutions beginning to bud, I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of 10 rules for proper gym etiquette. This is a list of some of the behaviours that everyone expects you to know while working out at a gym, but no one has the guts to tell you.

Rule #1: Respect machine times.
If the machine says 20 minute max then 20 minutes is all you get little lady! Just because you ate an entire weeks worth of chocolate for breakfast does not give you the right to spend the entire afternoon on the elliptical. Move it or lose it! If there is no one waiting then by all means keep going, but just be cognitive of others.

Rule #2Respect the machine schedule.

There is a reason why all those names are written on that white board, and it’s not because they need to stay after class.  If your name isn’t on the board then you need to wait your turn. Believe it or not there is an order of operations established, and you my friend are no exception; you can’t just barge in and take anything you want just because you feel like it.

Rule #3: If someone is working out, and takes a break, this is not an invitation to take the machine.

Gym routines are as vastly different as the people performing them, and so sometimes gym members might do things a bit differently than you. Ultimately throwing a kink into your plans, and causing a melt down to your workout schedule. The thing to remember is that he/she is probably just as annoyed with you, as you are with them. We all just need to exercise some self control and rational thinking here. If there is a break between their sets then you need to establish some sort agreement together because just taking the machine over when he or she isn’t looking is just rude. 

Rule #4: Sanitize and wipe down machines after use.
This is truly disgusting, no one wants to use the machine after your sweaty behind has been all over it. Be realistic people, just spraying the machine isn’t enough, not to mention it is a hazard to next person coming to use the machine. Spray and wipe down the machine when you are finished with it, so the next person doesn’t slip and break their neck on a concoction of your sweaty remnants mix with a cleaning product. 

Rule #5: Avoid staring profusely at others.
People come to the gym usually to do their own thing. They want to get in, and get out, but when you’re staring them down the entire time it gets kind of creepy. Just because there’s a cute blondie working out at the gym doesn’t mean she’s fair game; wait for some sort of signal from her before approaching her for a date. And also remember that no means no, if she’s not interested in you then she shouldn’t feel like she needs to change gyms because you keep harassing her to go for a drink after.

Rule #6: Avoid chatting it up and blocking traffic flow.
Indoor voices. You’re not at a club people, so keep it moving. It’s not that the people at the gym don’t want you to have a good time, but when there are several people huddled together having a powwow it can block other gym members from doing their thing. In an attempt to manoeuvre around you, other gym members could injure themselves or even worse another gym member. This can have some serious consequences, so keep the chats light, and keep the space clear.

Rule #7: Wear appropriate clothing/ keep privates private. 
This goes for both guys and girls. Please be sure to cover up your goods; there’s a reason why they are called privates. This goes for the locker room as well, no one wants to see you walking around in your birthday suit longer than they need to, no matter how ripped your abs are, so do what you gotta do, and be done with it. 

Rule #8: Allow others access to the water fountain. 
At the gym we are all sweating, and so we all need plenty of water to rehydrate, but do you need to stand there for 20 minutes while you catch your breath? No! Also if you are filling up your water bottle, it’s best to let the salivating gym mates behind get a drink first, and then by all means hog all the water you want for your 2L water jug.

Rule #9: The locker room is not your personal bathroom. While we all want to sneak in a quick workout, either before work or after, or maybe even before a hot date, but we still need to consider others. Everyone wants access to same things: the shower, mirror, the hair dryer, the sink, and so if you’re gawking at yourself for an hour and a half that’s just inconsiderate. Save the marathon showers for home please, some people do want to get out of there at a half descent hour.

Rule #10: Exercise common sense. 
Everyone is there for basically the same purpose: to get fit, and no one working out at a gym or yoga studio needs your unwanted inconsiderate behaviours getting in the middle of it. Half the battle of working out is getting your butt off the couch and into to a gym, and the last thing people need is disrespectful gym mates to deter them from getting healthy. Exercise common sense here, and maybe a bit of empathy, you are not the only one working out at the gym, and we should all be working together to make it as less painful as possible. 

Don’t be that guy, or that girl! 
Happy gym going blog readers,

PS: Want to know more about Gym Etiquette? Check out this guys video about what going to the gym used to be like “back in the day”
Ric’s Corner: Gym Etiquette

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