April 21, 2024

Manners Matter: Year-Round Gym Etiquette by Sarah Johnson

Yes, this is the time of year when gyms seem to quadruple their memberships overnight. The regulars, the newbies and the ‘resolutioners’ are all back in full force.

So now is as good a time as any for a friendly ‘Gym Etiquette’ reminder.


1. Share. If someone asks if they can work in a set on the machine you’re using, let them. And while waiting, do a set of push-ups or squats! Be efficient!

2. Be patient. When waiting for a user to finish their treadmill run, please don’t hover over them until they step off. Give them a chance to finish their workout, cool down and clean the equipment.

3. Wipe it down! On that note, clean up after yourself. Grab a towel and spray bottle or wipe, and make sure the next person using the equipment doesn’t have to see your sweat as proof of your efforts.

4. Smile. And finally, there will be plenty of brand-new exercisers out there using YOUR machine or standing in YOUR spot in the group ex room. Be friendly and welcoming: smile, show them where the dirty towels go, and remember you were once the newbie too.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

Attention Gym Members! By Brett Klika

If the public exercise forum of the gym is something new to you, it can be intimidating.  All that equipment, all those people, and “where can I put my keys?”  Have no fear, it’s pretty simple to get in and get out with a smile (and a good amount of sweat) on your face without a hitch.

Just like in any organization, the gym has both spoken and unspoken rules or “codes of conduct.”  Familiarize yourself with these simple etiquette guidelines to guarantee that you’ll have a positive and productive workout experience, while empowering others to do the same.

Below are some basic gym tips to help you navigate the world of working out!

Lock away cell phones.
Spending your (and others) workout time walking around talking on your phone takes away from not only yours, but everyone else’s workout. Leave the cell phone in your locker or keep it with you in silent or vibrate-mode for absolute emergencies.

Don’t leave a sweat “autograph.”
A good lather of sweat is great, and means you’re working hard to forge a new body of steel. However, a sweaty machine is not a pleasant welcome for the next exerciser. After you’re done with a piece of equipment, wipe it off for the next person.

Choose the right gym.
There are now many different types of gyms offering many different types of exercise experiences.  Make sure when you go to a gym to sign up, you feel comfortable and welcome.

If you like to lift heavy weights with loud music, the local mom and pop “Fun Fit” might not be a place for you.  If you’re just getting started going to a gym, the local bodybuilding/powerlifting mecca might not  provide the experience for which you are looking.

Luckily, there are now options for everyone to find a place they feel at home!

You may be a better door than a window.
Narcissistic or not, gyms are surrounded with mirrors for a reason.  Gym-goers not only like to see their progress, but mirrors provide feedback on form and technique.

If someone is looking in the mirror while doing an exercise, it’s rude to walk in between him or her and the mirror.  It can be distracting and take away from their focus.  Either walk around them, or wait until they are done with their exercise.

Put away weights, plates, or any other equipment when finished.
This is the cardinal rule of using a public gym, yet it is probably the most frequently broken one.  It’s a concept we are introduced to in kindergarten. When you’re done, put it away.

Make sure to put everything you use back where it came from. That way,someone else doesn’t have to spend half their workout time cleaning up a mess they didn’t make.

Brett Klika C.S.C.S., author of “The Underground Workout Manual- Exercise and Fat Loss in the Real World” (www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com is a world- renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. In his 15-year career, Brett has accrued more than 20,000 hours of training with youth, athletes, executives, and everyday people. He uses this knowledge and experience to motivate individuals and audiences around the world through his writing, speaking and DVD’s. For his free blog or to try the Underground Workout Manual for FREE, visit www.brettklika.com.

Mind your Manners! By Jody Goldenfield

Mind Your Manners…in the Gym!

We all know that the start of a new year means New Year’s Resolutions. A very large percentage of people vow to lose weight as part of that resolution for the new year. Many of these people will join a gym to assist them in their efforts to lose weight. There are standard rules in a gym that you should follow along with some “unwritten” rules of gym manners.

1. Do NOT stay on the cardio equipment longer than the posted time limit during peak gym hours. I get it! 20 minutes on a piece of cardio equipment is like a warm up to many. If the gym is crowded, you can either get off and get back in line OR go do some weights and/or core work and then go back for more cardio. I opt for # 2 to keep your body moving and making better use of your time. This applies for weights too. Do not monopolize machines or weights during peak hours. Offer to let people work in!

2. Please do not talk on your cell phone while doing your cardio or weights. Yes, absolutely there are emergencies, however to talk just to talk and in a loud voice is rude. In addition, if you are easily chatting away and working out at the same time, that means that you are not working out hard enough. Put down the phone until you are done.

3. If you are not coming from work or some other destination, please do not wear perfume or cologne. Deodorant is enough. Perfumes and cologne scents will be intensified with sweating and can make those around you feel ill.

4. Locker room thoughts: Please respect personal space! The best advice is NOT to talk to people unless they have on a robe or clothes while they are getting cleaned up.

5. Please respect others right to work out. I understand that you may want to ask a fellow exerciser advice on form, etc. However, it is most appropriate to ALWAYS wait until the person is finished with their set or exercise. Ask them if it is alright to ask a few questions. People want to focus on their workout while they are at the gym. Like many, they have only a specified amount of time to get it done.

Written by Jody Goldenfield. I love weight lifting and am a health, fitness & workout enthusiast for over 30+years. At just short of 55, I am making sure I stay fit & healthy long term! I am also a FitFluential Ambassador. You can follow me at my blog Truth2BeingFit,  Twitter @truth2beingfit, Facebook, Pinterest at Truth2BeingFit, and Instagram at Truth2beingfit.