Gym Etiquette Basics

Every gym has its own set of helpful guidelines to make sure that everyone has a positive, fulfilling experience. But there are also some unwritten rules that all gym regulars can agree are important to follow. Following these rules keeps the peace, takes others into consideration, and will let your fellow gym mates know that you know what’s up when it comes to gym etiquette.

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Gym Etiquette Basics

So you’ve joined a gym and are ready to get ripped.  Awesome!  We’re excited to have you.  But before we get started, there are a couple of things we need to go over.  Every gym has its own set of helpful guidelines to make sure that everyone has a positive, fulfilling experience.  But there are also some unwritten rules that all gym regulars can agree are important to follow.  Following these rules keeps the peace, takes others into consideration, and will let your fellow gym mates know that you know what’s up when it comes to gym etiquette.

Read The Rules

A good place to start when considering the rules at the gym is read them!  As we mentioned, most gyms have their own rules posted up for all of their members to read.  These rules are here for a reason and more often than not, that reason is safety.  But sometimes there are just some basic kindnesses on that list that you might not consider if you hadn’t taken time to read.  And if you’re not sure about a rule, ask a staff member.  They’ll usually be more than happy to help you.

Don’t Hog Equipment

This rule might be the first thing on your gym’s actual rule list, but just in case it’s not:  Don’t be an equipment hog.  The gym is a communal space, so it’s important to remember that earliest of playground rules---Sharing is caring!  Be mindful of how long you use any one piece of equipment, especially if there are a lot of people at the gym.  This can include machines, weights, or even independent workout areas.  Take into consideration that you’re fitting the gym into your own schedule.  That most likely means that other people are just trying to get through their own workout and get on with their day.

If the gym is fairly unoccupied, you can take a little extra time, but on average we recommend not using the equipment any longer than around 15 or 20 minutes at a time.  If you feel like you need more out of that machine, go back to it later after someone else has had a turn.

Put The Weights Back

Going to the gym and using the weights can be intimidating enough without that particular area being messy and confusing.  When you use the weights, make sure that you put them back in their slots, in the right order.  It’s always better to leave a place a little nicer than you found it, and the gym is no exception.  Putting the weights back is also an important safety tip.  Tripping on a free weight is a more common accident than you’d think.

Free weights at the ATC Fitness in Collierville
Free weights at the ATC Fitness in Collierville

Use The Sanitizer

At this point in human history, we should be very very familiar with sanitizer and its many important uses.  However, sanitizer has been a staple at gyms for years.  In fact, did you know that there was a study conducted that determined that roughly 63% of all gym equipment had the command cold virus present on it?

As a rule, the gym staff will make regular sweeps to sanitize the gym and its equipment, but they also rely on patrons being thoughtful and wiping down the equipment with complimentary paper towels and sanitizer stationed throughout the space.  If you’ve been touching something, wipe it down.  And these days, it’s probably not a bad idea to wipe it down prior to using it either (just to be safe).

Clean Up After Yourself

Not only should you be sanitizing the equipment you use, but you should also be mindful of leaving more than germs behind when you’re finished.  If you’ve been using paper towels to wipe your hands or body (by the way, invest in a towel), or have been downing plastic water bottles, don’t leave those items behind when you’re finished.  The gym usually has ample trash cans conveniently located throughout the workout area, so use them.  And if by some chance you notice someone else’s trash, it never hurts to be the bigger person and help keep the gym tidy.

Don’t Record Video And Be Mindful Of Selfies

Taking before and after pictures or even keeping a vlog is a great way to stay accountable during your fitness journey.  However, it’s important to remember that not everyone at the gym wants to be part of that particular story.  With that in mind, just don’t take videos at the gym and be very respectful with your selfie game.  We’re so serious about this rule that many gyms won’t even let you record inside to protect other gym-goers’ privacy.  Snapping a picture is okay, but even if you’re just taking a picture of the gun show, it’s hard for others to determine if you’re taking a picture of them.  If in doubt, just save the camera for the car after you’re finished.

Use Headphones

Who doesn’t love music?  Jamming out to your favorite tunes can be really motivating when you’re working out.  However, not everyone shares this sentiment.  If you plan on using your phone or some other device to listen to music, make sure you have a pair of earbuds or headphones to use.  If you’re using headphones, keep them on your head while you’re working out, or turn the volume down to an acceptable level where only you can hear what you’re listening to.  And don’t even think about bringing your own Bluetooth speaker.  It’s annoying in public, and it’s annoying at the gym.  So don’t do it!

Don’t Be A Screamer

If you’ve ever been to a gym for any extended period of time, you may have seen this person.  He’s the guy standing in front of the mirror pumping iron and grunting or shouting furiously.  Please, don’t be that guy.  We’re not suggesting that you have to be absolutely silent while getting your reps in, but there’s genuinely no need to growl and roar while you’re getting your sweat on.  And if you are, maybe reduce the weight a little.  Your workout shouldn’t be causing you severe anguish.

Screaming Guy

The Locker Room Isn’t Your Personal Bathroom

There are many benefits to working out at home, but if you’re choosing to come to the gym to work on your fitness, remember that the gym isn’t your house.  Some people forget that and can sometimes get a little too comfortable.  There’s nothing more shocking than seeing a naked stranger in the locker room when you didn’t expect to see it.  A little bit of skin is expected in a locker room, just don’t overdo it.  Make sure that you have a towel on hand, just in case.  Or err on the side of caution and keep everything contained to a stall.

The Gym Isn’t For Dating

This rule is very important.  People who come to the gym do so to get their work out finished and to get on with the rest of their day, not to find a date.  Don’t be that guy or girl who makes others uncomfortable by commenting on someone else’s looks or stalking them around the gym.  It’s creepy, invasive, and just not a good look.  Failing to follow this rule is likely to get you kicked out of your gym, but if that’s why you were there to begin with---you were there for the wrong reasons.

Wear Clean Gym Clothing

Last but not least, be thoughtful of others and wear clean gym clothes.  This is particularly essential if you’re a heavy sweater. Just because you don’t mind the smell of your own body odor, it doesn’t mean everyone else will appreciate it.  And the only thing worse than body funk is reheated body funk.  Yuck.

Clean Gym Clothes

Now You’re Ready For The Gym

Now that you’re in the know, you’re ready to hit the gym like a professional!  ATC Fitness prides itself on being a clean, inviting gym for fitness enthusiasts of all experience levels.  To learn more about our rules and what we have to offer, visit one of our convenient locations.  Sign up today and get started.


Join ATC Fitness Today!

We are proud of everything we have to offer. Furthermore, we will help you to reach your fitness goals. You can purchase your membership online or visit your nearest gym to join. We look forward to you joining our fitness family!