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Proper Gym Etiquette

January 25, 2013

If you are new to the gym you may not know what is proper gym etiquette and what is not cool. Here are some of the most important rules for proper gym etiquette.

clean gym equipment etiquette bench press1. Wipe down equipment after you are done. Especially if you are sweaty and left a pool on the machine. Some gyms are stricter than others. If you are in a relatively lax gym which has one cleaning station for the entire gym close to the cardio equipment then you are ok not wiping down lifting equipment unless you sweat on it. However if you are in a gym that has signs everywhere that tell you to clean the equipement and you can’t walk 5 steps without running into a cleaning station then you should clean all equipment including lifting machines.

2. Re-rack your weights. Always put your dumbbells back on the rack in the correct place. There is nothing more annoying than waiting for dumbbells that someone just left lying around. Don’t leave weights on the bench press bar, you never know if the next person can’t lift the 300 lbs worth of weight you left on the bar, it could be an elderly person or someone who just started out. They shouldn’t have to spend 5 minutes cleaning up after you.

2. Don’t work out right in front of the dumbbell rack. I hate it when someone stands right in front of the dumbbell rack and does their exercise. They are usually blocking around 6 sets of dumbbells for 30 seconds to a minute. Take two steps back.

3. Standing naked in the locker room for extended periods of time. Clearly locker rooms are for changing but there is no need to stand naked for 10 minutes while you brush your hair or have a conversation.

funny gym rules etiquette hot woman4. Don’t stare at people. New people and women are often intimidated when people stare at them while they are in the gym.

5. Don’t grunt continuously. When lifting heavy weights it is understandable to inadvertently grunt on occasion but people who grunt every rep of every set annoy everyone in the gym.

6. Don’t talk on the cell phone while in the gym. The gym is for working out, not for cell phones. Talking on the phone distracts everyone around you.

7. Don’t play loud music. If everyone around you can hear your music even though you have headphones on, your music is too loud.

8. It is ok to ask to work in with someone. If someone is on a machine or bench for an extended period of time it is ok to ask to work in with them. 95% of the time they will say yes or tell you they only have one set left and will be off it soon. Some equipment is better than others for doing this. Machines that can easily set to different weights are ok, but a barbell bench press where you are using a very different weight will get annoying because you have to keep changing the weight.

9. Don’t work out too close to someone using dumbbells. Dumbbells can be difficult to control and sometimes a person will need to drop them. Don’t stand right next to a person because it is dangerous for you and them.

10. Don’t drop weights excessively. It is ok to drop weights every once in a while if you miscalculated how much you can handle but don’t drop the weight after every set. If you drop your weights more than once or twice per workout then you are doing it wrong.

11. Stay out of the gym if you are sick. Everyone uses the same equipment, so please don’t get us all sick if you are coughing and sneezing. Not only is it obnoxious but it will take you longer to get healthy if you keep working out. If you really want to burn a few calories while you are sick, go for a walk.

12. Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne. Working out is hard enough without choking on someones perfume.

13. Ask before you change the channel. When there are shared TVs, choosing the channel is first come first serve. The other person may not care about what is on so it is ok to ask but don’t assume they aren’t watching it.

If you follow these rules then you are unlikely to have problems with anyone. You should also be aware that a lot of women are bothered by other women who wear excessive make up or skimpy clothing. As a guy I really don’t care if a girl tries to look good while working out, after all we are at the gym to improve our body and health, what is wrong with looking good. People also complain about guys who spend too much time looking in the mirror. It is a little weird but who cares? To those people I say, worry about what you are doing not what other people are doing if it doesn’t affect you.

hitting on girls at gym etiquette rude annoyingA lot of women don’t like it when guys hit on them at the gym. I can’t blame them but then again some women don’t want to be hit on while at the coffee shop or work or on the street leaving the only place where it is appropriate is at the bar. I think it is pretty sad if the only place where it is ok to talk to someone of the opposite sex is when alcohol is present. Personally I go to the gym to work out, not hit on women but I don’t blame a guy for striking up a conversation with a cute girl on occasion. If you are both at the gym then you share at least one interest after all. Just don’t make a career out of bothering girls.

I used to give people advice when I was at the gym and I saw them doing something wrong but I stopped doing that. If I was messing up I would appreciate some help but most people don’t appreciate it nor do they listen. One time while I was biking an experienced biker rode by and mentioned that my seat was too low and I would get more power if I raised it two inches. I thanked him and pulled over to adjust it. Sure enough biking became a lot easier and I was happy. Not everyone else is like me so it is better just to let them keep messing up.

Here is a funny video of that annoying guy at the gym. I laugh so hard when I watch it cause I used to be the coach guy and I sometimes am that show off guy. I do my handstand push ups while at the gym. I know they look kind of silly but they are a great exercise.

  1. Hi Wayne… I loved all of these! My gym pet peeves post only included 3…and they were different then yours! Going to the gym can be really annoying…surprised we still do it! Standing naked for 10 minutes which styling your hair? That would never happen at my gym and we’re all women. Most have to go behind a curtain to change their tops!

  2. Ha! Love this post. Last week I had to wipe someone ‘s skull juice from the bench. So, no one needs hair product in the gym, and come on, wipe it off.

  3. Dan permalink

    New follower here & I come across tip 12 every time I’m on the treadmills & surprisingly 99.9% is from dudes.
    Not sure if this should be a tip…..,when someone crosses in front of you while doing a set and your looking at the mirror in front of you to make sure you got proper form; I think they should go around you

  4. Action Brady permalink

    Some of these are pretty valid fitness waynes but I got to address the ones I strongly disagree with:
    1) Wipe down equipment after you are done.
    I have never seen anybody in my gym do this, and we don’t even have that spray bottle. Leaving your sweat on the equipment is the best way to mark your territory at the gym (aside from standing in an area naked for a long period of time), and if there are girls at your gym (and if there are, find a new gym), it’s a great way to direct pheromones at them. Also, hygienically it does nothing because that liquid they give you is so diluted with water by cheap gym managers that you might as well pee on your equipment to disinfect it.
    2) Standing naked in the locker room for extended periods of time.
    See #1. Also, if you don’t stand around naked in the locker room, how are you going to have other men admire/criticize your form and give advice on how to improve it? (protip: women don’t know shit about this)
    3) Don’t stare at people.
    LOL R U JOKING FITNESS WAYNE? You know how Action Brady feels about this. Staring is a great way to keep newbies and women out of your gym (and newbies perpetuate most of the worst gym gaffes and women distract from gains).
    4) Don’t grunt continuously.
    5) Don’t play loud music
    Most gyms already play shitty club music way too loud, so it usually makes no difference.
    6) Ask before you change the channel.
    If people do this to you without asking, you clearly aren’t big enough. Like in prison, the biggest/toughest guy gets to decide the channel. You should use this as encouragement to lift more, or challenge the offending party to a squat-off if you think you’re ready to assert your place as the alpha male.

  5. gainbuildmuscle permalink

    Damn, I’ve never laughed so much in my life. From this hilarious post, to the video, to Action Brady’s bizarre comments.

    And I’m definately “The Face”, ahahahahah. 😀

  6. Margot permalink

    Thanks a lot for mentioning not to stare at people. I always feel pretty awkward at the gym, ESPECIALLY on that creepy ad/abductor machine, so other people letting me have my own space makes workouts more pleasant for me.

  7. I have a hard time not staring at people at the gym lol! I love people watching while I’m working out and sometimes I zone out and then I end up making eye contact with someone. Awkward 🙂

  8. Triple Drop Training permalink

    #3 is too true. A friend of my mine announced very loudly one night in the changing room, that he was about to proceed with getting changed after his shower whilst having his little fella on display for as long as possible. This was of course totally wasted on the usual offenders. One guy would often sit naked on a window ledge and read the paper. Hilarious.
    A vigorous towel-drying and then pants on is how I like to do it.

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