A guide to gym etiquette

Whether you’re a regular gym-goer or you’ve only recently signed up for a membership, the rules of gym etiquette apply to everyone. While there are no strict guidelines, there are a number of ways to conduct, or not conduct, yourself at the gym as an act of common courtesy.

After all, the last thing you want to do is get on the wrong side of people you may well end up bumping into again. So to get you on the right track, here is a quick guide to gym etiquette:

Wipe down equipment

Since you will be sharing equipment with other gym-goers, it is important to respect it. If you have been working on a particular machine for a while, it’s likely you will have worked up quite a sweat.

Rather than getting up and moving onto a new machine straight away, wipe the equipment you’ve been using down with a hand towel. This means the machine will be ready for the next person to use, instead of them being confronted by the remnants of your sweaty body.

Don’t touch mirrors

You will notice that there are plenty of mirrors inside the gym. These are particularly useful when using free weights, as they help you to check whether your form is on point. It is important, therefore, that they are kept clean.

Avoid touching them with your hands or leaning against them to balance or squat. This will help to keep them clear and free from sweaty fingerprints and streak marks.

Respect headphones

It is known that listening to music while exercising helps people to focus and perform better. While many gyms play music through their own sound system, most gym-goers prefer to listen to their own tunes in a bid to get them in the right zone for working out.

This means that you will walk around and see people wearing headphones. It is best not to interrupt them for any reason, as this is likely to distract their workout since it requires them to stop what they are doing and remove their headphones in order to hear you.

If you need to ask whether they are finished using a certain piece of equipment, you could simply gesture to it, rather than stopping to verbally ask them. They should realise what you mean and respond using a similar gesture to indicate whether you are free to use it or not.

Share sets

When the gym is at its busiest, you will find that the machine you want to use is probably occupied by somebody else. Rather than walking away though, ask the person using it if they would like to share sets.

This means that you can alternate and use the machine while the other person is recovering, and vice versa.

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