Gym Etiquette Rules Everyone Needs To Know
Gym etiquette. It is a must-have for all gym-goers. Whether you workout anywhere from 24-Hour Fitness to your local CrossFit or an Old-School Powerlifting Gym, these are the things you need to know. Simply follow these basic gym etiquette rules, or risk getting kicked out and losing your gym membership. Or worse, becoming the local gym idiot!
If you disagree with any of these gym etiquette rules or have some to add, comment below!
Also, if you have any funny gym fail stories to tell, please leave them here.
What is Gym Etiquette?
Gym etiquette is how you conduct yourself in a gym style environment. Whether others are around or not, it is important you conduct yourself in a respectful manner. For this to occur, gyms have their own set of gym rules. However, there is more to it than just following the rules set in place for you to keep your membership.
In the following, we will go over all the proper gym etiquette you need in order to avoid becoming the local gym idiot.
Note: Every gym has their own set of rules and guidelines to follow. So make sure to check in with them to avoid the Lunk Alarm or any unnecessary fees.
Top 5 Gym Rules
Gym Etiquette Rule #1: Pay your dues!
This is by far Gym Etiquette Rule #1! Both financially and respectfully, you need to pay your dues. Nobody likes a cheapskate or a cocky amateur that think they know it all. Nobody cares how many magazines you’ve read, celebrities you’ve met, or videos you’ve watched. Stay up to date on your fees and learn from those with more experience, even if they are younger than you.
Overall, just don’t be an A$$! Be kind, humble and respectful to everyone at all training levels. Make sure to encourage others and make friends.
Remember, there is ALWAYS someone bigger, stronger, and better looking than you. Failure to comply to this standard Gym Etiquette Rule #1 can easily result in the termination of your gym membership! Or you getting physically thrown out of the gym by 1+ angry gym members!
Gym Etiquette Rule #2: RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS!!!
The most disrespectful, discourteous, and infuriating thing you can do in a gym is leave your weights out, or put them away wrong. Whether it be dumbbells, plates, kettlebells, or other gym equipment, put everything back the way it is supposed to be. Even if that is not how you found it!
We are pretty sure your mom doesn’t follow you around at the gym, so you are gonna have to take some responsibility and clean up after yourself. Otherwise, you will lose the respect of everyone around you and become the real gym idiot that everyone hates!
Gym Etiquette Rule #3: ALWAYS ask, don’t just assume.
When you assume things you simply make an “a$$” our of “u” and “me”. If anyone is nearby, or could possibly be using something, always ask before you take it. Even if you need to wait a minute to see if anyone comes back to it.
Taking things is just rude, even if you “didn’t know”. If you ask, you always know.
Remember, everyone shares everything at the gym, the same as it is in kindergarten. If you want something, then check around before taking it. Then there are no unnecessary arguments or angry looks.
Gym Etiquette Rule #4: Don’t hog the equipment.
When it comes to using the equipment, get in and get out. Don’t sit there on a machine or bench scrolling through Instagram for 5 minutes between every set. People are always waiting from a distance.
Be courteous of other people’s time, and follow social media on your own time. And if you have 5+ sets to do, you better not just be standing around at the squat rack talking to your gym bros. Always be working, or getting ready for the next set.
If you are doing a superset, be quick about it and never use more than 2-3 machines or stations at once, unless the gym is empty. Everyone has stuff to do too.
Gym Etiquette Rule #5: Respect personal space!
Look, but don’t touch. Big arms, ripped abs, and huge legs are all admirable. However, just because we like when people notice, doesn’t mean that you have the right to come up and touch what we have built.
If you want to feel, ASK! No acceptions! Whether you are young and hot or old and creepy, stay out of our personal space unless invited in.
Top 10 Gym Etiquette Rules
Gym Etiquette Rule #6: Don’t smell.
Whether you smell good or bad, the gym is not the place to give it away. You should come in not smelling like anything, good or bad. Bad smells only get worse, and good smells are too fragrant for others around you not to be distracted. It is fine if you start to stink after you have been sweating for a while but come in fresh, not freaky.
Also, if you smell like you just came out of a hotbox of smoke in your car, people are going to hate you. Whether you think you don’t smell like smoke or not, you do, and everyone knows it. It is your right to do as you wish, however, everyone at the gym is sharing air. If you ruin their air, you can expect a lot of dirty looks and even a canceled gym membership.
Gym Etiquette Rule #7: NO SINGING!
It is not Karaoke night! And we don’t care if it is your favorite song. Save your croaky voice for passing the time in traffic. When you’re in the gym, focus on your work.
P.S. If you can sing while working out, then you are not really working very hard. Just sayin’.
Gym Etiquette Rule #8: Scream as much as you want, but have a reason!
Being loud when getting psyched up and working hard is fine. However, if you do it for no reason, then you are just being a gym idiot.
To keep it simple, if you are doing something cool, then you are fine. If not, then stay quiet.
Gym Etiquette Rule #9: Wipe down your equipment. No excuses.
This is a mojor health risk if you forget, so don’t! Besides, “I forgot” is not a reasonable excuse for anyone old enough to workout in a gym.
Whether you sweat a lot or not, it is your courteous duty that you wipe down your equipment EVERY SINGLE TIME after you are finished using it. DON’T FORGET!
Gym Etiquette Rule #10: Don’t hit on other members!
The gym is a great place to hook up…before and after your workout though! It is NEVER a good idea to interrupt someone else’s workout. Especially if you are interested in more than a friendship!
Interact, but do not interrupt. If there is a connection, talk after. If not, they’re not interested. It is a HUGE turn off to interrupt someone’s workout. So be patient and take action when it is the appropriate time.
Top 20 Rules
Gym Etiquette Rule #11: Ask before you give help!
First, it is not social hour at your local country club, so keep your pointless talk to yourself. If you can’t say what you are going to say in under a minute, then save it for later. People go to the gym to better themselves and are all on a time crunch. Be respectful of their time and save the chat about the weather for the inevitable awkward silences in your life.
Secondly, NEVER walk up to someone to give them tips about how they “should” be doing things. That is extremely disrespectful, as it shows you think they have no idea what they are doing. If you have a suggestion, then ask if they would like to hear it. Don’t just start spewing out advice that they may not even want. Usually if they want advice, they’ll ask.
Gym Etiquette Rule #12: Wear appropriate gym attire!
It is not a strip club (male or female). So fully cover up all inappropriate areas. Ladies, side boob and see-through are too much, but a reasonable sports bra and short shorts are fine. Men, a speedo is for the pool, and your package is not made to be scrunched up into spandex.
Also, it’s not the 70s. Be comfortable, but not distracting. Taking your shirt off is fine, but don’t be loud about it. Public Indecency is a crime.
Of course, don’t track in dirt and mud from outside. If your shoes are dirty, take them off before you walk around.
Gym Etiquette Rule #13: No lockerroom nudity!
Cover yourself up in the locker room (and on the floor, obviously). There is always that one old guy in the locker room that is way too confident in his own skin, and there’s nothing we can do about that. Just don’t be that guy or gal! Keep it covered, and keep it appropriate.
Also, remember it is not social hour in there either.
Gym Etiquette Rule #14: No PDA (Public Display of Affection)!
We know that couples that workout together, stay together. However, the gym is not the place to show off your everlasting love and affection for each other. Nobody wants to see, hear, or have to workout around your makeout sessions every 2 minutes. So, stay on task, so you can get home sooner, and do what you need to do there.
Gym Etiquette Rule #15: Don’t stand in the way!
Whether you are in the walkway, at the water fountain or in front of the dumbbell rack, don’t be in the way. Make sure there is always plenty of space for people to move around you and get to what they need.
This also includes standing between benches, in or near squat racks or machines, and walking slow. Keep out of the way and no one will mind.
Gym Etiquette Rule #16: Glance, but don’t stare.
We get it. We’re hot, but that doesn’t mean we want everyone staring. Don’t be the creepy guy or gal that stares down every hotty in the gym. Everyone likes to be noticed for their hard work but don’t overdo it. Admire, and compliment if necessary, then look away.
Gym Etiquette Rule #17: Don’t laugh at anyone that is trying!
It is always okay to laugh with someone, but it is NEVER okay to laugh at someone, when at the gym. Yes, gym fails and gym fail stories are popular and funny. However, most of those people just don’t know what they are doing. So think of how you would want someone to help you if you were them. Then go from there.
Gym Etiquette Rule #18: Don’t be a gym idiot!
Don’t use bands, chains, or other equipment you don’t understand unless you know what you are doing! If you want to know why read these funny gym fail stories. If you need help, just ask.
Also, if you need a spotter, then get one. You shouldn’t make others around you concerned for your safety to where they feel the need to keep an eye on you like a child.
It is okay to ask for help, but not okay to put yourself and others at risk. Be smart, and be safe.
If you need a help on how to get started, get one of our strength programs or learn more about the Mathias Method Strength System!
Gym Etiquette Rule #19: Don’t keep asking for free advice.
If you need a personal trainer, then get one! And pay them. You shouldn’t go around bothering other people’s workouts for every little thing. You need to figure some things out on your own and if you need a lot of help, then pay someone to help you.
It is okay to ask for tips, but not for every exercise that you do. Even in the gym, nothing is really free. Respect other people’s time and value.
Gym Etiquette Rule #20: No sleeping, eating or lounging!
The gym floor is not a lounge, so don’t use it as one. If your gym doesn’t have a place to sit and hang out, then there is probably a reason. As in, they don’t want you to hang out there forever.
Eat, sleep and wait in your car, not on the unused machines or benches. You are just going to be in the way.
It is also important to mention that things like curling in the squat rack or just using equipment for the wrong purpose are obvious no no’s. Just don’t do it.
Things like how you lift and the music you listen too are not on this list, because those things generally do not affect others.
Overall, these are the basic gym etiquette rules everyone needs to follow. However, make sure to check in with your gym’s rules so that you never get the Lunk Alarm set off on you, or have to pay fines for things you didn’t know.
Remember, if you disagree with any of these, or have some to add, comment below!