Gym Etiquette You Need To Know

Whether you're a gym rat or new to working out, it's important to remember that there is a certain sense of decorum to follow when you're in a communal workout space. Every gym has stereotypical meatheads and the select few who don't know how to use the machines. They are almost impossible to escape, no matter what gym you attend.

And while every gym has its own set of rules, there are some general etiquette guidelines everyone should follow. Abiding by these guidelines will make the gym a great place for all.

Use deodorant

Yeah, everybody sweats at the gym. However, when you're sweating, your body odor needs to be in check. Use deodorant and make sure you're not scaring anyone away because of poor hygiene. Pro tip: keep a spare stick of deodorant in your workout bag.

Wipe down the machines

When you're sweating up a storm, it tends to drip and get on whatever is around you. Make things easier on yourself by using a small towel to wipe up your sweat so it doesn't drip all over the place (or in your eyes!). Any time you finish with a machine, wipe it down. Most gyms provide cleaning supplies on the floor specifically for this reason, so there's no excuse. You don't want to start using a machine that someone else hasn't cleaned, right?

Keep your cool

We've all seen those gym-goers who scream when they lift or who yell at themselves in the mirror after a set. Don't be that person. Sure, be excited about hitting a new goal or crushing your last set. But don't be so excited that everyone thinks you're on steroids.

Don't drop the weights

Never, ever drop your weights on the floor! Not only is this noisy, but it's also incredibly dangerous. Most gyms have somewhat bouncy floors, so when you drop a weight, it will travel somewhere. It could hit another patron or crash into a mirror — both of which we've seen. You don't want that. When you're done with your weights, place them down. Don't channel your inner Tarzan and throw stuff.

Re-rack your weights

Speaking of weights, put them back in their rightful place! They are organized in racks for a reason: so everyone can use them and find the weights they need. But when people don't re-rack, weights go missing and no one can find anything. Gym attendants will go crazy trying to find and organize weights because you didn't put them back where they belong. It's not hard — just do it.

Respect everyone's time

Have you ever had to wait around because all the ellipticals were taken? Yeah, it's not fun. While many gyms have 30-minute policies for their machines, many don't, and it's up to patrons to generally be respectful of everyone else. If you're on a machine, don't hang out on it all day.

Don't be a jerk

Feeling judged or intimidated at the gym is horrible. The point of working out is to feel better, not worse. We've even been anxious to try new classes for fear of someone judging us. Don't make fun of people or take pictures of them, like the now-infamous Dani Mathers did. Don't judge others who are doing what they can to better themselves! That's just mean.

Help others out

See someone struggling with their set? Offer to spot. If someone asks to work out with you on a machine, take turns with them instead of turning them away. Befriending people in the gym is great, and you may find a new workout partner.

Don't use your phone

The gym is for working out. Not phone calls, texting, selfies, or whatever else is happening on your device. Listen to music or an audiobook, but don't be that person who takes a call in their headphones while on the treadmill. Definitely don't be that person who "works out" and takes selfies in everyone's space.

Wear gym-appropriate clothing

Now, we're not here to tell people what they can and cannot wear in public. But there are some things you should not wear to the gym. It's safe to say jeans and flip flops are not appropriate exercise attire. Neither are dresses or skirts. Wear workout clothes: leggings, shorts, sports bras, T-shirts, tanks, and tennis shoes. Some girls prefer to work out in just a sports bra, but keep in mind that a lot of gyms have policies against this.