students working out
November 24, 2017
2 mins read

Gym etiquette 101

I am by no means a fitness guru, but whether you’re a seasoned gym buff or fitness newbie, recognize these pretty universal gym dos and don’ts.

Build these etiquette tips into your exercise routine so you can avoid being that person at the gym.

Put equipment away

I’m proud that you can bench press 290 lbs. But I can’t, so please, don’t just re-rack your weights – put them back in some kind of sequence or, better yet, back in their designated spots.


Be aware of your surroundings – and the people in it

I get the need to let out a cathartic karate ‘kiai’ at the end of your set, but if I can hear your grunting from across the gym and over my headphones – it’s a little more than distracting (and I can’t turn my volume up any higher).

Give people space, more than you think they’ll need. Trust me, you’ll feel bad if you knock someone out with a dumbbell or vice versa.

Have common cleanliness courtesy

Wipe down the equipment after you’re done with it – no one wants to use the bench with the you-shaped pool of sweat.

Play by the rules

Be aware of rules specific to your gym: Are you allowed to drop weights? Are shoes mandatory? The rules at a community centre gym will be very different from a CrossFit gym.

Be safe

Don’t let your ego get the best of your workout. Unload weights properly, know your body’s limit, and avoid being this guy:

When in doubt, ask for help. What’s the harm in asking how a machine works compared to suffering an easily avoidable injury?

Just be a decent person

I’d like to think everyone has common courtesy – but maybe it’s the endorphin high that clouds some people’s judgment at times.

So here’s a friendly reminder to be courteous: Don’t hog the equipment – especially if you’re just sitting at a machine texting. And please - please - don’t be a creep. Staring and insistent unsolicited advice is not charming.

weight lifter

Ultimately, the gym can be an incredibly inclusive community. Remember when you were afraid to ask Bicep McGee to spot you, and now they’re part of your weekly work-in and you’ve been invited to their book club on Wednesdays? You’d be surprised at how much mutual suffering, I mean, sweating can bring people together.

The gym environment is what we gym-goers make it, so let’s create as comfortable and respectful a space as possible.