When you hear proper form at a gym, you immediately think physical. Alignment, posture, technique. But there’s another kind that is often ignored, yet it’s just as important: the form of gym etiquette. As a trainer and gym goer, I often see guests who seem to think that they’re the only ones in there. Here are some of my pet peeves, see if you agree.
Gym Etiquette 101
1) Talking on the phone.
I’m amazed at how often this comes up and just how much their voice carries. I mostly see it on cardio equipment. It may come as a shocker, but I don’t want to catch up on your latest gossip while I’m doing my intervals. Text away at your hearts content, but if you must take that call, go outside. Chances are, if you can talk you’re not working hard enough anyways.
2) Leaving weights and equipment scattered.
Ever ran around the gym, trying to find that missing dumbbell so you can complete your reps? Some seem to think they will magically make their way back to where they belong. When I still worked at a gym, I often spent 15-20 just doing team cleans, but by the time I was done, they were all out again. If you could complete 3 sets, you sure are strong enough to re-rack.
3) Hogging the equipment
If you’ve ever wondered into the weight room, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Let’s do two reps, quick muscle check tour in front of the mirror, back to the equipment to fiddle with the phone and essentially just sit there. Working in with them is not an option because “they’re still using it”. Be courteous and share.
4) The spread
You like your stations, I understand, but factor in the amount of people at the gym and adjust your workspace and equipment used accordingly. You don’t have to have everything set up for all the circuits you’re doing. Just prep one at a time.
5) Personal space
This is mostly an issue I see during group exercise classes. Some like to get up close and personal, either because they have their favorite spot, or they really, really like you. Spread out, people. I don’t like anyone breathing down my neck or bumping into me every other step. Also, if someone has their mat on the ground, don’t just walk across it, go around. Same for busing your station at the end of the class. If you decide to skip the ab portion of the show, be aware that some do stick around. Don’t walk so close that they can’t complete the reps, or drag your weights over their head. You may help them get their heart rate up as they’re hoping and praying you won’t drop them on their head, you want to play it safe and find a clear path to the rack.
6) Wipe down your equipment and pick up your towel
Seems pretty obvious, yet many deem it unnecessary. Nothing like sitting on the rowing machine that still has sweat of workouts passed. There are plenty of paper towel dispensers conveniently located around the gym. Use them please! Same goes for towel bins. They’re all over the gym, while it might be easier to just drop them wherever once you’re done, someone will have to collect it. Just think about that.
7) Be nice to the front desk
I see and experienced it a lot. Guests like to complain and go off on them, regardless of the issue or if they can do something about it. Would you like to get yelled at? Didn’t think so. Trust me if you explain your issue in a calm and collected manner, it will be just as effective, if not more.
These are so simple, yet for many are hard to keep. Let’s try and be considerate of each other and the space. It would make a world of difference. Gym etiquette is a must so make sure you pass this along to all of your favorite gym bunnies!