Gym Etiquette, what you should and shouldn't do in the gym!

We all hope that everyone we meet and have to interact with has some sort of manners, maybe not extreme manners, where they want to help us in every possible way but I think we hope that they will at least have the courtesy to treat us well and in a decent manner.  The same goes in the gym.

There are certain things you just should not do, and certain things which you should use your initiative to do, in order to help yourself and others around you.  Some of these acts may seem so arbitrary but you will be amazed how many people do not even bother with them due to laziness or thinking they are ‘bigger’ and better than everyone else.

All it takes is a bit of manners or ‘niceness’ and initiative and we can all get along so much better and be way more efficient.  After all we all have something in common and are all in there for more or less the same reason, so let’s help each other where we can instead of acting like meat heads thinking we are too big for the game.

OK so here is a list of some of the things which I think we should and should not do within the gym environment.  If any of you have any others which you think need to be added to the list please comment below or send them to us and I’ll be glad to post them up.  Or if you have encountered these acts in YOUR gym please do share your experiences so we can all learn from it.

1. Don’t Interrupt a person in the middle of their set

If a person is using a piece of equipment which you want to use, please WAIT for him/her to finish doing their set before you go and ask them how many sets they have left.  It is extremely annoying when, in the middle of your set on an exercise, someone comes and asks you how many you have left, as it can cause you to lose focus and mess up your momentum.

2. Do not sit and stare while you wait for a piece of equipment

If you have asked someone how many sets they have left on a piece of equipment, and whatever their number left is, you decide to sit and wait for them to finish, please DO NOT sit right next to them and watch them until they finish.  It is very uncomfortable for the person and makes it harder to focus.  So rather ask them if you can use the equipment after them and ask them to let you know once they are done.  Then go and use a different machine while you wait for them.

3. Stop socializing for extreme periods between sets

Don’t hog one machine for ages while you rest in between sets for ten minutes, or talk to your buddies at the gym or on your cell phone.  You came to the gym to train, so TRAIN!

Talking on a cell phone while using the bench press

4. Ask and you shall receive 

If you want to use a certain machine and someone is using it, all you have to do is ASK them how many they have left or ask them to go in between them.  Don’t be shy.

5. Sharing is caring

We all know that most gyms get extremely busy in the afternoons, especially after five pm when everyone comes from work, and it is very difficult to find a machine to use amongst the many people.  So if you are training during this time and if someone wants to use the machine you are on, at least offer to allow him/her to use it in between your sets.  This will help that person out tremendously and maybe you can make a new friend in the process J

6. No curling in the squat rack

I think this happens so many times.  If you are doing bicep curls using the Olympic bar in the squat rack and someone asks you to move so that they can use the squat rack, to, yes SQUAT, please agree and move.  You do not need the rack to curl and they do need it to squat.

Curls in the Squat Rack

7. Always be willing to learn

Within the gym, a lot of people think they know everything and there are some people who always feel the need to give out ‘advice.’  If you are going to give out advice please feel free to do so, but do not overextend your advice, even if you really do know you are right.  There are some people who you can try to give advice to (when for instance you see them doing something terribly wrong) and they will just get angry with you and argue that they know better. 

So it is always better to offer a brief bit of advice to them and let them decide.  If they want to know more, they will ask, trust me. 

On the other hand though, there are many of us who are always willing to learn and hear different people’s opinions, so if you are very knowledgeable and experienced and someone does ask you for advice, please feel free to express your opinion so that we can all learn.

8. Focus on YOUR goals

Don’t judge the way other people do certain exercises and what weights other people use.  You never know what they are trying to achieve by doing them and what their specific goals are.  Just focus on yourself and on improving in everything you do to achieve YOUR own goals.

9. Please pack your weights back

For example, some guys after using the leg press machine and piling on the weights on both sides, will just move to the next piece of equipment and not even bother to remove ANY of the weights.  Then the next guy/girl comes along and needs to use less weight; now they must waste their time removing all those plates.  That seems somewhat unfair.  At least be courteous enough to remove some of the plates.

  • Leg press machine

Or another example is when guys do drop sets with dumbbells.  They cart 4 or 5 pairs of different weighted dumbbells across the gym to use in one corner, and then once they are done they just leave them there.  Now the next person has to look all over the gym to find those weights which SHOULD be at the weight rack.  Let’s use some common sense here.

10. Most importantly be friendly to everyone in the gym

Treat others how you would want to be treated!


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