The ultimate guide to gym etiquette
Although this is a very unconventional topic to read about, we feel like so many people don’t understand proper gym etiquette or perhaps have never even considered that when it comes to the gym, there are just some things you should and shouldn’t do.
Not many gyms tell you that there are just some unspoken “rules” that you need to abide by to make the experience for yourself, and those around you as comfortable as possible. Whether you need to be brought completely up to speed about etiquette or have been gymming for years and you just need a little “refresher”, it is still something we all need to know and acknowledge.
Here are some gym etiquette Do’s & Don’ts
Don’t hog the equipment
Nobody likes an equipment hogger. During peak hours, gym-goers tend to hog the equipment they often use the most which can be super annoying to those around you. The same goes for things like the treadmill or steppers, when your 20-minute limit is over, get off and do something else. We understand that when the gym is very busy and you had a specific workout planned, you really want to take all the weights, dumbbells or medicine balls you need for various routines, however, this one is probably the biggest don't when it comes to gym etiquette. Even if you need seven different weights or equipment for seven different things, do not take them all at once and pack them around yourself until you are ready to use them. This selfish way of exercising will most definitely give you some dirty-looks and annoyed faces in the gym. Don't be that guy.
Do wipe after your workout
At Fitness Fables we encourage everyone to bring their own sweat towel for a reason, in fact, all gyms do. Imagine doing a workout on a grid or a circuit and the guy in front of you is sweating so much that he looks like a water feature and on top of that, he does not wipe down the equipment as he goes onto the next one, leaving you with drenched weights, eew. Everyone sweats at the gym and if you don't then you are doing something wrong, but with great sweat comes great responsibility to wipe down your equipment after use to make it usable for the next person. Wiping down has always been a "must-do" here at Fitness Fables, and is even more so crucial in these times of COVID-19.
Do social distance
No, not because of COVID. In the year 2020 we were taught to social distance about 1.5m from another person to keep yourself and those around you safe and far away from any unnecessary contact. That is no different in the gym. Aside from the obvious Corona Virus precaution that we take in the gym by social distancing, respecting people’s personal space is great gym etiquette.
If you have visited the gym before during peak-times you would have found that it is not only dangerous to be in too close proximity with the person next to you for many reasons, it is also uncomfortable. So, to keep yourself out of harms way and awkward encounters, respect people’s personal space at the gym.
Don’t be too loud
Look we don't mind the occasional grunt, moan or loud sigh that is often accompanied by lifting heavy weights or doing intense workouts or even singing along to your favourite songs in your ears. Hey, even pep-talks and words of encouragement as your friend is bench pressing is cool with us, but please be mindful of those around you. Obnoxious screams and loud triumphant announcements can be a distraction to those around you and also, it comes off as arrogant. Using your diaphragm, to lift heavy weights often lets you blurt our involuntary grunts but a "Hell Yeaah!" followed by dropping your weights to the ground is unnecessary and stupid.
Do put back your equipment
Just like you take your dirty dishes back to the kitchen, you need to remember to put back your gym equipment where you got them. Nobody wants to walk around the gym on a little treasure hunt for the equipment you left all over the place. Respect those that need to use them after you are done and use one set of weights at a time, wipe them down and put them back where they belong. Not only will you be helping your fellow gym-goers, but you will also help the staff that cleans up after the gym closes and can help them leave to get home even faster.
Do have a plan B
Having a workout planned in your head before you arrive at the gym is very important it will help you to go about your workout effectively and efficiently. However, having a plan B is also very important. In times where the gym is very crowed there is nothing more annoying than someone staring at you while you are using specific equipment that they are eyeballing. It is bad etiquette to hover around someone who is enjoying their workout, just because you were planning to use it. Imagine being on a treadmill and someone is standing right behind you a few minutes before your time is up. Not cool. Respect people’s personal space, wait for them to finish properly or better yet, move on to your next activity. It is proper gym etiquette to have a plan B in your head that you can follow if the machines or equipment from your plan A is already in use.
Don’t hesitate to ask
Never be too shy to ask for help from one of our personal trainers. Whether you are struggling with your form, wondering about a workout or if you are unsure about the weights you need to use it is proper etiquette to ask us for guidance or assistance rather than doing something wrong that can hurt you or damage the equipment. And please, please don’t stand there and google for answers.
You will find that if you come across a fellow-gym-goer who does not have any gym etiquette whatsoever, it can be a very annoying and distracting experience. As with everything else in life the key thing to remember is just to be lekker and treat those around you as you would want to be treated. Be nice, share equipment, don’t scream, wipe down and be lekker. Easy as that.